Yellow Pages - Making It Work...
Attitudes are slowly changing, but too many businesses either do Yellow Pages advertising simply because they feel they must (after all their competitors do), or because they assume it must be working (without really knowing).
When we first work with a new client we encourage them to test and measure everything they do. When it comes to Yellow Pages they usually find one of the following is true...
1. Yellow Pages produce good call volumes, good conversion rates and create new clients within their allowable cost of aquisition.
2. Yellow Pages creates lots of enquiries - but the conversion rate is poor, and the cost and time of servicing and "quoting" the enquiries is high and overall they are losing money.
3. Very few leads actually come from Yellow Pages and it is money down the drain.
For each outcome there is a positive. If Yellow Pages is working, you can do more (more directories, more categories) and you will increase sales and profits.
If it is not working, you can stop running the ads and save the money or allocate it other more profitable areas (such as Google AdWords or Yell.com), or you can change your ad and run further tests until you get a Yellow Pages winner.
In this article Chris Newton (an authority on Yellow Pages advertising and the author of Turning Yellow into Gold) explains how you can make your Yellow Pages ads sizzle...
9 Powerful Ways To Turn Your Yellow Pages Advertising Into Gold!
By Chris Newton
Even today, with the advent of Paid Search Marketing, Yellow Pages advertising still plays a vital role in the success of many businesses. In this article, you'll learn what it is that makes Yellow Pages ads really work.
1. Can Yellow Pages advertising work for your business?
There can be no doubt that Yellow Pages advertising works ... and that it can work for your business. For many businesses, it is a major generator of sales. For some, it's their lifeblood.
Yellow Pages advertising ... when properly utilised can play an incredibly vital role in the success of your business. But remember you're "locked in" for a year ... so invest the time to get it right. Don't waste the opportunity.
2. What size should your Yellow Pages ad be? Is big always better?
Independent research indicates a direct link between the size of Yellow Pages ads and the response they achieve.
It's been shown that when you double the size of your Yellow Pages ad, you don't simply double your response. You may actually quadruple it!
Does this mean you must have the largest ad to be successful? The answer is no - it may be that larger is better, or it may prove that a smaller ad whilst generating fewer responses could in fact give a better conversion rate, making it more profitable.
The actual size you choose ... whether large or small ... will depend on the type of business you're in, the number of calls you get now ... the goals you want to achieve over the next 12 months and on results of testing different variables.
3. Remember, cost is not the issue ... it's your return on investment.
Think of it this way. Say you spend £2,500 or up to £10,000 on a Yellow Pages ad. That's a lot of money. But if that one ad brings an extra £50,000 or £100,000 in sales, it's paid for itself. Look beyond the initial cost of placing your ad and think what it will bring to your business. But having said that, demand that it works by getting the message right.
4. Use a headline ... and offer something of real value to your reader.
Ad "experts" will tell you to "keep the logo or brand name bold!"
Now obviously they are important. But they aren't the be-all-and-end-all of your ad ... especially when your name isn't well known. If the reader doesn't know who you are ... your name simply won't excite them.
Even if you are well known, you're far better off using a headline in your ad which offers them a very real benefit for using your business ahead of your competition. (Look at how many ads don't have a headline ... see how far ahead you'll be already.)
5. How to get more enquiries from your Yellow Pages ad.
Create a "valuable information booklet" or report, and offer it free in your Yellow Pages ad. You will attract more people ... simply because you are providing them with an additional service.
6. People love to look at people.
Newspapers know how to generate reader interest. They use a liberal scattering of photographs. And wherever possible, photographs with people in them. Then they put captions under the photos.
Here's a really hot tip for your Yellow Pages advertising. Use a photograph ... of yourself, your team members or a delighted customer. It gives your business a human face. It improves the readership of your ad. And importantly, it increases ... significantly ... the responses you achieve.
7. Your potential clients are looking for information ... and a reinforcement as to which supplier they should call.
Look at almost any ad from any Yellow Pages and you'll see a lot of the same thing. Ads which have the company name, address, phone number, a brief description of the products they offer ... and not much else!
If a person is about to buy a product ... as they always are when they go to the Yellow Pages ... they want to know a number of things. What you have to offer them, why it will benefit them when they buy it, and that you serve their area.
They need information. So you should give it to them in your ad. Don't be afraid to test a copy intensive ad style. Testing shows it often produces more response, of higher quality prospects who are 'pre-sold' to doing business with you.
8. Include a "call to action" ... or watch countless opportunities pass you by.
The ultimate goal of a Yellow Pages ad is simple. Getting the reader to pick up their telephone and call your business. Yet in many ads, you'd never know that.
Asking your reader for an order (or call) may well be the difference between receiving their business or letting them "get away". Don't let the opportunity slip. Always include a call to action.
9. A frequently asked question is "Should we use colour in our Yellow Pages advertising?"
Frankly, we're not sure if this was just a brainchild of someone in a Yellow Pages office, somewhere in the world, to increase revenue for Yellow Pages!
No doubt, using colour does increase the visual impact of your ad. But again, does the point come where it cancels out? It's much more important for you to put more emphasis on how you flag down and "interest the brain" of your potential clients.
Writing Yellow Pages advertising is far from easy. And to harness its true power in your business, you have to do many things well.
By understanding and applying these key areas in your business, you will see improvements in the effectiveness of your Yellow Pages advertising.
If you would like to find out how Results Corporation can help you get more from your adverts, you can contact us on 01933 373000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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