Are Smartphones Killing Vanity Telephone Numbers?


Businesses spend hundreds to thousands of dollars each year branding their telephone number with catchy songs to anagram phone numbers.  These telephone numbers try to associate a product, service, or company name to the telephone number. But, with the introduction of smartphones designed for text messaging and emailing, are these phones working against the vanity telephone number, making them useless?

I recently asked a fellow entertainer for his contact information; he rattled off a telephone ending in TRIX. Being a magician, it was an appropriate marketing gimmick. As I entered the telephone number into my new Palm Centrino, I quickly learned I could not use the fancy QWERTY keyboard to enter the telephone number. The Centrino has a touch screen keypad with the numbers associated with the alpha characters, so I could covert the telephone anagram into a working telephone number.  However, I had to take time out to find this option and convert the number. This made me question, are smartphones going to kill vanity telephone numbers?

If you’re a business person, you know the Blackberry cell phone is everywhere, and the traditional business phones that sit on the desk have become a rare commodity. Just recently, people have been eliminating their home phones and strictly using their cell phones. These smartphones are not set up like traditional phones, and converting a vanity telephone number into a telephone number can be more work than it’s worth. The advantages of a Smartphone are its ability to acquire information from the Internet.  So how do you keep your data in a format that customers can gain quick access to?

Two solutions to get your telephone number in your clients’ Smartphone

The Internet’s social networking and the use of vCard are two solutions to the Smartphone dilemma. As smartphones become prevalent, it becomes critical that we make our contact information available and easy to obtain.  One solution is to use social networking environment like or, which provides a contact telephone book.  Since the new generation of businesspeople has grown up with technology and embraced it, social network telephone books are becoming popular in business.

The second solution is a vCard. A vCard is a file format standard for electronic business cards.  This electric business card allows people to quickly and easily send contact information via email, Bluetooth, or beaming to PDA. You will find almost every email program will import or export contact information into a vCard format. I would recommend that you make an HTML link to the vCard on your web sites contract page.  Users can click on the link and automatically add your contact information to their computer’s contact list.  Synchronizing their phone with their computer will transfer your contract information.

These are just two simple ways to make sure your contact information stays current on a Smartphone.  If you have any thoughts or comments: If smartphones are killing vanity telephone numbers or you have an idea of how to keep contact information current, please feel free to share your views.

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4 thoughts on “Are Smartphones Killing Vanity Telephone Numbers?”

  1. It is really simple actually! All you have to do on your blackberry is hit the alt key and then enter in the letters and the blackberry will automatically convert them and dial the correct number. Even if your smartphone is without a standard numeric keypad there are many helpful apps that will allow you to dial a vanity number. Again dialing a vanity number on a smartphone is perceived to be more difficult than it really is.

  2. While it may seem perplexing at first dialing a vanity number from your phone is rather easy. On blackberries all you have to do is hold down ALT key as you type the letters and the phone will automatically convert the letters the corresponding digits on the standard phone keypad. Other smartphones have apps available in their market places that will convert the letters to their corresponding numbers. I hope this helps!

  3. Great information, but the article is full of typos. The plural of Smartphone is Smartphones. Plurals don’t get apostrophes, possessives do. Cheers.

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