Business Listing Do’s and Don’t

It used to be that an adequate advertising budget consisted of a large business listing in the big yellow book and a receptionist on standby to field the flood of incoming calls.

Those days are long gone.

If your business is still solely relying on this level of advertising campaign, its days could be numbered as well. Fact is, Yellow Page usage is on the decline. If their own launch and heavy promotion of a dot com doesn’t indicate their print division is hurting, here are a few facts from a report in PHC magazine that to further back up the fall of the yellow book:

  • Page count is dropping 8% a year
  • Yellow Page usage has dropped 25% since 1999
  • Usage continues to fall 5% a year

So what options are available to help you A) Cut your budget with an ineffective advertising program and B) Maximize what money you do choose to spend on a yellow book business listing? There are numerous avenues to take to achieve advertising bliss, let’s take a look:

  • Running a smaller size ad – It’s not always the double truck ad that gets the most attention. Test this for yourself, open your Yellow Pages and look up auto dealers. Did the biggest ad catch your attention or was it one that was designed better, had more effective use of color or a catchy call to action? Take the time and effort to have your ads designed better with a clearly defined call to action and you can have more impact in less space.
  • Don’t pay extra for front placement – When you looked up that auto dealer, was the first ad in the section or did you find your choice in the middle? Yellow Page salespeople will always try to upsell your on that front placement but fact is, few people start at the front of the section!
  • Don’t buy a special phone number just for your Yellow Page ad – This is simply an add-on service with no real return. Don’t buy into the “metering” game for your ad. If it’s written and designed effectively you’ll know through increased business.
  • Provide “Camera Ready” Artwork – OK, so the term “camera ready” is about as outdated as a heavy Yellow Book ad campaign, but there are still ways you can submit your artwork for your ad to help reduce costs. Hi-Res PDFs should work fine, but make sure to ask your saleperson how they prefer their art. Graphics snagged from a website can print grainy and make your ad look unprofessional.
  • Use a Border – Make sure your ad is designed with a border around it to help it stand out from the other ads around it.
  • Make your Phone Number the Primary Focus – Remember, the primary purpose of any directory ad is to have prospective clients call you, make sure your phone number is the main attention grabber in the ad. Use one phone number and make it large!

With these few tips, you can easily maximize the impact of your ad space and even save hundreds or more a month in advertising dollars which can better be utilized elsewhere – like a clover leafing campaign, new vehicle graphics, call back tools or even a website!

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