The 5 Best 800 Number Phone Services For Small Businesses (especially for advertising!)

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It’s now easier than ever to setup an 800 number for your business, and you can easily add a toll free number to your cell phone or office line on the cheap with one of these voip services I use for clients. The main thing you need to know is, what’s the difference between a forwarding service vs. a business voip phone provider. Both are cheaper than adding a toll free number to your existing landline plan, but toll free call forwarding services simply add business phone functionality to your existing cell phone (grasshopper has a cool app for that), and a business voip service will give you the ability to add office phones, softphone apps, and advanced 800 line features like call recording to your plan. We’re all budget minded these days, so I would expect you’re looking for the best inexpensive 800 number phone service provider for your small business? In this article, we’ll go over the top 5 best 800 number service providers, and which one’s offer the cheapest price, the most minutes/unlimited minutes, and even which plans let you do call tracking for your advertising. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to decide which toll free 800 number phone service provider is right for you.

>> Top pick for small businesses: Grasshopper 800 Flexible Phone Service



My Top 3 Picks For The Best Rated 800 Phone Service Providers For Businesses (local and 800/toll free)


Grasshopper#1 Grasshopper Virtual Phone Systems – Manage Your Calls Online Or From Your Office

  • Get a toll free or local number – national or local presence
  • Keep your existing number – Maintain your brand
  • Multiple extensions – for everyone on your team
  • Call forwarding to mobile phones – work from anywhere
  • Voicemails transcribed – delivered to your email
  • No new hardware – use your existing phones
  • Send business text messages – from your toll free or local number

Get Your Toll Free Or Local Business Number With Grasshopper Starting At Just $12/mo


#2 Phone.com VOIP Business Phone Service In The Cloud

  • Address Book
  • Analog Phones
  • Bulk Number Porting
  • Call Blocking
  • Call Handling Rules
  • Call Logs, Recording, And Reporting
  • Call Notifications
  • Caller ID With Analytics
  • Click To Call With CRM Integration
  • Custom Toll Free Numbers

Get A 30 Day Free Trial For Your Business Line At Phone.com Then $9.99/mo Thereafter


ringcentral-connect-platform#3 Ring Central Virtual Phone System For Small & Large Businesses

  • Softphone App
  • Smartphone App
  • Leased Hardware
  • Ultra Flexible Applications

Get Your 800 Phone Line For Business At Ring Central Starting At $24/mo


callfire#4 Callfire Phone Numbers With Voice Broadcasting & Auto Dialer Software

  • Voice Broadcasting
  • Text Messaging
  • Call tracking
  • IVR Integration
  • Cloud Call Center
  • Developer API
  • Local and Toll Free Numbers

Pay As You Go By The Minute With No Monthly Fee With Callfire.com


In A Hurry?
The Main Thing You Need To Know When Choosing A Service:
Call Forwarding Service VS. VOIP Phone Provider

Summary:

  • Grasshopper – plans start at $12/mo – the best cheap 800 forwarding service to add a toll free business line to your cell phone
  • Phone.com – $15/mo for 500 minute plan – the most affordable robust business voip phone solution with a good selection of available toll free 1-800 numbers to choose from
  • Ring Central – $24/mo per user – the best inexpensive no contract voip 800 service provider for conference calling, video, softphone, and voip phone hardware leasing for office desk phones
  • RingBoost – custom high end vanity number provider so you can get a number that matches your business name

I know you probably don’t have a lot of time, and you just need to know quickly what the best 800 number provider is for your needs right… Any of the recommended providers above can give you a custom toll free vanity 1800 number, but the functionality and features that the backend of some of the voip services are different.So I just want to touch on those for just a second, to make sure you pick the best option for your business needs.

For example, Grasshopper is the best choice for most people, but it is really a number forwarding service at it’s core. They do have their handy smartphone app that works like a charm, so if you’re looking to add a toll free business line to your cell phone, or simply don’t want customers of your weekend side hustle getting your home address/caller id or getting your personal cell phone number, Grasshopper is a great solution for that.

