If you do any sort of telephone marketing, you need to know how to check phone numbers. Here’s why:
Say you have a ton of new phone leads for your business. Of course, you’re eager to pick up the phone and start dialing to bring in more business.
But, it’s important to know a few things about a phone number before you call and understand how to check phone numbers to make sure they’re safe for outbound marketing.
The sort of checks you do depend on what you’re using the phone numbers for. If the phone numbers are for cold calling, you’ll need to know that the numbers are valid and connected and that they’re not on the Do Not Call Registry. It’s also smart to verify that the name you have for the phone numbers is correct.
If you don’t check your phone numbers before cold calling, you’ll waste a ton of time (maybe hours) calling invalid and disconnected numbers. And, you’ll often end up in the embarrassing situation of cold calling people, only to refer to them by the wrong name.
In either case, these are wasted cold calls (and, therefore, wasted time and money).
And, then there’s the worst-case scenario: calling phone numbers that are on the Do Not Call list. You can get fined for this. So, it could add expensive injury to the insult of wasted sales calls.
Obviously, you want to avoid these problems and expenses. It’s just smart business.
Here’s how to check phone numbers and avoid all three of these issues.
Make sure all your phone numbers are usable
Unusable phone numbers are a huge time and money waster for sales teams, no matter how large or small the team is.
Removing unusable phone numbers from your lists before anyone calls them is the most cost-efficient solution. It’s just not practical to check if a phone number is active by having a salesperson call. It’s even less practical to do this hundreds or thousands of times.
Phone numbers on the Do Not Call list are also unusable. So, these need to be weeded out as well.
Validating phone numbers for free is, well, pretty much impossible. Not to belabor the point, but the infrastructure for searching the Do Not Call list and getting validated cell phone and landline information is costly. So, it’s difficult for any service to deliver accurate results for free.
Google and Facebook can be useful for finding out who owns a phone number. But, standard search engines can’t get the information you need to ensure phone numbers are safe to cold call.
But, you can validate phone numbers in bulk for a penny or fractions of a penny per phone number depending on how many numbers you need to validate with the Searchbug bulk phone validator.
The time that you waste calling useless phone numbers easily costs more than investing in a good bulk phone validator. And, getting fined by the FCC for calling phone numbers that are on the Do Not Call list will cost you a lot more than validating phone numbers with Searchbug.
In addition to checking if the phone number is active and running a Do Not Call list check, our phone validator will also tell you:
- If it’s a cell or if it’s a landline.
- The cell phone carrier.
- The location and timezone (so you can call at the right time).
All you have to do is upload your list as an Excel, .csv, or .txt file through the online interface. And, you’ll get a phone list full of usable phone numbers in minutes.
However—and we’ll be honest here—the Searchbug phone validator won’t tell you who owns the phone number. If you need to find names for your phone numbers, you’ll have to use something different.
Find out who owns each phone number
People change phone numbers all the time.
Phone list providers make data entry and data collection mistakes.
And, people make typos when they enter their phone number in lead forms. Often, this mistake leads to the customer accidentally giving you someone else’s phone number.
The bottom line here is that it’s important to quality control your phone lists and make sure that the name you have for each phone number is correct.
This ensures that your cold calls go smoothly, rather than immediately stumbling over an error that makes you look foolish.
And, knowing who owns a phone number helps you identify outdated telephone numbers. If you check a phone number and the name doesn’t match what you have on file, the person may have changed their phone number since you collected the lead. It could also be part of a family or business plan or given to someone else depending on the line type.
So, how do you check who owns a phone number?
How to find out who owns a phone number
It’s possible to look up the caller ID name (CNAM) associated with a phone number. And, there are services that perform CNAM lookups. So, you don’t have to call the number to get the CNAM.
The trouble with using a CNAM lookup is that the CNAM doesn’t have to match the name of the person who owns the phone number. The caller ID name and the name on the billing statement don’t have to be the same at all. The CNAM can be set to anything the owner wants. And, people often change the caller ID name on their phone number.
So, you may not get accurate information from a CNAM lookup.
A better way to find out who owns a phone number is by doing a reverse phone lookup. We’ve covered ways to do a free reverse phone lookup before. But, the reality of reverse phone lookups is that doing a reverse phone lookup free will get you unreliable results.
There’s simply no way to get verified phone information for free. So, there’s no way to offer a truly free reverse phone number lookup service.
The good news is that you can get thorough, high-quality validated phone information for less than a buck per phone number.
You can also find out who owns every phone number on your list for about 16 cents per phone number with the Searchbug batch append tool.
All you have to do is upload an Excel, .csv, or .txt file with the phone numbers you want to check. You’ll have an updated list in minutes.
Now you can confidently call every phone number on your list because you know who’s going to pick up the phone.
That’s how you set yourself up for cold calling success.
What to do now
If you have a list of phone numbers that you need to check for cold calling, try this…
Upload your list to our batch append service.
Validate all your phone numbers to maximize your call success rates and avoid TCPA lawsuits.