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What is a virtual phone number (and how do you get one)?

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SMS 101 4 min read | Sinch Messagemedia wrote in blog on October 31, 2023

Imagine having a phone number that can adapt to your needs, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a globe-trotting professional, or simply someone who values their privacy.

Virtual phone numbers offer precisely that, and they’re not just a novel concept; they’re becoming a staple in modern communication strategies.

A virtual phone number is a telephone number that isn’t tied to a specific physical phone line or device. 

They offer a multitude of benefits, providing individuals and businesses with unparalleled flexibility and convenience. When using a virtual number, you can create intricate software processes that are activated by phone calls and text messages.

How do virtual phone numbers work?

Virtual numbers operate on the idea of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), a technology that converts voice and text into data packets and transmits them over the internet.

When someone calls your virtual number, the call is converted into data and sent over the internet. The data is then received by your chosen device, whether it’s a smartphone, computer, or dedicated desk phone. This digital transmission allows for greater flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

Compared to traditional landlines and smartphones, they:

  • Can be associated with any device or location with internet connectivity.
  • Often come with lower monthly fees and reduced call charges, especially for international calls.
  • Add an extra layer of privacy since they can be used separately from your personal or business numbers.

Types of virtual phone numbers.

  • Local phone numbers: These are 10-digit long codes with a specific local area code, making your business appear local to customers in that area. They’re ideal for regional businesses.
  • Toll-free numbers: Toll-free numbers, often starting with 800, 888, or other prefixes, allow customers to call your business without incurring charges. They enhance accessibility and professionalism.
  • International numbers: International numbers enable businesses to establish a presence in different countries. Customers from those regions can call your business without international charges.
  • Vanity numbers: These are customized virtual numbers with memorable sequences, such as 1-800-FLOWERS. They are excellent for branding and marketing.

Advantages of virtual phone numbers for businesses.

Virtual numbers offer many advantages for businesses, especially when it comes to SMS. Let’s delve into how they can help your business communication strategy.

1. Boosting customer service.

They allow you to send personalized SMS messages to your customers. Whether it’s sending appointment reminders, order updates, or personalized marketing offers, SMS communication feels intimate and tailored to individual preferences.

SMS also lets businesses promptly address customer inquiries and engage in interactive two-way communication, improving the overall customer satisfaction and engagement.

2. Keeping track of conversation.

Virtual phone numbers include message history features, helping businesses to track and refer to past customer conversations for consistent and informed responses. You’ll have access to all of your incoming and outgoing messages so you and your customers can easily refer back to.

3. Saving time with automated sending.

They can be integrated with automated messaging systems. Businesses can set up automated responses for common inquiries or use SMS marketing platforms to reach a broad audience efficiently. SMS messages can be scheduled in advance, ensuring that important announcements or marketing campaigns are delivered at the most optimal times

At its core, a virtual phone number is a telephone number that isn’t tied to a specific physical phone line or device.

How to get a virtual number.

  1. Visit our website. Head to our dedicated page for virtual phone numbers. This is where you can get familiar with our process.
  2. Choose your area code. One of the advantages of these phone numbers is the ability to select area codes that match your business needs. We provide options for both US and international area codes, giving you the flexibility to create a local presence or expand your reach globally.
  3. Select your plan. Once you’ve explored the benefits and chosen your desired area code, proceed to sign up for a free trial.
  4. Verify and set up. After signing up, you may need to verify your identity to ensure security and compliance. Once verified, you’ll have access to your number, and you can begin customizing it to suit your business needs.
  5. Integrate (optional). To fully harness the power of your number, consider integrating it with your existing communication systems or customer relationship management (CRM) tools. If you need more ways to enhance customer interactions, you can expand your platform with our integrations.
  6. Start communicating. With your virtual number in place, you’re ready to start communicating with customers and clients. Use SMS and MMS messaging to engage, inform, and delight your audience. Track your messaging success,refine your strategies over time – and rinse and repeat.

Ready to experience the benefits?

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Yes, virtual phone numbers are safe to use. They offer security features such as user verification, ensuring the privacy and protection of your business communications.
While some providers may offer limited free trials, fully featured virtual phone numbers typically involve a subscription fee. The value they provide in terms of enhanced communication and customer engagement often justifies this cost.
Virtual phone numbers are ideal for SMS because they allow businesses to send personalized messages, track conversations, and save time with automation. This leads to efficient and effective customer service, ultimately enhancing the overall customer experience.

Ready to roll?

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