MM Podcast Episode 010: Vanity Phone Numbers and Call Tracking for Auto Dealers with Laura Noonan (transcript)

This is a transcript of MM Podcast Episode 010: Vanity Phone Numbers and Call Tracking for Auto Dealers with Laura Noonan.


Ashley:                 Welcome to episode 10 of the Motor Car Marketing podcast. In this episode’s main segment I’m going to be interviewing Laura Noonan. Laura works for ‘800 response’ which is company that offers telephone services to a variety of industries including car dealers. In the interview she talks specifically how car dealers can improve their overall advantages numbers and car tracking software so stay tuned for that. If you  find this episode valuable please help us as giving us review in iTunes or leaving a comment on YouTube or re-tweeting the podcast on twitter or liking us on Facebook. The social media shares really to help spread word about the podcast. So it is very much appreciated. If you have any questions or comments about anything feel free to send us email at Want to improve this podcast some honest constructive feedback is very much appreciated. Couple of quick notes : any websites and links I mentioned in podcast can be found on the website in the show notes. I also publish transcript with the every episode case rather to see the show or looking something later on. You can find all the podcast shows or notes on We like to get our free video selling more cars and Craig’s list. Just go to and putting your name and email address into the form on the sidebar. This guide goes throw all the recent craig’s list changes and show you some actual statistics from dealerships imposed heavily on Craig’s list both now and last year before the changes rolled out. So if you wondering if you still be posting your cars and Craig’s list or wondering how can we get more value out of Craig’s list ads definitely check out this free video. So now let us get in to the main segment. Today I am talking with Laura Noonan. Here is the interview.

Ashley: Welcome Laura to the Motor Car Marketing podcast. I really appreciate you coming on to the show.

Laura: Thank you for the opportunity

Ashley: So to start out I wonder if you could give us a quick overview of your career and how you got into the marketing.

Laura: Well sure, I actually, a unique story I think in terms of me and my contemporaries I have been with 800 response for 21 years and actually started out as my first job out of college. Two week after graduation. I was able to secure job obviously, at the bottom of the ones and have had the pleasure of watching this company really grow from a very small entrepreneurial startup company to what it is today and it’s really been a great journey.

Ashley: Ok perfect. So let’s start out. Let’s just start about some of the products in the services you offer and specifically let’s dive into the vanity numbers. I know we are talking about little bit about that before the interview. Can you kind of give us an overview what is a vanity number and how they work and an ultimately how they can help increase a dealers or a why?

Laura: Sure, Yes so we are, our specialty really is after all of these years still offering businesses,  unforgettable 800 numbers. 800 vanity numbers which still works on the keypad. They are going to run for a very long time. What makes us unique is that our vanity 800 numbers the model of our business intentionally  developed to allow business like car dealership to advertise regionally. We able to use regional vanity 800 number. The supply of 800 numbers was actually exhausted years and years ago. Because in most cases they were given to one customer nationwide. With our program we have been able to take really valuable resource and give access to hundereds of different businesses and break it down by market. In other words in you can have a Ford dealer here in Werlington, Vermont using 1-800 new Fordat over market area . Other Ford dealers in Los Angeles can also advertise 1-800 new Ford and get calls from their respective advertising market. 1-800 new ford and allow hundreds of Ford dealers to use the same number while there is now confusion and anything from consumer’s point of view. Consumers dial the number from where they are and they are going to route to our customers. That’s Good.

Ashley: Ok perfect. So can you talk about some of the actual bumps in the statistics you see when someone uses one of these numbers verses versus  they just call local number or a non-vanity 800 number?

Laura: Sure, so based on our customer data has shown us as well as some research has been done over the years -if you take two ads and change nothing but the phone numbers, so if you put numeric phone number in one and put 1-800 new Ford, new dodge and another, you’ll feel changing anything any other component of the ad, you can specifically aspect anything about 30 to 40 percent more increase on the vanity 800 number version.

Ashley: Well and so kind of the next question I think would be you know there is, but you just san aid that like 1-800 new Ford what I would consider a premium vanity number, but there is probably shades of grey where they are not quite so good. Have you tested anything like that?

Laura: We have. We actually have some studies, that have been developed over the years that we worked with independent research firm to do as well as other companies in publish sense as well and there is definitely still a difference you taking number, we would call it a hybrid partly numbers and partly words and still there is always advantages to a full vanity number verses 1-800 343 Ford. Simply because people remember words better than they remember numbers and actually there was interesting article published not that long ago and that spoke to this and they interviewed neuroscientists to explain this phenomenon and I am really scientific but take away was; some neuroscientists point views is that again peoples mind remember words better than they remember digits.

Ashley: And isthat what you see? So someone is little driving in their car, they might hear radio spot 1-800 buy Ford and they call an hour later something  when they get the home- that’s the idea?

Laura: That is the idea. I mean right now –obviously  things have changed over the years and we first were doing business in one obvious word. People on the road try to drive and dial – you know that’s ‘great idea’- but sensibly the concept is that these numbers get in peoples mind so when they ready to buy or they ready to use them more information gathering they are going to remember the number. They aren’t going write it down or try to commit to memory. They don’t need to. They’re already locked in.

Ashley: Perfect. So can you just tell us roughly how much want it these numbers my cost to dealerships.

Laura: Yes, that’s a great question and it kind of follow our models in terms of how we are able to provide these numbers on a market by market basis and region by region and it mirrors little bit DNA . So any advertising if you can advertise in New York City metro Jersey area verses again my example Burlington, Vermont. It is lot more expensive to advertise in New York City than Burlington, Vermont.

