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Unique phone numbers basis for Fischer's marketing service

Many phone users don't know the phone numbers they call regularly because they've logged them on speed dial.

Tim Fischer wants to help them always remember businesses' numbers by arranging unique ones for the commercial clients of his Unforgettable Phone Numbers enterprise. The owner of Fischer Companies, Inc., in Ellsworth, well-known for its roofing division, is now prepared to offer marketing services with an emphasis on memorable phone numbers.

Fischer said Thursday the idea is to give businesses an advantage in their markets by being able to promote a special number. For example, 1-800-A1-ROOFS has been a successful addition to his roofing outlet, bringing in new customers ever since he's had that number.

"It may not be the only reason for our success, but it's a big part of it," he said.

Getting the rights to such a catchy number isn't easy, he admitted. Three years ago, after recognizing his roofing enterprise needed to be better marketed, he saw a similarly interesting 800 number for a different business on an area billboard. He and employee Mike Scalze discussed the possibilities for obtaining one to suit Fischer's roof venture, suspecting it would be difficult, but researching the prospect.

"There are seven-and-a-half million 800 numbers, but only one 1-800-A1-ROOFS," he said, adding, "so it seemed almost impossible."

Nonetheless, Fischer managed to gain use of that number. He said he'd been marketing his roofing division for almost 10 years, but in one year it became the number to call.

That led him to wonder whether he could share it with others in the industry, he said. He found software enabling him to custom-route numbers, enabling him to block them out and be available only in specified areas. By means of a routing switch, he can have calls to the unique number be answered at his receiving point, then transferred to another business elsewhere when they originate from that vicinity.

Read more in the print version of the Herald Oct. 31.