However, if you know you’re going to have office phones, or want to use a softphone app to take and make calls from your computer, you’d be better off going with a provider like Phone.com or Ring Central which I’ll go over below. You’re going to pay a little bit more, but you’ll save yourself the hassle of having to switch providers and port your number over when you do get multiple offices. If you run a service business, or know up front you won’t have secretaries anytime soon, save yourself some money and go with Grasshopper’s business forwarding phone service.

Just keep in mind, a call forwarding service is just that… A service that lets you buy a business number (in this case a toll free 1-800 line) and receive calls on your existing cell or office phone. A business voip provider has more advanced features like complex call routing to multiple numbers, typically offers unlimited minute plans, can support unlimited extensions and additional phone numbers/lines, offers voip phone hardware, conference calling, etc… In a nutshell, that’s the main difference between an 800 number forwarding service, and a true business voip service that let’s you add an 800 number to your plan. In general, most people and business owners will never use half of that, and 9 times out of 10 are perfectly happy with a phone service like Grasshopper, making them the best 1 800 number provider for most people. The good reviews speak for themselves as well!

Go Toll Free With Grasshopper's Virtual Phone System

How do I know about these services?

Over the years, I’ve worked with a ton of different types of local businesses, both national companies and mom and pop service businesses. In different situations, we’d choose certain 800 number service providers for different purposes, in addition to the main landlines at the offices to help with tracking sales agents, advertising campaigns, etc…

I’m going to go over a few of the pros and cons of different 800 number providers, and specifically how particular companies can be a tremendous help if you’re actively doing offline advertising, online advertising, or have commission sales agents. Please understand right up front, that for large corporations that require landlines hardwired into the building to piggyback/operate other systems off of, these are not intended to be a replacement for those, just a helpful addition to track various performance aspects and drive more revenue.

Most people/companies do not ever consider using call tracking to monitor the effectiveness of contractors they hire to do both online and offline advertising. This can be both a life saver to identify poor performance, and a branding nightmare if used incorrectly, so we’ll cover this in great detail.

perfect-business-number-grasshopper

Finally, we’ll go over an alternative to using an expensive virtual phone service provider with a live answer receptionist. I’ll show you how you can setup a professional call flow from two different companies that doesn’t require an employee to sit by the phone, but also doesn’t make the customer feel alienated or give the impression you may not be very responsive. This can save you boatloads of money compared to a VOIP system from a local service provider like Brighthouse/Time Warner, Century Link, Comcast, ATT, Verizon, etc… The only downside is, if you utilize a ton of outgoing minutes that must originate from the same number, most plans aren’t unlimited until you get into the higher cost packages.

We’ll throw in a few tidbits on how this all ties in to lead gen campaigns, SEO, hiring PPC advertising specialist, billboard advertising, and more.

By the end of this article, you should have a good grasp on which service will be the best fit for you or your company. But should you have a question that I didn’t cover, ask below in the comments and I’ll answer it within a couple days… There’s probably someone else out there with the same question, so you’ll help them out too!


How To Get A 1800 Number For My Business Today That’s Easy To Setup?

I get this question a lot, so I wanted to put an update in here to walk you through setting up an 800 number for your business in 10 minutes or less. I totally understand too, there’s a bunch of you that are starting side hustles and local service businesses that don’t want to give up your personal cell phone number or caller id to customers. I get it, it’s not very professional number one, and number two, who wants customers to be able to Google your home address right?!?

No thanks! Not when obtaining a 1 800 number is this cheap…

The fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to get an 800 number, is to use Grasshopper’s virtual phone service that lets you manage your calls online. You’ll get to pick your toll free number, add extensions, and even take calls on your cell phone… all in less than a few minutes. (I’ve personally done this many times, and have made tutorials for people, so this is a realistic time frame!)

You will be able to use your business line the same day, and there’s no waiting for a phone company to set anything up. The reason I mentioned the online control panel, is because it’s awesome… You can log in, change your custom greeting, add departments or employees for that professional big company feel if that’s what you’re going for, and change how your calls are routed with the click of the mouse. This automatically syncs with the Grasshopper phone app on your cell phone, so you can easily decipher between personal and business calls, and only answer them during regular business hours. The Grasshopper phone plans that let you do this are some of the cheapest out there, and are very affordable and flexible… still to this day offers the best price toll free number in the industry.


