Even in this era of internet search engines, most people still pick up their The Yellow Pages directory and "let their fingers do the walking."
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The one clear advantage that this kind of advertising has over other media outlets is that it directly targets people who are already in the market to buy!
Here are some advantages and tips to make sure that you don't miss out on this important target audience.
1. One shot lasts the whole year. You do it once a year and then you don't have to think about it for a while. How much easier could it get?
2. Bigger is better. Perception is everything. Whether it is based in fact or not, people tend to believe that bigger ads mean that your business is established and successful. Consumers report that when they are overwhelmed with a lot of choices, they often pick the biggest ad. The bottom line is that if you want your ad to work, don't skimp on size.
3. Don't get lost in a sea of print. Another reason to think big is that most Yellow Pages are cluttered in appearance. If you don't want your ad to get lost in this mess, make sure that it is large enough to stand out. Keep your ad simple with large bold print and clean, sharp lines. A logo and your phone number should be prominent.
4. Show them you're the best. Your Yellow Pages ad will be in close proximity to your competitors' ads. The downside to this proximity is that it gives consumers an easy way to comparison shop. However, if your ad is not there, then you are not even in the running for getting that customer's business. Use this opportunity to highlight why you are the best! If there are exceptional products or services that your business offers, this is the place to let the world know.
5. Be careful about your Yellow Pages classification. You may have some euphemistic term for what your business does, but you can't advertise that way. For instance, if a maid service advertises under "household engineer" it is unlikely that anyone who is looking for a maid will find the ad. If there is more than one way to classify your business it may be prudent to include your ad under more than one heading. If this is the case see if you the representative can offer you a special package or program that will save you some money.
6. Include a map. If you include a simple map in your Yellow Pages ad with key landmarks around your business this will help wary customers feel more confident about where they are traveling and in which neighborhood you are located.
7. Ask about online advertising opportunities. The Yellow Pages are typically distributed as a printed directory of advertisements. But most now offer online advertising as well. In some cases, you can get a free online ad when you buy a print ad.
8. Get the best price. If you ask the salesperson "How much does an ad in the Yellow Pages cost?", recognize that pricing may not be fixed. There may be room to negotiate, so you should try to get the best deal. Ask if it's possible to be listed in an extra category without having to pay additional fees, or ask if you can get a free online advertisement in their online directory.
8. Be prepared for phone calls! If you are advertising in a phone directory the assumption is that you are prepared to receive phone calls. Make sure that you have a professional system in place before the calls start coming. Avoid relying on an answering machine. Potential clients may leave a message. However, while they wait for you to call back, they have a page full of competitors eager to accept their business!