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Q: The effectiveness of using pneumonic devices to remember phone numbers. ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: The effectiveness of using pneumonic devices to remember phone numbers.
Category: Reference, Education and News > Consumer Information
Asked by: yamil95-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 12 May 2005 06:29 PDT
Expires: 11 Jun 2005 06:29 PDT
Question ID: 520855

I am looking for any/all info/research that is avialable on the
effectiveness of using pneumonic devies so customers can remember your
phone number.  For exaple, when you have on your webste contact us at
1-888-TESTING (837-8464).

Or you probably have heard the radio jingle that says
1-800-m-a-t-t-r-e-s (leave the last s out for savings)

What does the data sugges?  Is effective, or does it just annoy people?

I am most interested in its effectiveness when used in the web.

Let me know if you have any questions.



Clarification of Question by yamil95-ga on 12 May 2005 08:07 PDT
My mispelling.  I meant Mnemonic Device.  not Pneumonic.



Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 12 May 2005 08:34 PDT

The best source of information that I know of on the effectiveness of
toll free numbers is this online book-length publication:
Phone Number That Make Money

This is obviously a sales pitch, but it's also loaded with a lot of
useful information, some anecdotal, and some research-based.

Most of the information on mnemonic phone numbers -- which is strewn
throughout the document -- is more on the anecdotal side than not, but
still, this is about the best resource I know of.

Take a look at this, and then please let me know if it is useful to
you or not, and also, what sort of additional information you would
like as an answer to your question.

Thanks a lot.


Clarification of Question by yamil95-ga on 12 May 2005 09:03 PDT
the pdf is good, but as you state is more on the "trying to sell you" side.

I was more interested in the "are there any studies or research" that
can be quoted or referenced as why one would want to use mneumonic
devices.  Prefereably with more credibility than the pdf.

I need more than one source, (three would be ideal), the more the better.

Hope this helps.

Thx for the quick reply.

Subject: Re: The effectiveness of using pneumonic devices to remember phone numbers.
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 13 May 2005 18:55 PDT

Thanks for your patience while I compiles the available information.

There is some formal and semi-formal research on the effectiveness of
vanity numbers, but there does not appear to be a great deal of
information available.  I still feel the earlier link I provided --
though not really research oriented -- is still one of the better
documents available on this topic.

Nonetheless, I was able to pinpoint several studies and articles that
address your question head-on, and I have provided links to these --
and relevant excerpts -- below.

I trust this information will fully answer your question.  

However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need.  If you would like any additional information, just post a
Request for Clarification to let me know how I can assist you further,
and I'm at your service.

All the best,



Study Conducted by Response Marketing Group Finds Consumers Retain
Vanity Numbers, Associate 'Toll-Free' With 800 Exchange
Business Wire
June 26, 2002  

Vanity phone numbers recalled by 58% of consumers
Majority do notrecognize 888, 877, 866 exchanges as 'toll-free'

...The results show that vanity numbers (numbers that spell words,
like 800-NEW-SALES) offer significant advantages to advertisers. After
listening to a radio spot only one time, 58% of the subjects could
recall a vanity toll-free number. This compared favorably with
'hybrid' numbers (combinations like 800-639-HOME), which were recalled
by 44% of subjects, and especially numerics, which only 8% of
respondents could remember.

...The impact of particular toll-free exchanges on number retention
was also measured. While 58% of respondents could recall a vanity
number using the 800 exchange, numbers from the newer toll-free
exchanges - 888, 877, 866 - could be recalled by only 41% of the
subjects of the study.

Call Me Vain - toll-free vanity numbers 

American Demographics
Nov 1, 2002

...Before committing to that perfect toll-free number, however, make
sure it's one with an 800 prefix. The study found that consumers are
41 percent more likely to correctly recall a vanity number with an 800
exchange than to remember a number preceded by one of the newer
toll-free prefixes, such as 888, 877 or 866.


[This is more of sales pitch than a research, but it had some
interesting perspective so I thought I'd include it]

Toll-free Numbers on the Internet: FORTUNE 500 Companies

...Eighty-six percent of the companies on the FORTUNE 500 list use a
toll-free number, with 80% of them using a number with the 800 prefix.
Fifty percent of these FORTUNE 500SM companies have a vanity number.

Toll-free Numbers in Television Advertising


...Nearly a quarter of all television commercials use a toll-free
number as a response mechanism. The favorite is still the vanity 800

...Industries using toll-free numbers most often are real estate,
telecommunications, and lodging. Favored programming vehicles are game
shows, movies, and local news. Toll-free numbers are used most
frequently in 120 and 60 second commercials. Late Afternoon/Early
Evening is the top time slot. Internet address listings are also
becoming prominent.

1-800-Vanity Number on Radio Gets 14x More Calls Than a Numeric

...Vanity phone numbers dramatically increase advertising response
rates, according to a new study. The results of this study are
overwhelming evidence that vanity numbers are truly indispensable

...The results of this study, focusing on the use of toll-free numbers
in radio advertising, show that an advertisement using a toll-free
vanity number (a number that translates into words for easy recall)
yields 14 times more phone calls than an advertisement using a
toll-free numeric number.


[However, at least one observer has some doubts as to the merits of vanity numbers]
Vanity Numbers Have Drawbacks

The number 1-800-TAXHELP may look good on a business card, but the
concept of vanity telephone numbers has serious drawbacks for
professional services firms, according to one consultant... vanity
numbers "have their place, particularly in radio advertising. But I
believe their value is overrated." He adds that some studies have
shown that full-alpha[betical] 800 vanity numbers actually reduce
response rates. "They claim it's because people think they'll remember
the number, and thus put off calling until later," he says. "In
marketing, later often means never."...


Again, if there is anything else I can do for you, just let me know.


search strategy -- Google search on [ "vanity numbers" research ].  I
also searched a variety of newspaper databases, but these came up with
the same results already found through the Google search.
Subject: Re: The effectiveness of using pneumonic devices to remember phone numbers.
From: shockandawe-ga on 12 May 2005 07:19 PDT
pneumonic devices? 
Like an Iron Lung? I can't imagine how that would help with
remembering phone numbers.
Subject: Re: The effectiveness of using pneumonic devices to remember phone numbers.
From: quickly-ga on 29 Jul 2005 20:25 PDT
If vanity numbers do not work there are are lot of stupid Billion
dollar companies making a big mistake.(I doubt it) And many of them
are phone companies like AT&T Sprint MCI. I would think the people who
know best how well vanity numbers work would be the phone company. I
personaly have used 1-800-COLLECT 1-800-CALL ATT, 1-800-PICK UPS
1-800-GO FEDEX,Who changed their name from Federal Express to Fedex
just for the phone number. 1-800-FLOWERS,1-800-54GIANT for Giant Glass
to repair my windshield. and 1-800-TRAILER for my trailer. Every time
I look for my yellow pages it's gone, someone borrowed it. There is a
great value when the customer can rember your phone number easily.
Keeping customers out of the yellow pages is key. they can have lot's
of other options. decreasing your chance of getting the call.

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