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Utilization of Vanity Numbers like 1-800-ALCOHOL or 1-800-RECOVERY

Posted on Sep 2, 2020 by Jim Peake

If you are going to go out and purchase a vanity number like 1-800-RECOVERY then talk to a company like RingBoost. We have a vanity number we bought from them and it is 1-781-222-0000.  It is an extremely easy number to remember.   However, vanity numbers need to be used in the right situations.

As far as phone numbers and addiction treatment marketing are concerned it is nice to have vanity numbers like 1-800-ALCOHOL or 1-800-RECOVERY.  Yes, they are memorable.  But they come with a downside as well.  If you drive all of your traffic to a vanity number you won’t know which of the ad sources are giving you your admissions.  If the 1-800-VANITY# is on your Twitter, Linked In, Website, Psychology Today etc then it can be any one of the ad sources that are generating the calls for you.

At the end of the day it is smartest to create a new tracking number for each ad source.  If you are really sophisticated you will have different tracking numbers for your different ad groups in Google Adwords.  This way to can measure down to the smallest metric which keywords and ad groups are converting admissions for you.

Building a business around a vanity number has some advantages and drawbacks.  Maybe there is an enterprising student who has done a paper on it.  Some big 1-800 campaigns are 1-800-FLOWERS, 1-800-MATTRESS, 1-800-DIRECTV.  The biggest challenges these businesses have is identifying which of their calls are coming in from what advertising sources, web, TV, Print, Radio etc.

While we are commenting on the rehab business vanity numbers we truly know nothing about the two businesses who own 1-800-ALCOHOL and 1-800-RECOVERY which is American Addiction Centers and Recovery Centers of America respectively and how their numbers are performing.  However, as of SEP 2020 it appears that both of the companies have ditched their online campaigns with each of the vanity numbers.  We will say however that if these numbers are utilized in a mass media type of environment like Outdoor, TV or Radio they could be very memorable and convert better than traditional tracking numbers.

For best results using software like Call Tracking Metrics and then actually scoring the calls and identifying which calls are good calls, which calls become admissions and adding the dollar amount attached to each call or the approximate dollar amount you will have a much better idea how your advertising is working.

Recovery Centers of America used to use a lot of 1-800-RECOVERY in their digital advertising.  See the image below:

In another situation Adcare Hospital was acquired by American Addiction Centers, they used to use their 1-800-ALCOHOL all over their website, no longer.

It now appears that both large treatment centers are not using their vanity numbers as much and especially in some of their digital assets.

If you have any questions about drug rehab call tracking or branding with 800# vanity numbers feel free to call us and we will be happy to assist you.


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Jim Peake

Jim Peake – Jim has over 30 years of direct response advertising marketing experience. He was the catalyst for putting the Internet in the front page of every newspaper around the world for the first time with the chess event Grandmaster Garry Kasparov vs. IBM’s Deep Blue super computer in the mid 1990’s. Jim’s main area of focus today is helping drug and alcohol treatment centers market their businesses in a hyper competitive market.

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