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Are You Making These Nine Fatal Mistakes in Your Yellow Pages Ads?

Apart from the major downside of the Yellow Pages, that it is nipplepiercingly expensive, it is still a bottom achingly brilliant vehicle to take your marketing message to your target audience. Well, some people think, the YP is on its way out, and I totally agree, but I believe it has a few more years of marching to do until it completely vanishes into thin air or even into a puff of smoke.

The good news is that people who look you up in the Yellow Pages are very serious buyers. They need what you sell right now. So, when they contact you, you are in for a very short buying cycle. And that is a great advantage. However, this advantage comes at a price tag and a pretty high level of commitment from your end. The good news is that…

Some 97% of the Yellow Pages Ads Are Duds

Just look up the YP in any category. All the karlsruhe ads look exactly the same. No difference. Not a sausage. You can shift the company names between ads and you see that they all do the same thing the same way. There is no differentiation. They are like teenagers: They so desperately try to be different from everyone else that they end up looking and behaving exactly the same way as everyone else. Hm.

So, where is the problem with all those YP ads? The Book of Boredom, Yawn and Drab: Are You Making These Nine
Fatal Mistakes in Your Yellow Pages Ads?

Apart from the major downside of the Yellow Pages, that it is nipplepiercingly expensive, it is still a bottomachingly brilliant vehicle to take your marketing message to your target audience. Well, some people think, the YP is on its way out, and I totally agree, but I believe it has a few more years of marching to do until it completely vanishes into thin air or even into a puff of smoke.

The good news is that people who look you up in the Yellow Pages are very serious buyers. They need what you sell right now. So, when they contact you, you are in for a very short buying cycle. And that is a great advantage. However, this advantage comes at a price tag and a pretty high level of commitment from your end. The good news is that…

Some 97% of the Yellow Pages Ads Are Duds

Just look up the YP in any category. All the ads look exactly the same. No difference. Not a sausage. You can shift the company names between ads and you see that they all do the same thing the same way. There is no differentiation. They are like teenagers: They so desperately try to be different from everyone else that they end up looking and behaving exactly the same way as everyone else. Hm.

So, where is the problem with all those YP ads?

First Let’s Look at Some YP Stats

The Yellow Pages reach 76% of the population in the average month, 57% in the average week, and 17% daily. Adults refer to the Yellow Pages almost twice per week, or approximately 19 billion times per year.

88% of these references result in contact with a purchase or an intent to purchase.

Because the Yellow Pages is a reference medium, like classified ads in newspapers, providing over 50% of new clients.

52% of potential clients either have no service provider in mind, or have multiple names in mind when they see your Yellow Pages ad. Your ad can clarify one name for them: Yours.

The average business gets $6 in profit for every $1 invested in Yellow Pages advertising. With a good ad you can even beat that. But be aware of average. When the average temperature in a hospital is normal, it can also mean that half of the patients suffer from high fever and the other half are dead. The YP is the same. Some people make huge profits on their ads, and some curse the name of the person who invented the Yellow Pages. The interesting thing is that the
idiots volunteer to lose on their ads rather than hiring a Yellow Pages specialist.

The average cost of half page Yellow Pages display ad for one full year is over $15,000, so you had better know what you are doing.

81% of YP readers (potential clients) start at the beginning of the heading when they don’t have a business name in mind.

66% of readers believe that a larger display ad indicates a more established, more realizable business. 70% look at the larger ads when they are not sure where to buy.

20% of readers want to see more information. Can you see why you need a website?

81% of readers make contact with the advertising business.

34% will contact a company they had never contacted before. How good are you at handling first contacts? Is your receptionist a minimum-wage bimbo from the bottom of the unemployment scum barrel or a true professional with the necessary communications skills? Also, I
sincerely hope that you have something better than a “corporate voice mail labyrinth”.

42% of people will contact two or more businesses. Remember the receptionist syndrome. Your receptionist brings you business. I don’t care how good of a lawyer, engineer or gravedigger you are. Everything hinges on your receptionist. So, start appreciating and paying her properly. Believe it or not, she carries major “bankrupting power” over your business.

For readers with both small and large directories in their homes, 38% will use the small book, 62% will use the large book, and 8% will reference multiple books. Maybe the lower cost of the small, local book is a good deal after all. There are over 4200 active headings in the yellow pages, and YP can create your own heading for you if needed. So, let’s look at…

Ten Typical Yellow Pages Mistakes and They Can Be Avoided

1. Failing to do the necessary pre-placement planning: Typically when do business owners plan their Yellow Pages ads? Actually never, until they get a call from the YP rep, and they hand over their money to the rep and say they blindly trust the Yellow Pages’ ad specialists to create the ad. Keep something in mind. The Yellow Pages doesn’t care whether or not you make any business from your ad. With this in mind, what is the logic for the YP company to hire expensive ad specialists? Increasing overhead costs? No.

They will create an ad that looks exactly the same as all your competitors’, so but your chance of being selected when potential buyers peruse your category is not much. So, what to include in your pre-placement planning?

Some are…

 

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