The Best 800 Virtual Phone Service Provider For Business Offices

Grasshopper has the most robust and flexible call flow setup of any of the forwarding service providers, and offers the most support for expansion so you’re not stuck with a limiting service if you expand down the road. They make it easy to setup your desired call flow, and even forward calls to cell phones or other numbers after a customer has selected an extension. You can choose to add new lines to your account at any time, and also keep your existing or local number too. Conference calls are a breeze, and it automatically connects all parties by entering in their phone numbers. Save time by adding an informational extension that delivers automated store hours and directions to customers in real time. However, Grasshopper does not have advanced features like call recording, softphone applications, etc… And you’d be better off going with a complete virtual business phone service, such as Phone.com, like I mentioned above.

How would you use these phone services the way I described above? Well let’s create an example here, and say you don’t have a receptionist, but still want your customers to be greeted properly when they call, and directed to the correct department or employee/person right? This is easy to do, and you can record multiple greetings for your primary initial call greeting, add extensions with a menu that the customer can select (with or without hold music), and then add secondary greetings further down the call flow path. (you can also create a name directory if you want customers to be able to search through personnel as well) Forwarding a customers to call to multiple numbers is a perfect way to handle an employee not being available, and the customer isn’t immediately alienated because there are secondary call flow options they can be routed to should that employee not answer.

You get the ability to setup multiple custom voicemails, and then choose how those are delivered to you. Great options that will save you time from checking messages when you’re busy are voicemail to email, and even faxes to email… so you don’t have to run back to the office every time a client sends you over a fax! Both can be transcribed and added to your emails, so you can quickly see what the call was about.

For service businesses who use their cell phones all the time and are expanding, Grasshopper makes it super easy to set your outgoing caller ID. This way it no longer shows the personal name and address associated with your cell phone, and it much more professional since it’ll match your company info exactly. Business SMS text messaging is also a nice feature, and in this day and age is a good idea for most businesses to have the ability to accept text messages.

The other thing that makes Grasshopper attractive is the low startup costs involved. Their pricing starts at $12/mo, and you don’t have to buy and expensive phone hardware or voip systems since it’s a virtual phone system.

Grasshopper in a nutshell:

Best 800 Number Service Provider For Small Business

How Using Local And 800 Business Phone Services With Call Tracking Can Help Improve Company Sales & Track Negative ROI In Your Business

If you’re going to hire an advertising company to run billboard ads for you, how do you know exactly how many calls you get from that exposure? Does it lose you money or break even? Do you know for sure??

One of the ways to position yourself to better analyze how much you spend, or which contracts to renew, is to track your calls. Instead of using you main office number, you buy a local or 800 number from one of the providers I’m about to introduce you to, and monitor every call that comes in on your end of the month report.

There’s an additional pro to this that can put you many steps ahead of your competitors. One is call recording, whereby you can see how well your receptionist is doing taking the calls, how well your sales agents are closing, and easily spot areas to improve by doing weekly quality control checks. You’d be surprised by how many businesses are losing business from improper greetings by receptionists and employees. You just never know about it unless you deploy a technique like this.

There are a couple of cons to using a call tracking line for everything however. For instance, if you have a branded vanity phone number, and you’re doing a national ad campaign, you would not want to use a separate call tracking line in this case simply because you’ll lose the brand recognition. Another case where you’d want to be careful, is using a call tracking line to track how well an SEO company performs for you. You want to be sure they deploy your numbers as an image, not raw text so your NAP doesn’t screw with your local SEO.

However, if implemented properly, you can quickly see where your company is losing money each month, and where to scale up in places that delivers your best return on investment. Once identified, you no longer need to use these numbers any longer, and can ditch them aside form testing new advertising methods.

