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Virtual phone numbers: a guide for business

Have you ever wondered what a virtual phone number is? Maybe you’re looking at implementing an SMS solution to improve internal and external business communications, but you’re unsure if you need to add a dedicated virtual phone number to the mix. 

As experts in all things SMS, we explain exactly what a virtual phone number is, how you can get one in Australia and the benefits a virtual phone number can have on your business communications. 


What is a virtual phone number?

Have you ever opted-in to receive SMS marketing materials from your favourite brands or services? Maybe they’ve sent you monthly specials or provided you with a reminder for your upcoming appointment. Most of the time, these text messages are being sent via a virtual phone number using an online SMS service to a business’ entire contact list. 

A virtual phone number, also known as a dedicated virtual mobile number or virtual SMS number, is just like a regular traditional phone number; however, it’s used for virtual (or online) SMS services. Instead of receiving a SIM card to put into a smart device, you receive a number that can be used to send and receive SMS via an online SMS platform, like Notifyre.  

A virtual mobile number makes it easy for 2-way SMS messaging with your business, instead of relying solely on a smart device such as your personal mobile phone for communications with your audience. 


What types of virtual phone numbers are available? 

There are many different types of virtual mobile numbers that you can choose from. The type of number will depend on your business’ communications requirements and where you’re located. At Notifyre, we offer four types of virtual numbers: 

  • Australian virtual mobile number – a 10-digit number, local to Australia. A virtual mobile number is perfect if you’re creating and sending regular SMS marketing campaigns, or just want to let your customers know you’re located within Australia. 
  • Australian virtual phone number – an 8-digit localised number, dependent on the state you’re in. An Australian-specific virtual phone number is a great option if you’re looking to specify that your business address is in a specific state. 
  • Australian inbound virtual phone number – as an Australian SMS provider, Notifyre offers 13, 1300 and 1800 virtual phone numbers to all our customers. These numbers are Australian-only and therefore easily recognisable by customers. 
  • Personalised virtual phone number – looking for a personalised number that Notifyre doesn’t have on-hand? Easily reserve the number you’d like with any carrier and port it over to Notifyre to transform it into a virtual phone number. 


Traditional number vs virtual number: the benefits 

There are several benefits a virtual phone number can have on your business communications. At a glance, a virtual phone number can lower SMS costs, provide an easy way to reach your entire audience and improve overall business communications through integrating SMS into existing business workflows. 

Traditional number 

Virtual number 

Requires a smart device to work 

Works via the internet on your PC or smart device (using the Notifyre app). 

Can only send and receive SMS via the smart device 

Can send and receive SMS via the Notifyre platform on any internet-enabled device, via email to SMS or via existing business applications through API integration. 

Requires a SIM card and carrier 

Can be used without a SIM card and is not tied to any specific carrier. 

Not customisable 

The number can be customised with an 11-digit alphanumeric ID, specific to your organisation. Notifyre also offers SMS personalisation tools and Unicode support. 


Notifyre’s virtual mobile number is a cost-effective solution, with pay-as-you-go SMS from 5c and unlimited free SMS replies. 

Can only send to a single recipient 

Has SMS broadcast capabilities to send to an unlimited number of contacts, all at the same time. This is perfect for SMS marketing campaigns including sales, offers, membership deals and more. 

No SMS history, apart from on your smart device 

Receive a complete history of sent & received SMS via the Notifyre SMS activity page. Can be used to manage opt-outs and more. 

 Learn more about the benefits and why your business needs a dedicated virtual phone number here. 


How can I get an Australian virtual phone number?

It’s simple to receive an Australian virtual phone number through Notifyre. Once you’ve created your free Notifyre account, all you need to do is login to your account, select “SMS” and then “numbers” and click “add new”. You’ll be taken through a short selection process to choose a virtual number that works for you. If a number you’d like isn’t displayed on the list, simply contact us on 1300 032 936 and our team will be happy to help you out. 

After completing the checkout process, our support team will activate the virtual number on your account and you’ll be able to start sending & receiving straight away.  

For more information on getting an Australian virtual phone number, check out our help center.  


Virtual phone number FAQs

Can you make and receive normal calls with a virtual number?

No. A virtual phone number is for SMS communications only.  

Can you have multiple virtual numbers?

Absolutely. If you have multiple sites, departments or locations, it may be beneficial for you to add multiple virtual numbers to your account. With Notifyre, there is no limit to the number of virtual numbers you can have.  

How much does a virtual phone number cost?

A virtual phone number at Notifyre costs $18.50 per month. With this, you can send SMS for only 5c and receive unlimited free SMS replies.  See our SMS pricing here. 

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