WARNING: Responses to vanity numbers do not work on all phones, also a lot of phones do not display vanity numbers as a word, even if it is set as the Sender ID.
We always get clients wanting to put their business name in the Sender ID. While this is great for recognising the sender, it makes it very difficult for a recipient to reply as you can only reply to a mobile number, not a word. When a user cannot reply, it limits your functionality and spam compliance.
A great solution that our clients are discovering is the use of vanity numbers. A vanity number is a number that spells a word using the numeric keypad. You can actually deliver your message with the vanity word set in the number and then if somebody replies, it is automatically set and replies are processed.
In this example, the actual number is our dedicated virtual mobile number +61467528778. If you look on any phones numeric keypad, you will see the letters corresponding to the numbers.
Using a dedicated virtual mobile number in this way actually lets responses and opt-outs to be processed as normal while also getting your business name into the Sender ID.
There are a few challenges we face though when setting up. The process usually goes as follows:
- Number search
We perform a search with Telstra's number database for a $99 fee. You will supply us a range to search on eg. 614XXXBURST. The less letters you require matching the more chance of a hit. 5-6 letters is usually successful. If we do not get a hit there are some 3rd party number brokers such as http://mynumber.com.au that have reserved blocks of numbers so they can also be worth a try. They will generally charge a fee to purchase the number in the range of $500-600.
- Number porting
Once you have found a number you like we need to port it to our system. There is some paperwork required here and the process can take upto 14 days with a direct number from Telstra or 30 days to complete via a third party. We charge a nominal $100 fee to cover the admin time.
Even though you own the number and we allow you to port it away at a later date for free, we still have to pay our providers to host it so our $25 per month fee still applies.
Setting the Sender ID
To set your vanity Sender ID we use the "Define a New Sender ID" option rather than selecting the number directly. This will allow us to enter the letters. To gain maximum deliverability we still have to put the 61 at the front. Some carriers such as Telstra will block a Sender ID that is just 04 when coming from our system.
When the person receives the message, it will be displayed with your vanity number and they will be able to reply.
If you would like to talk about getting your own vanity number or initiating a free search. Just get in touch and let us know.
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