The Other Side of the Yellow Page Story

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June 3  |  Advertising, Business, Marketing, Media, News, Uncategorized  |   JDostal

The Other Side of The Yellow Page Story

Jeff Dostal * President * Marketing Firepower


We have been working with business owners like you to provide marketing solutions that work.  In the process, we always ask, “What are your major marketing and advertising concerns?” The number-one response we hear is; “The rising cost of Yellow Pages, the multiple phone books, and the decrease in consumer usage of them.”

Allow me to introduce you to “The Other Side of the Yellow Page Story.” This is the side the Yellow Page sales reps don’t want you to know. There are some important aspects regarding the Yellow Pages that you need to know as a business owner:

  1. Your Yellow Page ad can be redesigned to be more effective and less costly.
  2. Your Yellow Page agreement has an “automatic renewal” clause. Chances are you were not aware of this. This clause allows the phone book company to place your current ad in the upcoming phone book at the updated rates and you have to pay the bill, even if the ad is wrong! It’s their way of dealing with the businesses who simply refuse to talk or meet with the Yellow Page reps.
  3. You can and should be able to receive your discounts – even if your new ad is smaller. Too often business owners are told if they reduce the size of their ad they will lose their discount and it will end up costing the same. They are told they might as well keep the bigger ad or increase it. This just isn’t the case.

Before deciding what to spend in the Yellow Pages, it is important to know how consumers use the Yellow Pages.

There are six ways consumers use the Yellow Pages, other than PRICE SHOPPERS who call everybody. Do you really want the price shopper?

  1. 1. Repeat Business. (These consumers know who they are going to call and find the number “by the name of the business”)
  1. 2. Referrals. (These consumers know who they are going to call and find the number “by the name of the business”)
  1. 3. Those influenced by Creative Advertising.  (These consumers know who they are going to call and find the number “by the name of the business”)
  1. 4. Those who need a product or service by the Brand Name.  (These consumers  know who they are going to call and do so “by the Brand Name of the product or service.”)
  1. 5. A New-comer to the neighborhood.  (These consumers normally look for a telephone prefix like their own so they will be comfortable that it is a local business.  They will also normally become like caller number two and ask for a referral.)
  1. 6. The Panic Buyer. (These consumers will call everyone from the display ads and in-column listings.  Price is no object.  They want service.)

The first four categories of Yellow Page users are locked in “by the name of the business”. They will find that business in the in-column alphabetical listings.  The new-comer will look at the in-column listings for a local telephone number prefix or become a referral “by name” caller.  The sixth type of user will use the in-columns, alphabetical listings and the display ads.  They just want to reach someone.

So you should ask yourself these questions:

  • What percentage of my business is repeat business?
  • What percentage of my business comes from referrals?
  • Should I be using creative media to generate more of caller numbers three and four and not stand in line in hopes of getting a call from the panic or price shopper?

The Yellow Pages were created to be a directory. It was designed to be a list of names and numbers and addresses.  As a business owner you will be wise to use the Yellow Pages as a directory and not as an advertising medium.

If you would like to find out how much less costly your Yellow Page ad can be, it won’t cost you anything to find out. We will review your current Yellow Page ad and tell you what your redesigned ad will cost. If you like what you hear, we will:

1. Contact your Yellow Page provider.

2. Redesign your ad to make it less costly and more effective.

3. Cancel your automatic renewal clause and re-negotiate your agreement.

We will do all the work for you so you don’t have to bother with it.

If you are tired of feeling like you are trapped into spending more than necessary to make your phone ring, let’s talk.  Call or email and we will help you be more effective in the Yellow Pages at a surprisingly smaller investment!

Jeff Dostal

President, Marketing Firepower


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