The Best Phone Service Providers (800 & Local) For Businesses Looking For Call Tracking & Analysis

If you’re just looking for a cheap 800 forwarding service that still has inbound call analytics, Grasshopper is going to work great and cost less than $15 bucks a month, which is super affordable. As long as you don’t need any advanced office phone features for your toll free line (like you’d find with phone.com voip phones), that’s the most economical way to go for most business owners.

Callfire is my top choice here for billboard advertising and local mag drop tests, mostly for it’s huge number selection (you might even find a second vanity number as well) and affordability. You can be setup in 5 minutes, and receive texts and forward them to whatever number of your choosing. Turning on call recording and voice whisper (so your receptionist knows where the call is coming from if you have a special greeting for certain circumstances) is a click of the mouse, and you can easily record custom messages that only you can hear.

Full compliance no matter what your state regulations are are available, including call announcements on your customers end if you happen to be recording entire conversations for quality control.

At the end of the month (or anytime really) you can log in to your dashboard and listen to how well your staff is doing, see how many calls went unanswered, and view caller id reports to see how many times the same customer had to call to get the service they desired.

Second on my list for call tracking providers, is Phone.com. They actually are my favorite, but cost a bit more, and are not always cost effective for every situation. However, the features are on par with Grasshopper in regards to what you can do under the hood, and it’s very easy to setup custom call routing/forwarding and have your voice-mails transcribed and emailed to you instantly. In addition to this, you can get email notifications every time a call is transferred, so if you;re tracking an ad campaign by the day or hour, it’s easy to get a feel for what’s working and what’s not.


Choosing An 800 Number: What Are The Best 1 800 Numbers (Custom Toll Free Vanity & The #1 Mistake Most People Make!)

Usually most business owners will go online and search in Google or something for “how to get a 1 800 number” to see what other people are using. What they don’t know, is there are two types of available 800 numbers… the standard open pool, and the premium pool. The only way to get a premium custom 1-800 vanity number, would be to lease if from a company like RingBoost. You might pay a little more, but the advantage here is that you can usually get a variation that will match your business name perfectly.

Now the open pool of numbers available with any 1 800 number provider, are kind of like open domain names that haven’t been registered… Not all bad, but because they’re available, you have no guarantee what type of businesses they’ve been used for in the past.

The #1 mistake that most people make, is not googling the toll free number they’re about to buy before checking out, just to make sure it hasn’t been used for any shady business in the past. Ideally, you want a number that has a clean history, or no history at all so you can start with a clean slate. I’ve seen this happens a few times, where business owners didn’t catch this until it was too late, so make sure you Google your 800 number three ways: in quotes — “800-my-number,” with and without the “1,” and with parenthesis/area code style — “(800).” That should bring up any previous listings associated with that number, if any, and let you be sure the number itself wasn’t used for a local massage parlor or something.


Specialized 800 Number Service Providers For PPC And Display Advertising

If you’re spending money with ongoing online ad campaigns, and you want dynamic number insertion to track conversions down to the exact landing page and referrer, Ifbyphone is bar none the best phone service provider for you.

Their advanced applications and tracking allow you to setup campaigns in ways other companies can’t support yet. The ability to split test, both ad copy with direct phone extensions and landing page variations with different CTA’s, is second to none compared to other providers I’ve used.

The only downside to IfbyPhone is the costs involved for normal call tracking without needing some of these features… You’d be better off with Callfire or Phone.com if you aren’t doing heavy digital advertising.

Update – haven’t used IfbyPhone since they switched to Dialog Tech after a round of funding it looks like, but if you’re doing strictly a ton of PPC, their dynamic keyword insertion and tracking is the best in the business.

Toll Free 800 Phone Number Service Provider With Vanity Numbers And IVR Integration

Kall8 is a company I started using many years ago before Grasshopper was around, and still have an account with them today. Their pricing isn’t the cheapest, but still a good value for that their system can do, and they have all the advanced features like VOIP integration, payphone blocking, call announcements, address lookup for caller id, lead management, and hunt groups.

