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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru johnjohn2's Avatar
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    has advertising in the yellowpages/phone book been effective for you?

    Just wondering if many of you out there advertise in the yellowpages/phone book (not online yellow pages). Do you get a return on your money? How much does it cost? Is it worth it to get an ad or just a phone number listings?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    The most ineffective marketing I've ever tried. Got no more than 10 responses throughout the entire year, and every single one was from the type of person who wants an ecommerce site for 99. I didn't get one sale out of it.

    Maybe my ad just didn't push the right buttons, I don't know - I do think it's a black art getting your ad designed and written 'just right'. What I do know is that the entire process of getting the ad designed, meeting with their useless sales men and getting the ad approved was a nightmare (salesman never turned up on time, was 3 hours later for the first meeting, 6 hours late for our second meeting becuase apparently his 'sister was in hospital' - give me a break!).

    What could be worse? YP (in the UK at least) sell your details to every marketing list on the planet. I've lost track of the time I've spent trying to get myself off these lists, with limited success. Make sure you read the terms and conditions - in my case these were not there for me to read, but were 'available upon request'.

    Another problem with YP is that once you are in the book, that's it for a whole year. You can't change anything, no tweaking, you're stuck for 12 months. If you change your focus, tough. If you change your number, tough, etc etc. At least with a monthly ad you can change things on a monthly basis. Plus I had no control in where I appeared - purely alphabetical so some companies spawned themselves some fantastic positions while I was shoved in no man's land half covered by the spine and an insurance ad (yes, UK YP now allow insurance companies to advertise in any category they want).

    Never again.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy linkin99's Avatar
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    We get calls, but since we are a manufacturer, (and dont sell directly), all they were was customer service calls. (So, no. Not profitable. Just heaches were created.) We advertised only for branding purposes mostly, but since then, we've found much better ways to advertise ourselves.

  4. #4
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    I think we got one call via our yellow pages ad. But I will say that the add placed on the phone company's online yellow pages did generate some calls and traffic to our site.

    Tread lightly with traditional marketing methods like newspaper/radio/TV and yellow pages ads. Unless you are prepared to spend big bucks for little return.

    Jake
    DoubleDrive Media
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru El Camino's Avatar
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    Yellow Pages are better for business-to-consumer not business-to-business advertising.
    Even in pre-Internet days the Yellow Pages only generated garbage calls to my B-to-B service. Cold calling, building reationships and advertising in industry specific magazines was way more productive.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist sysice's Avatar
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    After talking to other local businesses, I've come to the conclusion that in most cases for services that have a high price tag, most people won't just pick a place out of the Yellow Pages. If your name is well known in the area, then it may be useful to have your number in it if people are looking for you.

    As a form of advertising, you can probably get more bang for your buck elsewhere.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Guru dojo's Avatar
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    I cannot aford this yet, but the firm I worked at did promote in the yellow pages. the results: zero ...

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot ricktu's Avatar
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    Yellow pages adds are wayyy overpriced and not particularly effective. The other problem is that it takes more than a year for them to even start to get going. Even though new copies are delivered every year not everyone rips open that seal and replaces their old one with the new one. Frequently they are kept sealed and used as foot rests, monitor raisers etc. My first year in the book I only got three calls out of it, however one of those turned into a job worth more than 2X the outlay so I put it in for a second year to give it a final try. So far this time it has resulted in three times as moany calls but again only one job so far. Although again the job was worth twice the cost. I'll probably give it a third year but I think I will only keep going with it as long as it is paying for itself.

    Now as for the add itself I spend in the region of $3k per year on it. This only gives me one of the smaller sized graphical adds but considering our industry I thought it prudent that if I was going to be in there it was best not to do a half assed job of it. I looked at all the other local adds and most were either unimaginative or rather childish in design. As a result mine is stylish, has a nice soothing colour and looks professional. And the feedback I've gotten is that I was called because my add looked better than most. Of course once you've gotten the call you need to convert it but thats a whole other thread.

    In a nutshell if you can afford it give it a try. Bearing in mind that you will need more than one year for it to start working and if your are going to do it spend a little money so that you stand out from the crowd.
    Turning Point Development Pty Ltd
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