Posts Tagged phonewords

Who Sets Prices For Phonewords?

The government of course! But let’s not get negative, it is a business concept and a very good one from an entrepreneurial point of view.

Firstly I guess do you all know what a phoneword is?

Basically it is a 13, 1300 or 1800 number which has digits after the prefix, that spell a word when dialed using a numeric/text keypad on a phone. A business can have up to 10 digits/letters following the 13, 1300 and 1800 prefix. This is called over dialing and has been incorporated into all Australia phone networks (including mobile).

Now, generally they are a great marketing concept because it is much easier to remember 1300 WESTPAC, then the number that would represent that, 1300 93 78 72. Many marketing studies have been done and confirm that incoming call traffic and sales increase with the use of a Phoneword. It not only provides an “easy to remember” number for the caller but also enhances the branding of the company.

SO, where do we get these numbers?

Well if you are lucky enough, the number you want will be in the available, FREE Public List provided to all telecommunications companies in Australia.

However, it is very unlikely you will find the number you want within that free list but instead will have one of two choices;

1. Purchase the number outright so you have complete ownership, from the SMARTNUMBERS AUCTION SITE or,
2. Lease the number from a company who has previously purchased the number.

AND, to our initial question, who sets the prices on these numbers because the price at auction can range from a reserve of $250 all the way to $20,000.

The government body that has created the pricing strategy for phonewords purchased at auction is the Australian Communications And Media Authority (ACMA). The ACMA tell us that “the numerical patterns in numbers and the capacity of numbers to be translated to words” are the defining factors as to how prices are set. The table that best defines these elements and the relevant price charged can be found HERE

I hope that has helped and give some background into where the phoneword charges come from.

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Can I have A 1300 Number That Spells My Name?

One of the most common questions we get within the 1300 Number industry is How can I choose my number for my business?

Well there a basically four ways to choose a number;

1. A public list is issued to every telecommunications company in Australia, generally once a week, although it can be obtained as frequently as the company likes to update it really. Make a point of asking for the absolute current list from your chosen supplier. The benefit of this public list is that they come free of charge. That is, you do not have to pay anything to choose the number. You would simply go through the list and choose the number that you want (most companies will ask that you select 4 or 5 numbers in order of preference and they will obtain the highest preference for you).

2. Let your chosen supplier pick one for you, again this will be from the public list so the number will be free of any capital cost. The difference of course, is you would let the company issue one for you rather then have the luxury of choosing your own.

3. One of the problems with the public list, if you are specific about what type of number you are after, is that the government has taken out most of the numbers that would spell words and placed them in their web based auction system called Smartnumbers. You can purchase number from this government auction and the reserve prices start at $250 for the lower ranked or more obscure words. Prices can reach into the tens or hundreds of 1000’s believe it or not for the higher ranked words. So it is a careful decision that a business owner must make.

4. Finally, there are many companies in Australia that purchase these numbers via the auction system and the lease them back to businesses. This can be the most costly of all given that leases can again range from small amounts to very expensive depending on the Phoneword.

So that is basic round up of choosing a number, depending on your business cash flow and model.

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