|Nowhere is there a place where buyers so actively pursue sellers than in the yellow pages. Some businesses live and die by their yellow page results. For others, yellow pages are one of many revenue streams. Whatever the case may be, your yellow page advertising results will improve by simply following these 10 Do’s and Don'ts:
1. DO STUDY THE COMPETITION.
You don’t have to be perfect, you just need to out compete your competition. So spend some time absorbing what’s happening in your section. Study the whole phone book. Cut out ads you think are effective so you can review them with your ad designer later. Strategically plan your ad’s focus, content, size and color.
2. DON’T FOLLOW THE CROWD.
Too often businesses try to look like their competition because they think they’re missing something. The idea is to catch the readers attention quickly, not blend in. Develop a striking ad that communicates your message and conveys professionalism.
3. DO FOCUS ON YOUR STRENGTHS.
Go after the business you want. Highlight the reasons your customers choose you. If you don’t know ask them. Be recognized as a specialist.You’ll receive more of the calls you want.
4. DON’T FORGET YOUR AD IS YOUR IMAGE.
People constantly make judgments and choices. The quality of every single word, picture and logo, and the execution of those elements in your ad represents the quality of your products and services.
5. DO SURVEY EVERY CALL AND CUSTOMER.
It’s as simple as “How’d you hear about us?”. Write down every answer. Information is power and the result of your advertising dollars is information you need to make intelligent business decisions.
6. DON’T BE CAUGHT UNPREPARED WHEN YOUR REP SHOWS UP.
Yellow page reps always have a deadline and are often behind schedule, which can pressure you into making quick decisions you haven’t thought out. Know when your rep will be coming and start doing your homework two to three months ahead of schedule.
7. DO BE SCARED OF THE PRICE.
Yellow page advertising can be, and often is, expensive; very expensive. For many businesses the yellow pages is the largest percentage of their advertising budget. An unsuccessful yellow page ad can put your business behind the financial eight ball all year long. You could have that large monthly expense with little or no results.
8. DON’T BE SCARED OF THE PRICE.
The main reason that a directory’s advertising is so expensive is that it’s distribution is large and most consumers use it. Don’t let the price of an ad be the only determining factor in the size you choose. If the larger ad allows you to effectively compete and increase profits and cash flow, find a way to make it happen. The yellow pages can produce outstanding results when done correctly.
9. DO USE POWERFUL VISUALS IN YOUR AD.
In the yellow pages, a picture doesn’t say a thousand words - it saves a thousand words.Something has to attract attention and fast. People are more impatient than they have ever been.If your ad is the first one recognized, it will dramatically increase your results.
10. DON’T RELY ON YOUR PUBLISHER TO DESIGN YOUR AD.
Publishers are in the space selling business, not the space designing business. Unfortunately, your yellow page marketing and design effort is too often the collective knowledge of you and your sales rep. Their artists work from your scribbles and notes and don’t have the creative latitude or resources to design exceptional ads. Find a savvy marketing person and then track down a quality advertising designer. It will be well worth it.
Just one last note: If you’ve followed all these do’s and don’ts, you’ll be seeing a significant increase in your customer calls and inquiries. Set yourself up to win. Develop a strategy (what do you want to sell and how), and even a phone script for handling all the new incoming calls and customers. Nothing is more frustrating and more of a turn-off to a customer than poor and unprofessional phone etiquette. Be prepared to handle the business that comes with a successful yellow page ad.
(A Division of Art of Marketing)