Is it worth advertising in the phone book again?

I thought the phone book was dying, and of course it is. But recently something interesting has been happening.

Customers are saying they found us because we are one of the only window cleaners left in there. I looked in a few and it is true. We are the only entry under Window Cleaning in a certain town. Usually there is only a couple names left.

If you haven’t seen a phone book lately they are almost as thin as the Sunday newspaper. Maybe it is a worthwhile investment again if no one else is doing it?

Also at some point they will stop printing them. If you show up in the last edition, people will keep that phone book for years and years.

$3,000 down the drain for us
Never again, ever

Cleaning Services
Pismo Beach, Ca

I found the type of customer who looked in the phone book wasn’t my demographic, as they were usually older ladies with small homes, or even commercial clients which i dont tend to service (most commercial clients come by way of my residential reputation), and most of my residential customers come by way of recommendation, even though im very well listed on page ranking on web searching.

I also found that by being in some book or some website directory i got a LOT of sales calls, trying to sell me something.

Sure, if it works for you - great. But for some it doesn’t and that clearly shows by the reducing numbers that advertise in books and websites that offer similar services.

Okay here’s my take for whatever it’s worth. I have two phone ads with the same company in two different locations within my service area. One does exceptionally well although, yes, it is mostly residential customers. The other isn’t so great but I get a few calls here and there. Again, mostly residential but not all. Overall, I’ve made more money from the book than I put into it. I think it’s important to have an add in the book. Just my opinion. Some old folks still use it and if some client lost my card or number they know they can find me there. Think about it, how do you find a plumber. Not everybody hits the top of the google list so if your business doesn’t hit the top of searches you might benefit from having an add in the book… I like mine in the one book. It has done really well for me. And I make sure I have the largest add…

That can be the best kind of customer because they tell everyone what a good job you do.

I did it last year an broke even. It was all older clients that don’t us the internet.

I guess it depends on where you live. Also, I think it takes a few years to start picking up call volume. Anyway, I would not have a business and not have it listed in the phone book. Who knows, it’s like the lottery. You might spend a G till you get a call from a person with say 2 g’s worth of commercial work. You never know who picks up the book… That’s why I keep mine up to date…

I know a few who have solid ROI’s with it. That was not my experience.

I won’t say never again, but it is on the lowest rung mentally for me

I just want to be clear about pricing and ROI. I have a good price with the books I’m in… That’s KEY… I’ve gotten quotes from other books that were really expensive… If you can find a good book with a cheap price. Go for it. If it’s a little slim book that wants $80 per month forget about it…

My situation was the same - I was the last man standing in the book but as I saw it If I go then so what? So, I quit. Now there are no WC’rs in the book. Oh well, grandma call your daughter and have her look us up on the interwebs for you… Hey, my mom is 73 and she had an iPhone before I did! She’s on Facebook, instagram and twitter. I’m not even on those (anymore), so it’s not like old people don’t get online! My mom lives online so do all my aunts and uncles who are all in their 70’s & 80’s but then again my family is pretty well off so maybe that factors into it. I would ditch it, after all I’m sure they’ll take you back next year if you want to.

I was thinking about putting in a basic ad. But the guys who do smoke signals cut me a pretty good deal. Maybe next year.

Wow, so far it sounds like you guys are opting out of the book… I may sound like a broken record but it has done really well for me… These clients I’ve gotten through the book have been with me for years. It’s the residual income I’m after…

Hey if you can get advertising at such a cheap rate I would definitely stick with the smoke signal guys…

I have ads in phone books, this year I opted out of the main book (due to their lack of effort, they messed my previous years adds up and then spent 45 mins on the phone fixing it only for the following year to receive the same ads in the proof that were wrong the previous year. So I cancelled the ad.)
But that has hurt this year not being in the main phone book, calls are down. Where I live there is a huge population of elderly, a lot of retirement homes where they take an hr in and out and you can get 4-5 of them in a row. Some of these oldies are starting to get on the internet wagon, but not enough at this stage to remove print ads.

I understand that phone book advertising is a dieing breed.
Those that still use a phone book are older and dieing off also
However if all other avenues of advertising are already being used it can’t hurt to add on the phone book also.
Of course if most of ones rezzy jobs are are elderly customers or one lives in a older population phone book advertising may be the one way to explore, but unfortunately for most, the phone book is like the princess home phone…

*** I’m no expert,
just been cleaning windows for a while.
" The window cleaning world is not full of fools,
It’s just lightning is not distributed properly…"
Pompous Basterd

Wtf is a phone book?

I guess it depends on where you’re from. I use the book and I’m 34…

Exactly and as you will not clarify where you live exactly we can’t discuss that. I live the tech area. Mircosoft, Ninetendo etc all 10 mins from me. “books” get 75+ year olds. The internet reaches my target market.

Yeah… That’s classified… I like it that way… Run the net if it works for you… In my location it’s pointless… Good old pounding the pavement and old school phone book ads DO IT…

If they are all ten minutes away why do you need the internet? Walk into the office… That’s what I do…