- Roscoe's Hauling & Salvage Co.
- Stop! Important Notice!
- Let their fingers do the walking right into your shop
We ended up with poor quality clients and an advertising expense far outweighing our income generated from the ads. In addition, I was very dissatisfied with the YP customer service--when our metered ads clearly were generating far fewer leads than promised, YP was not willing to reduce our monthly bill yes I know they did not "guarantee" the calls in the contract.
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The web advertising YP and YB now pitch as part of a package can be had independently from any number of providers and directly from Google and Yahoo. Who goes to "yellowpages. There is a reason why there are so many ads at the heading. The YP's work! When the ads are designed properly they work. I have never proposed a program for an Attorney that was not profitable.
I have sold programs that were not profitable due to the attorney not wanting to spend the time to discuss their own business. How much can you expect to accomplish in a 15 to 45 min. I have sat down with numerous attorneys that were spending thousands of dollars with me that barely gave me 20 minutes. If I am more concerned with your advertising dollars than you are how do you expect to get an advertising program that distingushes your business from another.
Roscoe's Hauling & Salvage Co.
The metered ads are out there and the numbers do not lye. If you want to grow your business you still need to be vibrant in the YP's. I've been an advertising professional for over 25 years, planning and executing media buys that include yellow pages and the internet. Your blanket criticism of directory advertising is irresponsible. You are akin to a talk show host who takes a position on a topic simply to create dialogue, and one that is not usually indicative of reality.
Stop! Important Notice!
Let's deal with the real facts. Indeed, yellow pages advertising is stagnant. This does not mean it is not cost effective. Media planning involves in-depth cost-per-thousand analysis and on this level yellow pages is extremely low priced compared to comparable media. You cannot simply lump phone directories in with things like TV, radio, billboards or print. The only time someone picks up a yellow pages directory is when they need something. These are active buyers, not casual shoppers.
Do you also need creative-based media? Of course! The consumer public has become so fragmented over the past decade thanks to multi-channel electronic media that no one door can act as entry to the buyer's wallet. It takes planning and execution to devise a strategy that involves multiple channel mediums.
Yellow pages is one such avenue that needs utilized. Are the yellow pages publishers guilty of wrongdoings? However, so are the powers-that-be at other media companies. The simple rule of thumb I repeat over and over is failure to plan is planning to fail. Do a radio buy with no strategic plan and it will fail. The same goes for TV and newspapers and yellow pages.
My advice? Determine the expertise of the media rep who comes calling on you. Ask yourself if they are a product oriented peddler simply selling spots, space or ads. Or is this person qualified to devise a media strategy for his chosen field that properly executed will deliver a solid return on investment? I see magazine ads that are outstanding and promote brand awareness and response. I see others that are a joke. This is also true for the yellow pages.
You will get out of your media investment what you put into it. That involves your - the client - participation and real expertise from the sales agent asking you to sign a check. Advertising that produces no return on dollars spent is a cost. Advertising that delivers real ROI is an investment. This is where it begins and ends. I think yellow book costs to much for what it delivers.
Yellow book told me I could expect 50 calls a month for a ad my size I average 6 that makes the calls I recieve cost me a This article is now over 4 years old and the yellow page industry is still a multibillion dollar per year business. Sucks to be wrong. Advertise everywhere people are looking for you. Since you have left yourself plenty of time before the directory closes, this is an excellent procedure to follow.
Once the ad is completed and turned in to your Yellow Page representative, ask for a proof. You will not be able to make changes over the course of the year, so the ad must be perfect as printed. Go over the ad yourself with a fine-toothed comb and enlist as many other sets of eyes as you can to find even the slightest error and have it corrected before the directory is published. Always insist on seeing a proof before signing off on your ad s.
Is your ad producing the desired results -- bringing customers into your shop? When a new customer calls in, after the opening amenities, have the person who answers the phone, ask the simple question: "How did you find us? That person may actually have the book open and be able to supply the page number right off the bat. Since the ad will appear on a different page in each directory, you will know exactly which directory it came from. The receptionist can ask the same questions of "walk-ins.