I’m pretty sure Grasshopper has now evolved to offer all of these features and more at this time, and is probably the more favorable choice if starting fresh. But Kall8 still makes the cut… My only complaints about kall8 are the clunky interface. They’ve been rock solid for me for the last 4 + years, and I still have multiple lines with them. However, they don’t make it as streamlined to setup new campaigns and adjust things like call recording and whatnot, along with limited voice whisper features. Be sure if you’re running campaigns with an active spend, you have a backup card on file. Late last year my numbers were suspended because my credit card expired and I was out of town, and didn’t get their courtesy call reminding me to update payment.

I’ve used Twilio in the past successfully for lead gen campaigns for clients and whatnot, and don’t get me wrong, they are VERY affordable. Probably the cheapest in the business, if not beating other companies by a long shot! But there are a few caveats about them that stop me from recommending them for most businesses. The big one is call quality… Sometimes their lines can be quite staticky, and the connection speed seems to have a lag at times, but other than that, their network is rock solid. In terms of customization and what you can build on top of their platform for custom autoresponders for customers, there is no comparison.

The biggest reason they didn’t make the list since you sort of have to be a programmer to work with their api, or subscribe to a third party software company/license to integrate with it. This isn’t a huge deal, but I don’t like having an additional point of vulnerability between the primary service provider in case of failure… The whole operation could be compromised until a patch or bug fix is pushed out, which isn’t acceptable to me when your business is on the line.

What’s The Best Toll Free Number Service For Small Business With Unlimited Extensions and Personal/Cell Phone Integration When Out Of The Office?

For more standard business phone service needs, there are only two platforms that lends themselves well to integrating with land line systems and personal or business cell phones. (for taking call when out of the office, getting your voicemails emailed to you for keeping tabs while in meetings, and so on…)

Both have call tracking features like the other phone providers, but they’re much more advanced when it comes to complex call routing, forwarding extensions, automated answering, etc…

The most flexible is going to be Grasshopper since they have an Iphone app that allows you to ingrate and control certain aspects of your phone system, with Phone.com being a close second. Phone.com might be a little bit cheaper in the beginning, but Grasshopper will have you covered for more future expansion, and it’s likely you’d never have to find another toll free provider after that.

read-your-voicemail

Who’s The Cheapest, Who Has The Best Service, And Which Provider Is Best For Toll Free 800 #’s & Local Area Codes

In my opinion, the cheapest is going to be Callfire right out of the gate. But, I wouldn’t pick them if I planned on keeping office phone systems integrated for the long haul, I’d go with Grasshopper instead. Reason being, Callfire’s dev tech is aimed toward a niche in the market that includes voice broadcasting. That’s kind of their thing, and when I’ve called customer support before and asked about implementing advanced features, the feedback wasn’t positive in that direction.

For that reason alone, for most small businesses, the best provider is going to be Grasshopper. They offer the best all around feature set, with future development looking to support a variety of applications.

In a close second, is Phone.com. I absolutely love their service, and the ease of which you can setup lines for businesses and route the calls for lead generation campaigns is just awesome. If you’re looking to track ad campaigns, or experiment with new lead sources as opposed to running office lines, I’d go with Phone.com. Their pricing is still attractive, and if you look around at any other reviews or comparisons, you still get all the advantages over going with a local provider like Verizon or ATT for example.


Cheapest Toll Free Number Provider With Automated Answering & VOIP Transfer Integration

GH2011_300x250The only mistake I’ve made in the past when buying an inexpensive business line (whether for myself or a client), was not considering the company’s/platform’s future flexibility and what I’d need.

For example, in the beginning I just wanted a simple business line that was separate from my cell phone so I’d sound more professional. But as things started to take off, I found myself wanting to direct certain types of calls down different call routing paths. The only way I could do that at the time, was to port the number elsewhere and learn a new platform. (can you say pain in the ass???)

So, had I started with Grasshopper’s phone system originally, and just used their handy iphone app to transfer the calls to my cell phone in the beginning, I could have easily logged in and changed the call flow 6 months later when I got a different phone system. (it’s much easier to add call extensions, transfer different calls to other people, etc…)


How To Get 800 Vanity Numbers For Your Small Business

If you’d like to get a vanity phone number for your business, (I would recommend choosing something easy to dial/remember if possible!) Grasshopper makes it very easy to search the available custom toll free numbers.

