Let’s talk about a marketing tool that may not already be part of your organization: phone number prepends.
Any prepend is something that goes before something else. In the case of phone numbers, a prepend could refer to any text or numbers you insert before the digits or text associated with a caller ID.
The VirtualPBX Business Phone System allows for prepending as a standard feature. Our marketing team uses this tool to help segment our own calling data, and you can begin to use it too once this brief tutorial is finished.
What is a Prepend?
We can expand on the definition of a phone number prepend.
You have seen a caller’s ID before. It might look like a phone number (+1 234-555-6789), a name (John Smith), or both tied together.
This is excellent information for marketers that know how to use it. However, it can lack the detail necessary to tell you why the customer has called you.
Simply put: There’s no identifying information prepended to a traditional caller ID that alerts you to the reason behind a call.
A Simple Two-Campaign Scenario
Consider that you’re running a joint marketing campaign between two properties – a digital advertisement in Google Ads and a print advertisement in a magazine.
You attach separate phone numbers to each property, so when you look at your call logs or export that data with Zapier, you can match callers to the numbers they dialed to reach you.
You might think that it wouldn’t be difficult to tell incoming calls apart. In a sea of other calls, it can become more complicated than expected.
Prepend Assists Segmentation
The use of a phone number prepend on both your marketing numbers would make life a lot easier.
Say your prepend for the print ad reads “Print Ad: ” and the one for your online ad reads “Online Ad: ”. Among all the other incoming calls in your log, you can easily sort for those terms.
An incoming caller ID of “John Smith” could read “Print Ad: John Smith”. That’s much more specific than just the contact’s name; you can make it even better by being more specific.
This basic example is a bit crude. What would happen, for instance, when later this year you ended your existing online campaign and started another? The simple prepend of “Online Ad: ” would become too vague.
You can easily make changes in the VirtualPBX Dashboard to append whatever text you like. When you’re specific, like with “Online Ad 2019-04-16: ”, you could mark when a campaign started.
It would be just as easy to append information about the goal of your campaign or the region it addresses, such as a click-through rate goal or the Midwest area of the U.S.
Phone Number Prepends in Your Own Campaigns
This use of a phone number prepend isn’t complicated. It doesn’t require a depth of knowledge in order to get started or make it unique.
Yet it adds a power to your campaigns that’s often overlooked. As businesses, it’s important to identify who tries to reach us and why they are calling. Without that basic information, you will be lost when creating new marketing efforts because you won’t know who to target.
The phone number prepend feature lets you run a campaign and analyze it with fine-toothed comb. All you have to do is enter a short phrase.
Five seconds spent annotating your phone number settings could save you hours of frustration when sorting through logs. And it can improve all your future marketing campaigns because you’ll be better able to see effectiveness of your efforts.
Check out our prepend feature in a Free Demo of our phone system, led by our experienced Sales Team.