Have you ever tried advertising in the yellow pages? Some of the
things I say in this article are going to be controversial, but
they need to be said! Most people believe that the yellow pages
doesn’t work anymore. This could not be further from the truth!
There are still specific categories within the yellow pages where
businesses can advertise and make a nice return on their
As a digital marketer, you should be aware of how the yellow pages
work, and how you can capitalize on your knowledge of the yellow
pages to make money selling advertising online! Yellow pages ads
are organized by category, and the ads are ordered from the biggest
ads to the smallest ads to the general one line listings. If two
ads are the same size, then the advertiser that has seniority will
be advertised first in the directory.
Your ad placement in the yellow pages directory is extremely
important. Most users who still use the yellow pages to find a
business start at the front of the heading and work their way back
in the heading. If someone is looking for an attorney, there is a
high likelihood that the end user will contact the first ad that is
displayed in the lawyers or attorneys heading.
When you are prospecting for new businesses through the yellow
pages, you should assume that the first three to five ads in major
headings are getting a good return on their investment. If you
criticize one of these businesses for their ads in the phone book,
you could come across as unintelligent and uninformed. There are
still some headings that get a lot of calls in the phone book.
The biggest ads in the phone book also have tracking numbers that
can only be found in the phone book, so businesses can verify that
they are getting calls for their advertising investment.
Now that you understand who is making money in the phone book, here
is how you should approach businesses advertising in the phone
book. Start calling businesses that have smaller ads or are
further back in the heading. The attorneys that are 15 ads back in
the heading may not be getting a good return on their investment.
They understand that they need to advertise and are willing to
spend money, but they are likely not seeing a good return on their
investment. Call the attorneys that are further back in the
attorneys section, and see if you can set them up for a free
Businesses that have small in-line ads in the phone book are
probably not willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars with
you. If they are not willing to spend money in the phone book, why
would they want to spend money with you?
I can guarantee that if you ask businesses way back in a heading
how their yellow pages advertising is working, they will tell you
that the yellow pages doesn’t work anymore. Most businesses don’t
understand that the real money in advertising in the phone book
comes from your placement in the heading. Never assume that the
yellow pages in completely dead, as there are some businesses that
do very well in the phone book. I would still contact these
businesses about advertising with you, as they understand the real
value of advertising and may be willing to spend money with you
while still advertising in the yellow pages.
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