Simply select your desired prefix (800, 888, 877, or 866) and then type in your business name and hit search.

A lot of the more popular vanity numbers will be taken, but a lot of time you can generate a variation of your business name abbreviation and it’ll be available. Try it out for your business name here.


Conclusion:

For most small businesses, the best 800 number service provider is going to be Grasshopper. The only situation where I don’t recommend them as the first recommendation, is if you have the need to record your calls to spot check secretaries, or do billboard advertisement analytics and whatnot. Then Ring Central or Phone.com would be your next best options as the best 800 number service for small business.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What Is The Best Toll Free Number Provider That’s Cheap And Reliable?


Should I Used An 800 Number Forwarding Service For My Business? Or Get Vonage VOIP With Toll Free Line?

This is a tough question answer without more details about your business needs. On one hand, a cheap 800 forwarding service is almost always the go-to choice for most small businesses, but the only potential future issue I see that could arise is when/if you want to have an office/multiple offices.

Most cheap forwarding services aren’t intended to be full service voip phone system solutions, and as such won’t be able to route calls to multiple offices, or support multiple devices on the same line/extension. For complex call routing, and multiple number transfers if one employee doesn’t answer right away, a number forwarding service isn’t going to do what you need. You would want a fully featured voip business service like Nextiva, Ring Central, Phone.com, Vonage, etc…

But like I always say, if you’re like most people out there, and just want to know how to add a toll free business line to your cell phone, Grasshopper is a great way to go for a cost effective 800 number solution.


What Is The Best Way For A Startup To Get A 1-800 / Toll-Free Number?

  • My Answer From Quora:
  • As far as the original question is concerned, a lot of the virtual phone service providers now are fairly close in terms of price/performance/etc… As a small business owner, you really need to know what features are your MUST-HAVES, since certain platforms lend themselves better for different things.For instance, Callfire is definitely the cheapest provider I use for local and 800 lines for billboard ad tracking, but they’re not a true complete virtual number provider in that, their backend has a limited feature set when it comes to setting up smartphone integration, voicemail to text/email, and so on. But for a basic number to do call tracking with, or an additional line for an advertising campaign, they work great and are by far the cheapest.On the flip side, Phone.com and Grasshopper are way easier to setup in every possible way, especially when it comes to recording greetings, forwarding numbers, texting, etc… Not to mention the iphone apps so you can easily take your calls and phone system management with you on the fly. These forwarding services would be much better options for most businesses looking to add a toll free 1-800 number to their phone plan.Additionally, if you want to use office phones or add voip desk phones, I’d go with Ring Central or Phone.com specifically… That way you won’t have to get a phone adapter or do anything crazy to set it up, it’ll just work and be pre-programmed right when you receive the device.

What’s The BEST And CHEAPEST 1-800 Service Out There?

  • Question From Sitepoint:
    • Here is your chance to brag or just sell us on what you think is the best 800 service out there. I’m switching from KALL 8 even though they have been good but I’m tired of people having a cheaper bill than me for the same service. Here’s how this goes, list the Company and Rates: This is ONLY for 1-800. No 877 or 866Kall8
      $5 setup and $5 per month for 1-800
      6.9 Per Minute
  • I’ve used Kall8 for many years, and am still a customer to this day. I have some client call tracking numbers there that we can’t get rid of, and I’m too lazy to switch to another provider. Service has been rock solid, but the main reason why I don’t recommend Kall8 to most people looking for an 800 number service, is because the control panel is dated and more difficult for a newbie to setup. They also don’t have things like Grasshopper’s custom voice studio, which is something a lot of customers are looking for to get custom voicemail greetings made for each of their toll free lines. I haven’t used Freedom Voice, so I can’t comment on that provider, but I would recommend looking at buckets of minutes/unlimited minute plans/pre-paid minute plans instead of using services that charge you by the minute.

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