FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is #250?
This is what #250 is all about…
#250 is a speed dial that works on all major mobile phone carriers in the US and Canada. All callers connect to our platform that prompts the caller to say the keyword they were ask to use in an advertisement.
The combination of the #250 number and a simple-to-remember keyword (much easier to remember than some random 10-digit toll-free or other number) allows us to:
- Immediately connect the caller to the advertiser’s customer representative or front desk; or,
- Send the caller an SMS TXT message with links to the advertiser’s website, click-to-dial number, or even mobile coupons. The caller may even be offered the opportunity to opt-in to receive future offers via TXT.
How much does it cost?
Curious about the investment?
There is a fixed monthly fee per reserved spoken keyword and per designated market area (DMA) based on the relative size of the population of the DMA. While each advertising campaign is different based on the size of the DMA(s), a general rule of thumb is that it usually correlates to about 5-10% of the charge for radio air time. If your campaign is planned for nationally-syndicated programming, the monthly charge is higher than a single DMA, but the quoted amount will be a fixed monthly fee. If you would like a price quote for your contemplated campaign, we would be pleased to discuss pricing for your campaign.
Can I use my car’s Bluetooth to dial #250?
I heard a commercial and am interested in using #250 for my business. How can I start using #250 for my business or my client’s business?
I tried #250 and it did not recognize what I was attempting to say.
Occasionally the #250 listener cannot quite understand what you say. This is usually caused by one of the following situations.
- Keyword not set up. In order for #250 to act on a spoken keyword, that keyword must be set up in the system beforehand.
- Background noise. If you are in a loud setting such as a sporting event, noisy restaurant, or a car with a lot of people speaking, the listener may have difficulty deciphering your voice from the noise. Turn down your radio or cup your hand over the phone and try again.
- If you are attempting to use your cell phone on speaker mode, make sure you wait for the greeting to complete before attempting to speak the keyword. Some cell phones naturally mute the microphone while sound is coming through, which occasionally results in only part of the spoken keyword® coming through. Waiting for the greeting to complete prior to speaking the keyword should resolve this.
I thought I was supposed to receive a TXT reply, but did not.
There are a couple of possible reasons for this:
- You (or someone on your account) has blocked SMS TXT messages on the account. Contact your carrier for specifics. Or, there is simply congestion on your carrier’s network, and the text message might show up in a few minutes.
Will I be getting text messages from you, or the Advertiser I called about?
If an advertiser is using our text reply feature, to send you information such as their website address & regular phone number, we will ask your permission to send a one-time text message (to which you can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’). You will NOT be considered opted-in to receive further text messages, and therefore shouldn’t receive any.
However, if the advertiser’s first text message invites you to e.g. ‘reply with YES’ to receive future alerts or offers by text, then you are in fact opting-in, and will receive text messages from that advertiser until you opt-out by replying to one of their messages with “STOP” or “END” (which, BTW, is the way to stop text messages from any advertiser).
Why would I use #250 for my radio advertising needs when toll free numbers are so inexpensive these days?
Because they are hard to remember, and suppress your call volume!!
While Vanity 800 numbers (those that use words, like 1-800-PROGRESSIVE) make it easy for people to remember how to reach an advertiser, this benefit is offset by the fact that listeners who are driving cannot easily (or safely) take eyes off the road to find the corresponding numbers for the letters in the vanity number. Plus, vanity numbers cannot be dialed hands-free using Bluetooth in your car (Bluetooth doesn’t understand how to turn words into phone numbers, and neither to Siri or Google).
Used as an alternative to toll free 8XX numbers, #250 allows an advertiser to instruct the radio listener to simply dial #250 and SPEAK an easy to remember catchy phrase, company or product name. Because this can be accomplished using one’s Bluetooth in most cases, the radio listener can actually respond to a radio advertisement immediately without ever touching the phone or taking eyes off the road. This also keeps you out of jail for dialing, surfing or texting while driving!
The other differentiator of #250 compared to 800#s is that the platform can deliver an optional text message to the caller – something toll free numbers are unable to do. This places additional information about the product/company/offer on the individual’s cell phone for later reference. Bridging this analog to digital divide is something that clearly differentiates #250 from toll-free or regular 10 digit local phone numbers.
Lastly, by using #250’s IVR branching features, an advertiser can source the media advertising channel without the need for different toll free numbers for each channel. You can monitor your real-time inbound call activity through a personalized online portal, enabling the advertiser to easily correlate direct response performance of various media spending patterns.
Why couldn’t I just get my own Short Dialing Code such as #450 and do this on my own?
What if I want to secure a common or generic name like “Mortgage” or “Addiction” or “Vacation” for use in national advertising campaigns in all markets?
The #250 platform is ideally suited for use of these generic keywords across all markets.
This allows the licensee of such premium keywords to become the default provider of their product or service – and thereby win market share. To illustrate, if Domino’s promoted “dial #250 and say PIZZA”, consumers who did that once would likely continue to use it in the future for its convenience.
This is even more valuable to the advertiser as the use of #250 becomes commonplace across North America, because callers will begin to dial #250 without having been prompted by an advertisement, meaning the initial ad campaign introducing your own Keyword would pay dividends for years to come.
Why do I need #250 when Siri can answer my questions?
Siri is awesome but…
Siri is a great utility that works only on iPhones and, while that utility is capable of helping to find phone numbers, it produces a long list of possible phone numbers rather than the specific number the advertiser needs you to call to get the information or offer they were talking about in the advertisement.
The same principle applies for Google Voice Search, Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa, etc.
And… not all handsets or mobile browsers will allow you to “click to dial” the phone numbers shown on your screen. And… you have to be looking at your screen, which is not a great idea while driving.
Makes more sense to dial #250 with your car’s Bluetooth, say the keyword, and get connected to the advertiser – all while keeping your eyes on the road!
Can Siri on my iPhone dial #250?
However, most automotive Bluetooth systems do understand the pound sign, so you can, for example, press the Bluetooth button on your steering wheel and say “dial pound two five zero”.
Can Alexa (Echo) dial #250?
#250 doesn’t work when I dial it. How come?
#250 works on all the major mobile carriers, nationwide, as well as several of the smaller regional carriers. If you are using a very small carrier, it may not work. It is also possible that #250 might not work if you are roaming off your primary carrier’s network.
“Standard message and data rates may apply.” What does that mean?
Importantly, you will not receive any other messages from the advertiser (unless the first text message invites you to opt-in by proactively replying with ‘yes’ to receive future offers and alerts by text).