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Yellow Page Advertisers: Your Calls are Going to Decrease -Here's the Remedy

Response rates to Yellow Page ... are ... no getting around it, ... Yellow Pages arein trouble. Fewer people use them every year. Even the ... ad in the section i

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

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

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

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
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

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

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, 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.
2004Feature Articles, Lynella Grant

Source: Free Articles from


--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
Free YP resources at

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