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Can Toll Free 800 Number Domains Pay Off?

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The toll free number 1-800-Get-Rich belongs to the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. Perfect vanity number for a casino, right?

Well apparently not. Their website shows the actual numbers, 1-800-438-7424 for the marketing department of Resorts Atlantic City. Those NUMBERS are nowhere near as memorable as is the mnemonic device of letters representing those numbers on the telephone keypad. It makes you wonder, did the casino have bad luck (no pun intended) or receive bad publicity for their 800-Get-Rich phone number?

Doing a Google search for 1-800-GET-RICH returns several spoof articles using the toll free number to make light of get rich quick schemes. Seems as well suited to a casino as to satire, since gambling represents the ultimate get rich quick scheme.

But on the web there’s a another element to toll free numbers you must consider. 800 numbers are used as domain names which seem to stick in our memory as a web address just as well as a phone number. Resorts Atlantic City Hotel Casino should buy the domain name www.1800getrich.com and assign that marketing department toll free 800 vanity number to the Casino.

The domain name is for sale as of this writing if you visit that web address. You can be certain that the current domain owner knows that the toll free vanity telephone number is owned by Resorts International Hotels www.resortsac.com which matches the domain www.1800getrich.com. It has to be enticing to think a large corporation may want his domain.

The casino owns the toll free number but isn’t using the mnemonic for it. Makes you wonder about the history of the domain name, since WHOIS records show it was reserved only this past May of 2004, AND the history of the vanity number since it is going unused, at least on the web site. Hmmmm…

There are vanity phone number resellers online that actually specialize in providing 800 numbers with matching domain name for those seeking the consistent branding for their business. Clearly this is simply a marketing ploy by savvy 800 number vendors, as those domains may be full of hyphens and may cost more than they should due to the perception of value-added.

An interesting aspect to toll free numbers as domain names is that of 1-800 copyright and trademarks. Take for example, the well known flower retailer 1-800-FLOWERS.com where they use both the domain name and the toll free number. Both are copy- righted and trademarked names and essential to the business.

Legal precedent allows trademark owners to confiscate domains from “cybersquatters” who buy domain names containing trade- marked or copyrighted words and phrases hoping to sell that domain back to the trademark holder. But it is less clear an issue when it comes to descriptive toll free and vanity phone numbers. How about 1-800-PINDROP.com – which you would think would be registered to Sprint Communications? Curiously, as of October of 2004, this domain was available. What do they use? www.pindrop.com (without the 800) goes to Sprint.com.

It appears there are wide inconsistencies in using toll free 800 phone numbers as domain names but they cam be memorable, which is one measure of a good domain name. They also aren’t limiting as to word length. I’ve always felt it’s a bit odd to type in 1800keywordphrase.com as a domain name, but only because there is no hyphen in it. 1800 looks like eighteen hundred and is just as strange as typing 247 for domains as a suggestion they are always open, more often seen as 24/7, but domain names can’t have that slash mark in them.

As a matter of fact, I’ve always disliked numbers of any kind in domain names – especially those using numbers in place of the words “to” (up2me.com)& “for” (good4you.com) But, as owner of http://website101.com I’m at odds with the dislike for numbers in domain names. Still, it works better than 1800website.com or 1-800-website.com, both owned by Verio Web Hosting and both purchased in August of 1996, but neither have web sites configured at those addresses. They must not have been a worthwhile domains, yet they keep them.

If it offers you another optiom for a memorable web address, 800 number domains may be worth considering.

Mike Banks Valentine operates SEOptimism, Offering SEO training of
in-house content managers http://seoptimism.com/SEO_Staff_Training.htm
as well as the Small Business Ecommerce Tutorial at
http://WebSite101.com and blogs about SEO at http://RealitySEO.com
where this article appears with live links to SMO stories, buttons, blog posts and examples.

Can Toll Free 800 Number Domains Pay Off?
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