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Time to renew our yellow-pages ad

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing, Pricing Etc.' started by Mosh, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    For the last 10 years we have had a 1"x2" ad in the phonebook. It now is going to cost me $1,500 to run next year. I am thinking about just going with the free listing only. First off I know ALOT of people do not even have a land-line anymore, so won't get a book. Second we are in a rural area and everyone knows me for 100 mile radius anyway. What do you people do as far as the phonebook ads? $1500 a year is not that much, but just 10 years ago the same ad was $120 a year (our local carrier had changed 6 times since then)

    I am struggling with this, I don't want to loose out but, on the other hand, don't think I will. Just not sure.
     
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  2. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    Also we are thinking of moving to cable phone and interweb from time-warner cable. They don't even publish a book, all the listings are online so....
     
  3. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

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    i spend $1500/month on google adwords. the yellow pages is worthless to me.
     
  4. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    Phone books are becoming obsolete very very quickly. There is still an "old school" sector that uses them, but that group is shrinking. As much as I hate it sometimes, more and more people go to the internet. Investing in search engine optimization, social media, etc., are better investments in my opinion.

    We've had everything from a full page ad to a 1-liner in the phone book and never, ever once have we even broken even on it. But my free Linked In and Twitter accounts net us significant leads and sales (and I really hate social media).

    The times are changing, change with them.
     
  5. stickygraphics12

    stickygraphics12 Member

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    I dropped both my ads in my local yellow pages! They were costing me money instead of making it for me! Got my new books and I am still listed in both, only now it doesn't coat me anything! They are a complete waste of money if you ask me! I get more business from word of mouth than anything!
     
  6. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    Search "Signs Nebraska City" on google and we pop up on top, so I guess that is a plus.
     
  7. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

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    the problem is, no one in your area will search that term. they will only search "signs". thats where you need adwords becuase it will serve ads based on geolocation.
     
  8. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    I just did "signs" on google and I am the fourth one down. Fast-signs, Signs-now and the movie Signs are the only ones above me. They are both 65 miles away, well not the movie....

    Cool, I guess I never knew google took onto account where you were. Makes sence that they do.
    Yellow pages I think are OUT!
     
  9. CentralSigns

    CentralSigns Very Active Member

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    My ad is free this year, in both signs and decals. Last year they screwed up. Mosh is paying for me this year, I guess.
     
  10. cartoad

    cartoad Active Member

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    We are also dropping the YP ad this year, 3K, in just one of 3 books in this area. Asked what the next two sizes down were, and the YP rep said they were almost the same price. Last year we dropped the Verizon and Dex YP ads. Most of the new business we get is from other areas other than the YP. I figured that most of the B to B companies will be reducing or eliminating their ads also, but the real shocker was when our insurance man told me he is also dropping his YP ad, the $$ to go to other marketing areas.

    As a side note today I was approached by a company that is putting "coupons" direct to your cell phone, thus eliminating the waste of direct mail.
     
  11. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

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    Phone book adds always cost me more than they generated in our area. The shoppers that wasted my time always out-weighed the positives that were generated by the adds. Currently we have no clients as a result of phone book adds yet we have clients that have been with us long before we ever considered taking out those adds. Every shop is different and I think there was a time when phone book adds were a necessary evil but as said.....times are changing and along with it....how people shop. An associate and close friend used to spend $16,000 per year in P.B. advertising and believed that he had to because of the type of business he ran. He spent two years tracking the performance of those adds through a quick "new customer" questionaire and determined after the first year that he needed to rethink his advertising. by the end of the second year of tracking he had changed his entire advertising structure. He reduced his "necessary" P.B. adds to about $2,000 per year, increased his internet exposure, increased his vehicle advertising and enacted some new techniques to assist and enable current/repeat customers and added incentives for referrals. His total advertising budget was reduced by roughly 70% yet his net for the next year increased by nearly triple.... during a period of economic downturn.
     
  12. pointjockey

    pointjockey Member

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    already ditched our listing....
     
  13. CheapVehicleWrap

    CheapVehicleWrap Very Active Member

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    Mosh, don't be so cheap! Double, triple, quadruple your ad space and reap the extra customers, you can't advertise with such a small ad.
     
  14. Dave Drane

    Dave Drane Very Active Member

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    I say get rid of them. I did it 15 years ago and I did worry a bit, but all that happened was that I got rid of the tire kickers!! I had the best profits the following year that I ever had.
     
  15. OCsteve

    OCsteve Member

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    We only do the free line listing. It was becoming extremely difficult to figure out which book to use. We have about five different phone books in our area so we decided dump them all except for the line listing.
     
  16. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    We do a print ad in connection with our yellowpages.com listing. We were actually going to drop all of it because we were seeing no return - from their web site or from print.

    But then we got a new account executive who actually understood the internet and re-keyworded us from a list I gave her. BAM... we started getting almost immediate response (we ask everyone how they heard of us).... very little print referrals, but I live in an old-people area where many of them still use phone books. We re-upped our ad but the cost was minimal when we do it with the online advertising.

    Google has changed how it serves search results. They are pretty personalized now... gone are the days of two people on a computer searching for the same phrase getting the same results. Now the algorithm they use bases those results on your geographical area (if none is specified in your search) and what previous searches you used. That's why Mosh can type in "signs" in his search and be first page, but if I search "signs" here in Florida - he's no where to be found...

    ProWraps- that's a helluva lot of adword advertising. Got some friends that run 500-600/month with adwords, but guessing your area has a little higher competitiveness for wrap-related searches.
     
  17. Jon Aston

    Jon Aston Very Active Member

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    There's an old quote about advertising that seems to apply here, Mosh. Have you heard it?

    "I know half of my advertising works. I just don't know which half".

    The message is this: Start measuring the results of your advertising. Know what works, and why... and invest your time and money where you get the greatest return.

    I've posted this video before, but it is worth posting again... some food for thought, especially in light of comments from both ProWraps and Insignia.
     
  18. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    I just did a YP ad for the first time in years in my other business. Its a test of a service that is just barely passing.

    It is a measured response type ad. The cleint calls a number in the YP book and it redirects to my regular phone number. Something that I asked for years ago. I get a full report of time and duration, and rings, and other details each call.

    So far I have received 6 qualified phone calls and paid for those 6 only. The over all cost is so low that it is not a drain on the ad budget. However, it is still too high in my opinion. But I am paying less than $30 bux a month average.

    The real YP and the Yell book are offering it but you have to have a tantrum to get it. It may be worth it to some here. They will offer some upper range but you negotiate to a lower range of course. Try for $10 bux a call.
     
  19. 777signs

    777signs Member

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    Ask yourself one simple question. When was the last time YOU used a phone book. I just threw lasy years book away, and I never unwraped it.
     
  20. Designer Wraps

    Designer Wraps Member

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    Same here - put that ad budget towards something else that WILL have a better return on investment.
     
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