So, should I incule a phone number in my radio commercial? The answer is NO. Most people will forget your phone number before your commercial is even over.
You Only Have 150 Words
A sixty-second radio commercial comprises 150 words. A phone number consumes at least 7 words of the commercial each time it is mentioned. But research published in the New York Times and London Daily Telegraph reveals 9-out-of-10 people forget a phone numbers within 5 seconds of hearing it. The study goes on to reveal that 70% of people cannot remember their best friend's phone number and 50% cannot remember their parents' phone numbers.
Why People Don't Remember Phone Numbers
Cellphones and the internet are partially to blame for our inability to remember phone numbers. In a New York Time article, this forgetablity is explained by Elizabeth Loftus is a professor at the University of California, Irvine, who studies memory. In the days when you made a phone call by dialing, she said, that action “provided an active rehearsal of the information,” essential for committing information to long-term memory. Before digital address books, she said, “you might be exposed to a phone number hundreds of times. But now you just look it up. Technology has taken that rehearsal process away from us.”
We recommend that instead of investing 10-20% of your commercial repeating your phone number, you reallocate the time in a way that will emphasize the benefits of your product or service. The only exception that makes sense is if your business number spells something memorable (e.g., 1-800-FLOWERS or 1-800-GO-FEDEX).