Yellow Page Advertisers: Your Calls are Going to Decrease - Heres the Remedy

Response rates to Yellow Page advertising are declining

There's no getting around it, traditional Yellow Pages are in trouble. Fewer people use them every year. Even the best- pulling ad in the section isn't getting the number of callers or sales it used to. At the same time, the monthly cost to maintain your same-size directory ad keeps going up.

Simply tinkering with ad size (or options like color) can't compensate for the adverse developments. Declining usage impacts each directory category differently. Some (like contractors and lawyers) are declining more steeply than others. Emergency service providers (tow trucks, plumbers) are holding their own. While categories like cell phones and lawn furniture are growing rapidly, with increased consumer demand.

Advertising only in the Yellow Pages is no longer a safe bet

- Over half of all customers go to the Internet first to find product information and sources - even if they intend to spend their money locally

- People increasingly trust the Internet as a source of information about major purchases (and has overtaken the newspaper for used car sales)

- Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) are kept up to date (unlike print directories) and can be searched from anywhere - their usage is growing 25% a year

- Local Search lets search engines (like Google) include small, local businesses in their search results (even without them having a website) - over 25% of all search queries request Local Search results

- A large percentage of young adults or business buyers never consult the Yellow Page directory at all - and they control an expanding chunk of dollars spent

Rethink the role Yellow Page advertising plays for your enterprise

Take a serious look at how much you rely on the Yellow Page directory to bring new business. Are most or all of your promotional dollars spent there? Do your expectations match the number and kinds of customers your ad actually brings you?

Your strategy needs to consider all the ways you attract new customers. Recognize changed customer preferences and buying habits for your specific type of operation. The issue isn't whether or not to advertise in the Yellow Pages. If you've been there you should continue. But switch some of those dollars into marketing methods that connect with buyers who won't look for you there.

Follow these steps, with them all sending a clear, consistent message

1. Get listed in Internet Yellow Pages (IYP); there are many of them; some are free

2. Make sure your website provides the information search engines require for Local Search. Learn how to do that at http:www.yellowpagesage.com/localsearch.html

3. Beef up your website with the information customers look for (or join a portal of local businesses)

4. Submit articles about your enterprise online; find extensive assistance at http://www.promotewitharticles.com

Keep track of what's delivering new business. Commit to asking every new customer and caller how they found you. That's the only way to know which method is winning; or where to shift emphasis and money for the next year.

Pursue ways to increase business from your existing customers

The value of Yellow Page advertising is mainly to attract new customers. People who know you already are more likely to find your number in the business white (alphabetical) listings. Start working harder to strengthen those relationships so they stay loyal. Efforts spent to serve them better (or to get referrals from them) does more for profits than constantly chasing new customers can.

Get started well BEFORE the directory deadline

Some day soon it's time to renew your directory listing for another year. Let this be the year that you've figured out your strategy well in advance. Make your new strategy a front-burner, squeeky-wheel priority. Yellow Page Smarts, http://www.yellowpagesage.com/smarts.html explains how to make your Yellow Page ad and Internet marketing support each together effectively.

If your next directory deadline hasn't come yet, there's still time to change your ad for next year (like add your website address address - a study found 60% of directory users only call Yellow Page ads with a website!). If you're already committed, spend the next year getting the rest of your strategy in place. Your timely efforts can compensate for the decline in Yellow Page advertising's effectiveness. And you won't be caught off guard.

© 2004, Lynella Grant

--Dr. Lynella Grant Author, Yellow Page Smarts, Make more money from your Directory ad in tandem with your Web site. Get a YP ad critique. 719-395-9450 [email protected]

Free YP resources at http://www.yellowpagesage.com

In The News:

Visitors Bureau suspends...  Islands' Sounder
LEGAL ADVERTISING  The Lincoln County News

6 Ways To Get More Sales From Your Advertisement

To bring great sales success, a great advertising technique is... Read More

Organizing Business Cards for Effective Contact Management

Now that you've had colorful new business cards printed, and... Read More

Do Your Business Cards Say Who You REALLY Are?

Here are a couple of tips for creating an eye... Read More

Creditability In Advertising

I recently saw an ad taped to my mailbox, mind... Read More

Imaging Isnt Everything

Many home improvement contractors attempt to use advertising to expand... Read More

HackeD

hey admin thIS website Is HaCKEd by Unkn0wn_hax0r... Read More

How To Make Your Resource Box Sell

Ezine Articles - they're everywhere!And little wonder. They're one of... Read More

Too Much Build-Up: Over-Zealous Ad Copy Can Break The Sale

How many times has this happened to you?A friend recommends... Read More

16 Ways to Make Your Business Cards Unforgettable

Every time you hear someone say "May I have one... Read More

Improve Your Promotional Flyers And Improve Sales

Admittedly, I have not seen your advertising flyer. Then again,... Read More

Present Your Product On A TV Show for FREE

Would you like to get your new or existing Internet... Read More

Books, Bibles and Fast-Talkers

Every community has 'em. Fast talkers who roll into town... Read More

Bad Seduction - Advertising Techniques That Dont Work

I just read some advertising suggestions on an Internet marketing... Read More

Should Your Small Business Hire an Advertising Agency?

So, you own a small business, sales are down and... Read More

Direct Mail Catalogs & Brochures: Write Captions That Sell

Many prospects skim through catalogs and brochures, glancing at the... Read More

The Forgotten Advertising Tip

I'm sure while you have seen many tips on advertising,... Read More

Advertising: 10 Powerful Secrets To Help You Sell Your Ad Space Like Crazy

If you want to sell more ad spaces, you must... Read More

Effective Promotions Through Local Classified Sites

Today's online marketplace is extremely competitive. People want to market... Read More

The Graphic Problem

Digital printing has revolutionized the sign industry. Current printers can... Read More

5 Newspaper Advertising Myths Revealed

What I'm about to reveal are myths that most people... Read More

Using The Popularity of Celebrities and Currrent Events to Promote Your Business

In this article, we want to explore the idea of... Read More

Take Your Radio Ads to the Next Level

Most small businesses do not have a high powered advertising... Read More

The Secrets of High Money Classified Ads

When used effectively, classified ads can be one of the... Read More

Vinyl Banners for the Right Occasion

The sinage marketplace is competitive! Consequently, some companies are going... Read More

Custom T-shirts -- Put Your Company Logo on Cotton!

An effective way to gain company recognition is to order... Read More