Data is the new oil for today’s world. Businesses all over the globe need huge database to attract potential customers, turn them into hot leads and then, loyal customers for life. In order to achieve the same, businesses need contact details of individuals. Be it phone number or email, the contact details help the companies to make these potential customers aware of their products. Knowing a valid phone number can help a lot.
The awareness then turns into interest, followed by a desire, and finally culminates into action. Action refers to the final act of purchase by the potential customer.
Therefore, contact details especially phone numbers are an essential element to build a large database. Now imagine, your business has 1000 phone numbers of potential customers. If we look at it objectively, no, you don’t have 1000 leads for your business. Why? Because not all the phone numbers out of that list will be valid phone numbers.
Even though you have spent your resources in terms of time, money, and effort, your database is not ready to be turned into leads and then customers. Moreover, you can get only limited conversions using email marketing. Here, arises the need to check if every phone number in your database is valid or not.
How do we do that? Let’s find out.
What is phone number validation?
Phone number validation is a process which allows you to check if the number is approved by telecom authority of the nation and is assigned to a national/local carrier, and line type. There are various ways for checking if a number is a valid phone number.
You need to go through all of them to understand the pros and cons of each method.
Methods involved for phone number validation
Validation of a number
Number Validation is probably the fastest way to check if a number is a valid phone number or not. The goal here is to validate a phone number assigned by the telecom authority of country to a carrier (for example Airtel, Jio) and line type (Analog, digital, and others).
By using this method, you can check on following pointers:
- If the number is assigned by a telecom authority and has a carrier and line type
- The type of line assigned to the number (mobile, VoIP, toll-free, landline, etc.)
- To which region the number belongs to
- The name of the carrier
- The format of the phone number (in standard and local accepted format)
Although, the number validation will not bring you results for following pointers:
- If the number is currently active or not
- Roaming and ported carriers are not identified
The number validation method although has cons, is cheaper than other processes. You can go online and check for various vendors for number validation process.
Validation of a network
If you are a business looking to check if the numbers in your database are active or not, this is the method you can go for.
In this method, the carrier of the phone is contacted to give the current status of the number. The phone number itself is not contacted. This will help you to understand if the network is active or not.
You will get the following details:
- If the number is assigned and active
- To know the carrier for a valid phone number
Although, the network validation process has a few cons too.
- It only validates for limited carriers
- The cost and time taken is more than number validation process
- Can’t check if the number is online
Valid number means the number is assigned by telecom authority of the country and has a carrier and line type.
Active number means the number was put in the marketplace and is acquired by a user. The number has been connected to a wireless network for at least one time. Let’s say your potential customer bought a new airtel sim card. He/she keeps the sim card in a working phone and connects it to a wireless network. That is called an active number.
Online number refers to a number which is registered on a particular network, is in a working phone, and receives calls.
Validation of a user
This type of validation actually is more time-taking than others. But it gives accurate results as to which number is ready for receiving texts and calls.
The process involves sending the phone number a numeric code by text or voice message and requesting the owner of the number to send the code back. If the person sends the code back, you will get the consent of the owner to be contacted on that valid phone number.
Although, the process gives you actual results, it also takes up a lot of your time and costs more than other processes.
Up till now, you must have understood that no method of validation is actually fool proof. Assess your situation and decide on a combination of 2 or 3 methods to filter out valid phone numbers.
How can you check validity of a phone number?
To check validity of a phone number using the above-mentioned methods, you will have to take external help. There are various tools and vendors available online who provide both Real time phone validation or phone validation API and Bulk phone number cleansing.
- Real time phone validation or phone validation API helps you to check the validity of a number from over various countries at the entry point. As the data enters your system (phone number details), the validation commences in real time. With this system in place, no invalid number will ever enter your data base. This process checks if the phone number is valid and active.The API can be integrated in any system including your business website, CRM, PoS, etc. For example, if a customer fills an invalid number in the query form on your website, the phone validation API will instantly test the number and identify it as an invalid number. Moreover, it won’t allow the system to enter the invalid number in your database.
- Bulk Phone number cleansing as the name suggests is clearing a database regularly of the invalid numbers. For this, you will have to be in contact with a vendor who provides this service. You can regularly share the phone number list/database to this vendor using a secure platform. In return, the vendor will give you a clean list of only valid phone numbers. They will also provide a report about the health of your database.
There are many vendors in the market. Each vendor uses a different type of method or a combination of different methods to check the validity and status of a phone number. Now that you are aware about how each method works, you can decide which vendor to go for your business.