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Which Type of Number is Best for my Business?

July 24, 2018
Sam Diamond

Which type of number is best for my business? A question that is commonly asked by business owners, marketers and agencies. Having worked with thousands of UK businesses over the past 8 years, here is my best insight in to how business numbers are used and the key benefits.

There are various categories for business numbers including Freephone, Virtual, Rebate, UK-wide, Charity... the list goes on. These categories are given to group or collective of prefixes i.e. 0800 and 0808 (Freephone) or 0870 and 0845 (Rebate). However, within these top level categories the numbers are often used in very different ways, with diverse results for the business.

Which Type of Number is Best for my Business?

Introducing the widely recognised Freephone Number - 0800 and 0808 

It's quite hard to avoid spotting a Freephone Number in day to day life as these numbers are the preferred choice by 99% of large organisations across the UK. Commonly used for radio adverts, television adverts, newspaper adverts, website and direct mail. The number ranges starting 0800 and 0808 are a simply fantastic way to attract calls - calls are free for the consumer from any UK landline or UK mobile. There have been a mix of articles over the last decade suggesting that call volumes increase significantly using a freephone number (often quoted between 195% up to 320%) and it's easy to see why! Free to call, always well promoted, often using repeat digits for memorability, UK-wide so no geographic area is ruled out and these numbers give the business a more professional and reputable stance.

The freephone number is not only a strong sales and marketing tool for large organisations, they are widely used by sole traders and SMEs as they too wish to create the strong brand presense with a number, which instantly suggests professionalism, a strong reputation and is free to call. Visit 0800 Page

0300/0303 Charity & Non-profit

Calls are charged at the cost of calling a UK landline and are also inclusive in caller’s minute bundles. 0300 and 0303 numbers are exclusively reserved for charities, public sector and non-profit organisations operating within the UK; so give your organisation the telephony seal of authenticity with an 030 number. They give your organisation credibility in the eyes of the customer, who know instantly from your number that you are non-profit and trust calling you.

Since Ofcom introduced 0300 numbers as an exclusive range for charity or non-profit, it isn’t surprising that so many have made the transition to a more confidence-boosting telephone number. It is reassuring to know that the move to 0300 is a small change that makes a massive difference to caller assurance and clarity of cost. Visit 0300 Page

0333/03 UK Wide Numbers

Calls to 0333 numbers cost no more than national rate and they count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 or 02 numbers. 03 numbers are perceived by customers as being cost effective to call from mobile phones which is why many businesses choose these numbers over 0845. How much would potential clients be willing to pay to contact your company? 03 numbers are a great middle ground and offer a cost effective solution for both sides of the conversation.

03 numbers are non-geographic virtual numbers that can be purchased by any Business, Organisation or end user an will give your business a national identity with high public awareness. They give your business a distinct advantage when it comes to customers or clients having fewer barriers to call you.

0844/0843 Rebate Numbers

Many businesses of different sizes in the UK choose to use an 0845 local rate telephone numbers to promote their services and also use as their main contact number. It can open up your business to the entire UK, not just a local area which gains access to a much larger market. These numbers also generate up to 4ppm rebate on every call to your number which can help cover operational costs.

To use and advertise these numbers, there is an obligation to advise your callers of the service charge to call your number, by providing this data in close proximity to where the 0845 is advertised or promoted. Recommended information to give is: "Calls cost xp [or xp per minute] plus your phone company's access charge." Visit 0844 Page

0870/0871 Higher Rebate Numbers

087 numbers are premium rate telephone numbers that many national companies use for customer service type queries. They generate up to 8ppm rebate paid on calls which, again, can help cover operational costs in your business. Offering a non-geographic number range to promote your products, services or support expertise nationwide.

So if you provide a premium service you deserve a premium rebate, which is why 0871/0870 numbers generate higher rebates on calls received. What you should be aware of is that these numbers are considered premium rate and are subject to the Phonepay Plus code of practice.

01/02 Local Numbers

Create a presence in any UK town or city by choosing a variety of “local” 01/02 virtual numbers. Simply by looking at how far you may wish to travel for your business, you can select as many virtual geographic numbers within that radius and have all of those numbers diverted to your main business number - landline or mobile. Consumers trust local numbers as they’re familiar and cheap to call and especially useful when seeking a business or service close to home.

Finding the right type of number for your business is so easy with over 2 million geographic phone numbers to choose from. Your business becomes more appealing to potential customers in surrounding towns and cities your whilst your main business number stays the same; with any additional geographic numbers simply diverting to the same phone.