Lifelong telephone numbers, non-geographic telephone numbers, 0800, 0870, 0845 advice
 
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Using Lifelong Telephone Numbers and Email Addresses

Why should I consider a Lifelong Telephone Number?

If you've been browsing some of the prices on our site, you'll no doubt have realised a common theme: larger quantities of print are relatively much, much cheaper than smaller quantities.

This raises a dilemma. Doubtless, it is a good idea to have a larger quantity of letterheads printed to save money in the longer term. But what if you have a new business telephone line installed with a different number? Or your decide to switch to a different internet service provider which gives you a new email address?

This is a particularly difficult decision for startups, who frequently have only the vaguest idea of where their business might be in 12 or even six months' time. Any unforeseen changes in circumstances could well result in the large quantities of print — a bargain at the time — being binned.

What are Lifelong Telephone Numbers?

These are simply numbers which you buy from a provider which then 'points' your new Lifelong number at any telephone number you tell them.

If you change your number at any time there is no need to reprint all of your stationery and promotional material. You simply contact the provider of your lifelong number and ask them to 'point' it to your new number.

Types of Lifelong Telephone Number

0870 and 0871 National Rate

Many startups choose these numbers because they are frequently offered free of charge. People calling 0870/1 numbers are charged 'national' rate, which can be around 8p per minute during weekdays.

Since it costs less than this for the lifelong number provider to divert the call to your landline, they collect a penny or two for each minute that the call lasts, which is how they can afford to offer the numbers free in the first place.

The downside of 0870/1 numbers is that there is an increasing awareness amongst consumers of the added expense of calling them.

Additionally, regulatory changes due to be implemented in 2008 could mean the charge for calling these numbers falls, wiping out the call providers' means of making money from them with the possibility you will be charged for receiving incoming calls.

0845 and 0844 Local Rate

These cost less for customers to call so the number provider has to top up the amount the receive by charging you a fee.

Sometimes this can be a straightforward per-minute amount, but more commonly providers are offering packages of so much per month with a quantity of inclusive minutes.

0845 numbers are a very popular choice with startups but again, regulations timetabled for the beginning of 2008 could see 0845 and 0844 numbers being reclassified to cost more than they do at present.

0800 and 0808

Although these are the most costly to the owner, they are free for customers to call. Public awareness of numbers is very high and many surveys report customers will call numbers first.

Like Local Rate numbers, numbers can be charged per minute or as part of a package. Look carefully at different providers and try to estimate your monthly call volumes to decide whether you would better suit 'pay as you go' per-minute billing or a package.

What about a lifelong email address?

A lifelong email address is arguably more important than a lifelong telephone number, since you are far more likely to switch internet service providers (ISPs) than you are to acquire a new telephone line.

As price wars between ISPs continue, the temptation to switch to a lower-priced package may be hampered by the prospect of paying for reprinted stationery with your new address.

Email forwarding using MailForward

Our solution, MailForward, is incredibly simple to set up and use:

A customer emails you at your MailForward address and it is instantly forwarded to your existing email address, which can be changed at any time simply by contacting us

There are other advantages to using MailForward too:

Looks more professional. Which looks better for the owner of a greetings card shop? An ISP address such as mail@berrysgreetingscards.freeserve.co.uk or an address you choose yourself, for example jane@berryscards.co.uk?

Track the source of enquiries. With MailForward, you can put anything at all before the @ symbol. The message will still be forwarded to you intact but you will be able to see which address was used. If you put an ad in the paper for example, you might use a reply address of gazette@berryscards.co.uk. The address you put on a leaflet for distribution in July could be july@berrscards.co.uk and so on.

Easy to change at any time. A simple phone call or email is all that is needed to change where your MailForward address points to. The change occurs within 8 hours.

Expand to a website if you need to. If you decide at a later stage to invest in a website, whether provided by us or someone else, your MailForward address can also be your website address (in the example above, www.berryscards.co.uk).


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