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Is It A Good Idea To Advertise In Yellow Pages?

Yellow Pages used to be the main place for people who wanted to buy to search for suppliers of the product or service.

Twenty years ago, even ten years ago, if someone asked the question…

Should I Advertise In The Yellow Pages?

The answer was usually Yes.

Of course the Yellow Pages sales person would confirm that but then sell you space in the wrong edition of yellow Pages with the wrong type of advertisement and the wrong size.

But I digress.

Should I Advertise In Yellow Pages In 2013, 2014, 2015?

Now the answer is possibly.

Many people will say No.

The Yellow Pages salesperson will still say Yes.

And may still not sell you an advertisement in the right edition.

Are Your More Established Competitors Advertising In Yellow Pages?

If they are not advertising, it doesn’t mean that there is a big opportunity.

Almost certainly they will have tried it and found that it doesn’t work.

If they are advertising, there could be an economic case for advertising.

In some trades, the dominance of Internet searches doesn’t apply, even now that smartphones are so common.

Do you:

  • Sell to old people who might not have access to the Internet?
  • Sell an emergency product or service where speed is of the essence?

Imagine a pipe has burst in your house and you have water pouring through your ceiling. You need and plumber and you need him now.

You could go on the Internet but the Yellow Pages is often faster to find local plumbers.

Even better, you might see an advertisement that promises a guaranteed emergency service.

Can You Get Your Phone To Ring Instead Of Your Competitors?

Yellow Pages success isn’t about having your advertisement in there (that’s a cost).

It’s about how many times the telephone rings and enquiries convert into sales.

You need the advertising skills to create an attractive offer that is:

  • clearly visible – size and colour often win but both are expensive. Borders, white space may help.
  • different and immediately relevant – far too many Yellow Pages advertisements are very similar. That make sit difficult for a potential buyer to make a decision.

What is The Best Yellow Pages Directory For You?

It may not be the directory that covers your immediate area. I’ve made this mistake in the past by buying space where my location was in the top right-hand side in a bit that was sticking out all on its own.

The vast majority of the people who read the directory didn’t see me as local. I was an interloper from another region.

I should have picked Birmingham Central because I’m only 3 miles from the city centre. Sometimes, there isn’t a right Yellow Pages directory because ideally you want the territory to radiate out around your position in the centre.

How Competitive Is Search On The Internet?

Whatever you sell, some potential customers will search the Internet.

You need to assess how competitive it is to get ranked – a good guide is the number of websites that are shown and the number of website owners who pay to be ranked on the first page or two.

Ideally – depending on economics – you want your business to be everywhere a potential buyer will look.

Sometimes searches are mainly on the Internet and that’s where you need to be. The yellow pages is a nice to have.

Sometimes the majority of searches are in the Yellow Pages books and that’s where you need to be. Ranking high on the Internet is a nice to have.

Be Sceptical About The Yellow Pages But Don’t Write It Off Too Quickly

Healthy scepticism is good about the Yellow Pages.

It is expensive and fewer people are looking in it.

Perhaps it’s me but the writing seems to be getting smaller too which is making it more difficult to use. Strange considering the old people who will automatically turn to it but I guess there is pressure to reduce costs.

It may be a good idea to advertise in Yellow Pages.

It is a good idea to have a website. This is the future of search marketing.

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