Let their fingers do the walking right into your shop
Another method of tracking where calls are coming from is to put a separate dedicated phone number in each ad run - Yellow Pages and other types of advertising. In a nice twist, the telephone company will actually keep track of what calls come in on each line for you! It goes without saying to make sure whomever answers the phone knows the type of information needed to track results.
Remember - the first voice a potential customer hears represents the image of your shop. Armed with the information learned from evaluating the different Yellow Page directories, the responsibility ultimately falls on your shoulders to ensure you get what you pay for from your advertising. The most prevalent method of cheating owners is to send phony invoices that look like they come from the core directory. It will have a mock-up of an ad taken from a current directory.
When purchasing advertising from the core book, billing is done via your phone bill. If you are using independent directories, make sure the invoice matches up with the contract you've signed. It's a lot harder to rip someone off face-to-face. When a salesperson enters the shop to sell space in an independent directory, that salesperson should be able to answer all the questions you now know to ask.
If answers are not forthcoming, send the salesperson away. You probably won't be missing out on any major advertising opportunity, and may avert a catastrophe. More information on avoiding scams is available from the Federal Trade Commission on the web site: www. There are also publications on this topic that can be ordered from the site. There is a wealth of information regarding creating Yellow Page ads and getting the most for your advertising dollars.
Phone companies have much information on their own web sites, as do the independent publishers. You will want to take that information with a grain of salt. Statistics can be manipulated so try to check them out independently. One thing you won't find on those web sites is the cost of an ad. It will be necessary to talk to a directory representative for that information. The Internet has many articles available for your perusal. A search for "yellow page advertising" will direct you towards a number of sources such as those referred to in this article.
An excellent guide to advertising of all kinds is Guerrilla Advertising by Jay Conrad Levinson - a must-have reference book to learn more about advertising. Reading this book is so enjoyable, you may read beyond the Yellow Page section because there is so much advertising knowledge to be gained from this publication. Maher's book discusses every aspect of the subject. Concise articles by Maher can also be found when searching the Internet.
Maher, a former Yellow Page ad salesman, is considered to be the preeminent expert in this field. Combining all these sources of information, you should now be able to put together an effective ad and know where to place it. Always keep in mind that Yellow Page advertising deserves as much time and preparation as you put toward other media efforts.
Be prepared well in advance of the directory closing date so proofs can be reviewed for accuracy. Do not be pressured by "walk-in" salespeople and avoid scams by knowing what techniques rip-off artists use. Sunday, 31 August Let their fingers do the walking right into your shop Written by Karyn Hendricks.
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A Yellow Page directory is the place for a shop owner to shine at a relatively low cost. An ad in the Yellow Pages remains in place each and every day for a year and often beyond. No rotation schedules as in radio and TV where a customer can easily miss your commercial just as a matter of timing. No getting lost with an expensive ad in a newspaper which, once again, a customer may not be able to find at the exact moment that a collision repair shop is needed. At any time, day or night, a customer can find your shop in the Yellow Pages. Steering-proof prospects The hottest prospects come from people using the Yellow Pages.
Choosing A Directory At one time, there was only one Yellow Page directory available to telephone customers - published, of course, by the telephone company itself. Secondary directories A good choice as a secondary directory for an auto body shop is the "neighborhood" book. Determining Ad Size and Placement The first step in designing an ad is to determine its size.
To the head of the list? The Federal Trade Commission provides the following tips on how to avoid being cheated by substandard or perhaps non-existent directories. Size and enhancements -- such as color, borders, logos, photos or drawings - help determine the cost of an ad. Service area of the directory is a factor as well. However, I'm prepared to sell you the book to cover my costs. Click here to buy. Michel Fortin is a senior marketing specialist, renowned copywriter, and digital marketing expert.
He's worked with thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs around the world in a wide variety of industries on building their businesses, improving their marketing, and increasing their profits. He's a published author and often speaks at industry events. To connect with him, visit his LinkedIn profile where he is most active.
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