What is a Toll-Free Number & How to get a 1800 number for your business?

Toll-Free Number

A toll-free number is a big asset for any business be it small or big.  They are advertised by businesses at different places like billboards, commercials, business cards, websites, etc. Toll-free numbers help a startup company or a small business owner to get into the limelight.  A toll-free number is a business asset that is indispensable, irrespective of the company size and industry. Read below to understand why your business will need a toll-free number:


What is a toll-free number?


Toll-free numbers are telephone numbers, which have a distinct 3-digit code to differentiate with normal numbers. It can be dialed using a landline or mobile with no extra charge to the caller making the call. These numbers are used so that customers can reach businesses or individuals who are outside of the area without being charged for long-distance calls. These numbers provide existing and potential customers a free and easy way to contact the business.



The common Toll-free number codes are 800, 866, 855, 1-800, etc and it depends on the area code where the business is located. The numbers begin with any of the above three-digit codes and cannot be interchanged. For example, if you dial a number using 1-800 number it would reach a different business than calling with number 1-888 prefix. All the calls that are made using these toll-free numbers are then routed to a local telephone number.


How does a toll-free number work?

A toll-free number is a virtual number that is mapped to single or multiple phones depending on the call volume. When a call is made on that number it is routed to one of the numbers. There is no physical sim for these numbers but is integrated in a telecom server which then forwards the calls to the mapped phone numbers. The sequence of flow is as below

  • The caller places a call on the toll-free number
  • A telephone company, it can be cloud-based or otherwise forwards the call to the phone number assigned or mapped to the toll-free number.
  • The call is received by the subscriber and the cost of calling is born by the business that owns the number
  • No cost is incurred by the caller


How to get a toll free number for your business?

Getting a toll-free number for your business is easy. It can be

  • Purchased from a cloud telephony provider
  • Consider the following when choosing from either of the options
  • Do you have the resources to set up your own infrastructure
  • Do you know the call volume and upscale or downscale the cost and infrastructure based on the usage
  • Do you have an in-house IT team to handle infrastructure

If you do not have the required infrastructure or do not have the resources to handle the call volume, then the best choice is a cloud telephony service. Once you decide on the toll-free number provider, getting a number is easy. Look for a suitable business phone service and follow the instructions to get the best number for your business.


Find your toll free number: There are many different toll free numbers types that the business can choose from. Look for vanity phone numbers if you are looking to build your brand and differentiate it from others. If you are running ads on various channels you can get a basic number and see how it is working before investing in a vanity number.


Route the number: Use a routing technology so that all the calls are directed to your business number.


How various industries use toll-free numbers

The 1800 phone numbers are so versatile that it can be found in almost all industries with some business sectors using it much more than others. Here are a few businesses that have used these numbers to make it a success.


Law firms: The best example of toll-free vanity numbers which is a huge success is the law firms. Legal vanity phone numbers are the most popular categories and among them, the personal injury firms have the best numbers in the business. The vanity numbers for law firms provide a great advantage for advertising. The use of these numbers ensures that their attorneys stand out from the rest of the crowd.


Example: Call 1-800- Hurt-Now


Automobile industry: The automobile industry is huge and comprises auto- dealers, parts suppliers, auto-finance providers, car dealers, service centers, repair centers, etc. All these can use toll-free numbers for their business. That will help in getting more returns in terms of leads and response rates.

Example: Call 1800-xx-xxx for a used car financing


E-Commerce industry:  Ecommerce industries have picked up and are dominating the offline stores. The toll-free success story continues and expands even to the online world. One such example is 1-800-Flowers. This number became iconic as the company was able to repurpose it for the online world.

It can be used as a single helpline number for various things. It can be to get information about the selected product, it can be to get confirmation of the order placement, etc. Another benefit is that it can be used to lodge customer complaints or get customer feedback too. Used in conjunction with a CRM, it can update the records and be used for implementing marketing strategies.


Education: Educational institution’s business numbers can be mapped to a toll-free number especially during peak seasons like admissions and results. Having a virtual number helps as the number of calls they get is huge and it becomes difficult to manage. Also, it helps tuition centers to ensure that the calls are tracked and recorded. They can call back using the caller information in case of missed calls.

Example: Call 1800-XX-XXXX to know the status of the application

Call 1800-AA-BBBB to know about the courses


Healthcare: Quick medical response is essential no matter what the medical emergency is. Ambulances are one of the main areas in health care which need to implement a toll-free number.

Example: Call 1800-YY-BBBB for an ambulance or call 1800-SS-TTTT to book an appointment.


Banks and financial institutions: Banks and other financial institutions which include investment companies, insurance companies, mortgage companies need toll free numbers to provide comprehensive information about their products. That will ensure that the customers are aware of the terms and conditions and they are not misled by anyone.

Example: Call 1800-ab-BCDE for more info on loan products

Call 1800-bc-SDFG for account status


Clean energy: people are looking to use eco-friendly resources in a bid to go green. Though there are many online resources that are available but to make use of the services, a dedicated number is essential. Companies that provide solar solutions and other clean energy options can use toll-free numbers to answer questions and also provide services.

Example: Call 1-800-Solar-Heaters for installation


Entertainment: Reality shows and participants are a great hit among viewers. But it is the callers who decide on the winner and the person with the most votes wins the show. A dedicated toll-free number is provided to each participant of the show for viewers to vote. It can also help to find out the popularity of the show and the player.

Example: If you want Tom to win, call 1800-Tom-1234 and select 1


These virtual numbers are for those businesses that want to provide better customer service. The toll-free number cost is inexpensive and there is no need for any infrastructure or equipment hence making it more beneficial for companies.