Small Business Marketing
Phone Book Advertising Costs
How much does phone book advertising cost? What makes for an effective Yellow Pages ad? We've assembled some excellent tips for those of you who want to advertise in the phone book.
Yellow page advertising is a marketing staple for many small businesses.
But when every dollar counts, you can't afford to throw cash into an ad and hope for the best. You need to know what you're paying for and how it will benefit your company.
Yellow Page Salespeople
The first thing you should know about yellow page advertising is that (like a lot of salespeople) they are paid on commission. As a consequence, their income is based not only on how many ads they sell, but the size of the ads as well. In other words, their primary job is not just to sell you and ad, but to sell you the biggest ad they possibly can - regardless of whether you need it or not.
Phonebook Advertising Pricing
The price structure of phonebook ads is often intentionally complicated by salespeople trying to communicate cost in the lowest dollar figure possible. Since phonebooks are typically printed annually, you are purchasing a 12-month ad. However, the price of your ad will frequently be quoted in dollars per month, dollars per week, or even dollars per day. If you're not prepared for it, that can be deceiving. To determine the true cost of the ad, scale it up to the annual rate and then determine if you want to spend that much of your yearly advertising budget on an ad in the yellow pages.
Yellow Page Ad Design
Most yellow page companies are more than happy to offer assistance in designing your ad - for a price. But the thing you need to keep in mind is that yellow page ads usually aren't complicated to produce. In fact, if your ad is so complicated that it requires hours and hours of professional design work, you've probably blown it because the most effective ads are eye-catching, yet simple and straightforward.
Phone Book Ad Sizes
Assuming that cost is a factor (and when isn't it?), the size of the ad is going to be one of your most important considerations. Start by browsing through the current yellow pages. If all of your competitors' ads are two or three sizes bigger than yours, then you may have a problem. On the other hand, simply purchasing the largest ad in the industry can backfire on you, too, since it may prove to be cost inefficient. Since your goal is to achieve maximum impact at minimal cost, your mission should be a solid, quality ad that is sized similarly to other business' ads in your industry.
The content of your ad can make the difference between yellow page success and yellow page failure. You can waste big bucks on a large ad by trying to do too much. Remember: At the end of the day, it's a yellow page ad, not a print ad or direct marketing piece. No matter how tempting it may seem, don't scale down a pre-formatted print ad and call it good enough. If you're not sure what to do, you can't go wrong with a simple listing of your company's name, contact information, logo, and maybe one line describing what you do.
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