Yellow Pages or Other Phone Book

Wondering how many of you guys out there are using the phone book now-a-days? I figure with the internet it’s pretty much dying out. I haven’t advertised in it yet but am not sure if it will be a decent ROI or not. I’m wondering if any of you are having success or failures with the phone book lately? If so, what phonebook did you use and was it a book that was targeted for your LOCAL area or a phone book targeted to your entire metro area?..Thanks in advance!

I have never used a print phone book, but I had one of their reps call me last spring about using their internet directory, so I did an add on the internet directory with a direct link to my web page. I have only had 2 hits from that add, so I won’t be doing that again.
I haven’t heard of anyone having great results from one, that why I wasn’t interested in doing the print phone books.

I use the local directory only, they end up being less then half of the state directory (here in Australia)
when I first started the business, I was going to put a listing in both, but had difficuties getting in contact with the correct department. the online directory for the yellow pages was a completly different and seperate listing then the printed copy, and I would have to pay the 2 seperatly, and the number I was given to call for the printed copy kept ringing out (so much for the biggest player huh)

my local directory (PDC) lists online complimentory, and since I only service the Alice Springs area, and the PDC is given out free to all residential and comercial premises, I figure why pay more?

oh, I’ve tried to contact the yellow pages a few times over the last few years… and I still seem to have difficulties, so I;'ve just not bothered any more

We have ads in 2 phone books and we get about 3 to 1 ROI. It’s not great but it’s better than breaking even. It also gives those customers who may lose our card a place to find our number or website again.

We have two books in our town and we are in one of them. We have had excellent results with our ad. We run full color ads in two catagories and both are doing well during the cleaning season (except during winter for obvious reasons). Check the book out in your local to see if any competitors are running bigger/color ads. If they are, chances are you will be lost in the sea of small print if you buy a tiny black print box ad. It will most likely be a waste of money unless you want to step it up and run an ad that is more eye catching to capture more customers. This is my experience with Yellow page marketing. Some say that the book is dead- some say not. It is definately NOT dead in my area.

Last year was my first year in the phone book. I ran in the Boulder and Denver Dex books.

I spent $1200 for the year for a 4 line ad with blue letters and white background. I got about $3000 in business from that ad, including a yearly $1300 gig that is locked in for 5 years. So, from last year, I’ll have roughly $8,000 in return on the $1200.

This year is a totally different story. I had little response last year from the Denver book (reaches 2 million people), so I minimized it to a one line ad this year. But, in the Boulder book (reaches 350,00 people, but with higher per capita incomes), I went with a 1/8 page ad, which is roughly the size of a dollar bill. I also added on premium internet listing on their website for the Boulder area. This year I’ll end up spending $3600 on the yellow pages…and I’ve gotten $1,000 back out of it.

Next year I’m going a single line in both, and they’re still charging me $85/month.

They give deals to first time advertisers. If you decide to list, take advantage of that. You’ll be able to run a bigger ad for less money than what your competition is spending.

The attached pic is the big ad I ran in the Boulder book this year. It was the biggest ad…on the 2nd page of the window cleaning category. Page 2 is like death. It was a total waste of money, and so was the premium internet service.2009_Dex_ad[1].pdf (104 KB)

Forgot to mention that Dex is the main book in our state.

I also advertised with a different phone book, in a region I don’t yet service. I wanted to expand into that area. I had a dollar bill sized ad in that book too, and it was the biggest ad of all the window cleaners in the book.

I got literally zero calls from that book for the entire year. It cost me $650. It would have cost me $800, but I told them I was a member of multiple window cleaning groups with thousands of members…and I’d be sharing my experience with them by name if they didn’t let me out of the last 2 $75 payments.

Don’t waste your time with the smaller books. Stick with the main.

Were in just about every book, yellowbook, Action Pages, Mergreger, and mutiple ads too. WC, pressure washing, and gutter cleaning. We also run ads in city newspapers, home ower associations, and flyers of course. I believe it takes money to make money. Advertizing is too expensive, we all know thatand I really wish it was just 1 book… Our secratery made a list of all our advertizing, and when bids call in she asks them how they heard about us and marks it down. We can go back and look at the list month to month, to see what was working and what wasn’t. Your ad just HAS TO stand out, I think. Plus it helps if your the first one listed, ie Austin’s…:smiley:

I found a simple listing in the main directory works best as well as web site info. I am getting listed in two books this year for $235 that serve probably like 2 or 3 million people. People tend to call a big ad and a small ad. Where you got to win them is answering the phone and making an estimate and an appointment the same day.

bill harkins
mr b all pro window cleaning
ann arbor

Also I wouldn’t recommend advertising in the yellow books that are not your local company. Most people tend to ignore those. I found yellow is worthless and yellowbook were a waste of time. Even with a free simple line in the phone book i always got calls for high rise, industrial, new construction and storefront. Most of which i had to turn away since I only do residential.

I didn’t mention it earlier, but the one I was with was yellowbook, billy is right, waste of time. My add was first, and slightly bigger than the rest, and the only one with a link to a web page.

I agree with the statements about yellowbook. Around here they go into distribution in December and AT& T books go out in Feb-March. At& t is really the main book around here and most will pitch yellowbook because they dont want or have room for two big yellow page directories. I take notice from time to time what directories my clients have laying around when im cleaning their home. 9-10 are AT& T books. My opionion is that my ad would have a 3 month shelf life at best with yellowbook advertising. Probably even worse because it gets distributed during the winter months.

Here Yellow Book is the preferred one. The second most used is Dex. We are in both.

screw the phonebook! I just learned how to tear a full size phone book in half last night. its all in the technique. Im a pretty skinny guy so I was very happy with myself :slight_smile: