How do I set up a US number with answering from non US country

10 replies

I'm targeting US business's from Australia. I would like to set up a US phone number, with answering service, so I can be called and call them back. I'm looking into different VOIP options.

I have looked at Skype but to set up a US phone number seems expensive.
Google talk looks ok but I can't set up a phone number as I din't live in the US. The option is only available to US residents.

Ideally I want to use a VOIP app so I can talk using my phone.

Any ideas?

#answering #country #number #set
  • Profile picture of the author Chris Beatty
    You can use Twilio with OpenVBX to set up a US number. It can be set up to when the client calls you, it goes straight to a voicemail, then you can call them back from inside OpenVBX.

    Plenty of tutorials on YouTube

    How I Generated 217 INBOUND Phone Calls For My Marketing Agency <------- Scripts Are Included
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7681793].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ahlexis
    Another option is to hire a live operator service, one where they answer the phone for you and then take a message. Most times the message can be typed into a system that will send it to you via SMS message . . . or email, depending on your choice. Depending on the image you want the client to have, a live operator may be a better option but it's your choice. They are not always as expensive as most people think.

    One of the main advantages of a live operator is, when someone calls a number in their system that's assigned to you they can tell a caller "Let me check to see if he is in the office" and place a caller on hold, then ring you up and then connect you and the caller if you answer when they call by transferring the caller off of their line and over to you, taking a message only when they are unable to immediately reach you.

    The advantage of this is, the potential client calling in doesn't know that they have reached an answering service and might assume that you have a secretary sitting around taking your calls. It's one way to give the impression that you are working in a commercial setting instead of out of your home, if that is important to you.

    If giving the impression of a slightly bigger operation is a concern then this is one way to do it!

    It might not matter in your particular situation, but in some cases that impression can make a big difference in your results. The way the system works makes things appear as if you and the person who answered the call are in the same building. It's up to you whether or not you mind the service informing the customer they have reached an answering service . . . but if you go that way and don't want the customer to know you have to be sure to alert the answering service not to tell the customer they have reached an answering service so that they put that into their call answering instructions, otherwise it can get out. It could get expensive that way, but if you couple this with a US number such as one you could get at Skype or another place it will likely not cost much at all.

    If you do not want a live operator service, another possibility is Vonage. They offer a US number that can be used wherever you are, and according to their website here

    you can get their box shipped to you in Australia for a $19.99 shipping fee. (Not sure if that's USD or AUD.)

    They used to not ship outside the US, but I guess they've come to realize that a lot of people would get a family member to get the box in the US, connect it to the internet and set things up in the US, then repackage the VOIP box and ship it to relatives outside the US. Once the box was activated inside the US then it would work anywhere you had an Ethernet connection and plugged it up.

    The main website for their service is (don't go to the, it's not them).

    My understanding of the Vonage service is, they used to have something like a 50 call per day limit on the personal line (what they would call "fair use") before they would either cut your service or strongly suggest that you had to pay the business rates. But I can understand their point if you are paying the personal rate and making tons of calls.

    Almost forgot. There is also Magicjack, a service that provides a US phone number as well. I am not as familiar with them as I haven't used them yet.

    One of the main competitors to Vonage is Packet 8, at They may work for you as well. It's worth having a look at what they offer as well.

    If you want a live operator, try Google for "live operator answering service" or "live operator service" or "secretarial service" or "telephone secretarial service". Another good search term might be "medical pager service", as a lot of doctors use answering services where there is a live operator and the doctor doesn't want the patient to know it's not his direct office that they've reached.

    Hope this helps.

    By the way, Vonage will now ship the Vonage Box to 22 countries outside the US. Check the link above for the list. (It's not an affiliate link.)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7681908].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Morgan Westerman
      We use for our international incoming calls. You can set up the service to forward to any number you want and use a schedule to forward to a different number for voicemail after business hours. A lot of flexibility and inexpensive. I use my local phone number and advertise a toll free number in the countries I'm targeting for Social Media Marketing reseller services.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7681961].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jwil1025
    Thanks for the feedback everyone .

    It seems to me Tollfreeforwarding is the easiest to set up but not the cheapest.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7692753].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Santhi
    Details on Vonage US service very useful.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7692786].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author kellyyarnsbro
    I've been searching also on youtube about this and i find out about Twilio, it works great, it's what my outsource team is using now.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7692835].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Adrian John
    I used and it was not expensive and pretty good.Pretty satisfied but what's best than excellent call quality for free?

    Now I use Google Voice number with an Android app called Groove Ip(the are other aplications too but this is the one I bought and recommend, $5 one time only). They have an free app to, it;s called GrooVe IP Lite.You can find them in the Google Play market.
    This way you got free calls to USA and Canada (straight from your smartphone) and you can received calls on your google voice number straight on your Android phone from anywhere in the world. ... I don't know if there is such an app for apple

    To setup an Google Voice number just use an USA ip when apply and use an free trial number from tollfree website to verify

    Hope it helps.
    ARE YOU A CONSULTANT? Do you have clients who could use MORE LEADS?
    Get them a MOBILE WEBSITE PLATFORM built to stay up with their clients habits.
    More than 50% of their customers buys from their mobile devices now!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7699005].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author affordablesocial
      Tropo is the way I go. You can get free numbers and with a little scripting (I use php but they have several options) you can set calls to forward and even get as custom as setting up your own little IVR. I love the service and the best part it's almost all free.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7702480].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author tyrudolph
    Take a looks at Grasshopper.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7787361].message }}

Trending Topics