If you’re dealer in Vermont, you want 1-800 new Ford, you can probably get that number to  depending                  on the services wrap into it, a little about 100 dollars per month. But if you in New York City or LA or NSF City you definitely going to be spending 100’s of dollars per month. But we got little market dealers in and bottom line is that you going to see the R.O.Y. usually  within just a few short months because of the increase reach you get to  going to get, You’re going to get increase sales in those couple extra sales are going to pay off that and that often.

Ashley: Sure, sure. A lot of these tracking services and they have 800 numbers that I see around. Is there also a per minute user charge so is the call buying also effect the pricing?

Laura: Yes it can. It definitely, of course we have charge for the cost of the calls and there’s different packages. You know some people prefer to kind of prepay like you do on cell phones or you can log in to buying  minutes per month or you can go all of our call and just pay for your call volume as it occurs. But it again, all in, still there is really very easy to see R.O.Y. on 1-800 number server. We have customers who literary, I have talk to some other day, it is a Ford dealers so that’s maybe why it’s on my mind that they have been with us since 18 years and you know that they still love that 1-800 new Ford number and worked very well for them. So it is the cost of the calls and the volume, you know really if you getting the value of it and you’re selling more cars.

Ashley: So let’s talk little about some other services that are wrapped in with these 800 numbers. You mentioned call tracking and recording. Just may be, let us know a little bit about those services and then also you know how call dealership potentially use them to increase sales.

Laura: Sure, the great thing about 800 numbers is that they are track able. When consumer dials a 800 number our system captures a lot of information about the phone number that they’re calling from, where that caller is located and so for our customers we provide online real-time call tracking report, that they can log in anytime from anywhere, there you know user name and password to gather picture of exactly where the calls are coming from by city, by State coming and how expenses there area is, times and dates, busiest hours of the day that are busiest as well as address and demographics of their callers and there is lot in a nut shell, it’s how they’re  helpful to the car dealers is that it really help them to optimize their existing advertising expenditures by better understanding  how particular buyer are calling for them. You know that morning drive times better, the afternoon drive time is better on their radio buyers as well as to capturing all of that caller information, they can better understand the demographic profile of their callers. Some of our dealers have used these reports to modify their advertising plans or come up with promotions. So they’re  very useful and different customers have used them in different ways.

Ashley:                 Can you say you guys actually have access system to some sort of data so you can get them graphic  of the person who is actually placing that phone call?

Laura:                    That is correct.

Ashley:                 Perfect. Is there any kind of follow up with e.g. an address? Did you actually get someone’s  address and perhaps send them mailer?

Laura:                    That is exactly right.

Ashley:                 Ok that could be quote valuable. So let’s talk little bit about call finder and how dealership could potentially use that. That kind of  sounds like call recording but it  can take it to the next level.

Laura:                    Yes it really does. You put it exactly right. We have been offering call recordings services well over a decade to auto dealers and rather few of them find it value and having there call recordings so they can understand how they handling there callers, use to recording for training and we learned over the years is that may be; but it is very time consuming to devote time necessary to review our those calls. Specifically if you are using vanity 800 numbers you’re generating a lot of call traffic. Some years ago we develop we call it ‘call finder’, which is essential caller call recording very much equiped with speech analytics engine and what that means that you can teach call finder what is important to you to listen for to. So rather than having to listen  yourself  hundreds of recordings to help them finding perfect coaching calls. I really want good caller that you can say to: ‘Hey, when you hear these phrases been spoken or you don’t share here these phrases been spoken that’s perhaps the dealer except there that missing certain things from the phone. Call finder will categorize all of the in-end calls and put them essentially into the bucket for you to say here are the calls where people are mentioning the summer promotions, here’s the caller that aren’t mentioning summer promotions, here’s the calls for you competition is being mentioned and wondering why you can’t match you price, etc. etc. So there’s many different ways that our dealers could use the call finder product to improve the customer experience and really going a lot of business and marketing intelligence as well. We have one dealer who would actually create a promo after using call finder to learn more about its competition doing or for other reasons just wasn’t quite to commit to and make some changes.

Ashley:                 Perfect, Perfect. So OUR linked to both responses and call finder you’ll find in the show notes. What’s the best way for people to keep up with you and potentially contact you if they wanted to learn more?

Laura:                    That is great question. We certainly have a company profile both on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Ashley:                 OK;

Laura:                    I’m sending you with website as well.

Ashley:                 Yes I’ll list the website and a link to your twitter account. That’s nice way to people to follow you and kind of learn in very passive way what you guys are doing.

Laura:                    Absolutely.

Ashley:                 So perfect. So well you have been very generous with your time. I really appreciate you coming on the show and explaining all of this with us.

Laura:                    Thank you; I enjoy talking and I always enjoy talking about 800 response and how we can help.

Ashley:                 Perfect. Thank you.

Laura:                    Ok, Thank you.


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We can have your new website up and running usually in less than 24 hours. Set up is free and easy, and there are no long-term contracts so you can cancel at any time. Again, check out Motorcar to learn more.

Just a couple of quick notes on today’s interview with Laura; one of the things I and Laura talked about just a little bit before the interview is how busy most of the people that work in car dealerships are. I know that every car dealer I’m working with is absolutely strapped. Everyone is working tone of hours and weekends, etc., etc.

So find the time for using this sort of system setups, even if it takes a few minutes, it can’t be difficult. But one of the things about this call services is that they are pretty high leverage. What I mean buy that is that can have a dramatic effect on your businesses if you make a little bit of effort. It may take a little bit of time to set it up and I know dealers are very, very busy but once it’s set up it’s pretty easy to maintain. You can get some really big results, like what Laura was talking about; increase call volume with vanity numbers, increase data you get from tracking calls probably so you can really figure out what forms are advertising are working for you and improve your overall R.O.Y. And then digging deeper into some of the data you get from tracking these calls.

Anyway, that’s our show, I hope you get some value out of it and it can help you grow your business. Thanks for listening.


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