Yellow Pages advertising is a great way to reach prospective customers in your area.
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With Yellow Pages advertising, you place your business listing or ad in selected classifications within the book.
The theory is that when people need your product or service, they will look up the classification and contact you.
Much of the "sell" copy for a product or service, therefore, is not needed in your ad content, since the people who have looked up your classification are already in the market to buy.
What you must be aware of when you write the ad is the other firms' ads within your classification.
In other words, why should the reader select your firm over your competition? That is the crucial question -- and your ad should provide the answer.
Yellow Pages salespeople often employ the technique of selling as large an ad as possible to one company, then showing the other companies in the same classification what the one company is doing so that they can match it or beat it. This is not the best criteria for determining ad size, but is definitely good for the ad salesperson.
To determine the size you should use, consider the following:
- Your ad should be large enough to incorporate the vital information the reader needs to make a contact decision (as mentioned above).
- Remember your lessons in print advertising. Keep your ad clean, creative and eye appealing. Even though the phone company will "design your ad for free," some firms employ graphic artists and advertising agencies to create a Yellow Pages ad that really stands out.
- Give yourself a budget to work with. Figure out how much you want to spend on Yellow Pages advertising for the entire year, then divide it by 12. That will give you the payment that is automatically attached to your phone bill every month.
- Do something unique or different. If no one else is using color, use color. Even shades of gray can make an ad look better and more appealing.
Advantages of Yellow Pages Advertising
- One ad works all year long.
- Gives your prospect a method of easily locating and contacting your business, even if they didn't initially know your name.
- Can help you describe the differences between you and your competition.
- You pay by the month instead of one large payment.
Disadvantages of Yellow Pages Advertising
- You must commit to an entire year of advertising.
- You are immediately placed with a group of your competitors, making it easy for the prospect to comparison shop.
- Some classifications are so cluttered with advertising, your ad is buried and ineffective.
- It is only effective when a prospect looks you up in the correct classification, assuring the prospect knows what classification to look for in the first place.
If you require more than one classification, your Yellow Pages representative often has packages and programs that can save you some money. In addition, the same is often true if you need to be advertising in more than one city or market.
Yellow Pages advertising is an important medium to consider in our fast paced, information hungry society. People really do let their "fingers do the walking" instead of driving around blindly.
Make sure your Yellow Pages ad is attractive and informative enough to be the one or two businesses the prospect actually does select to call.
And then make sure you have the resources to deal with the inquiry. After all, there is nothing more annoying than being put "on ¬hold" by a busy receptionist or being served by an uninterested or unknowledgeable employee.