Over here Yellow Pages is a monopoly and a rip off.
They used to have 1/4 page ads as their biggest, now they're gonna up the ante to half page whilst other sections have gone to full page. Just raising revenue. So everyone has to double the size of their ad and the cost whilst the calls remain the same .... barstards.
Give you an idea, my 1/4 page Yellow Pages ad over here cost me $23,000
and I'm not busy enough. Next Year they want to go bigger but I'm gonna tell them a few things.
Yellow pages online here is a seperate business and they continually screw with that too, without notice. I run a tight ship on advertising. 2.5 years ago I was getting an average of 55 referals a month to my website. The monopoly has made 4 significant changes (all in the name of making it better for you, yeah right) and I have watched the enquiries dwindle down to an average of 12 a month. So they too have received an email requesting a rep come back and get drilled.
I have contacted the ACCC, TIO and Dept of Fair Trading regarding the conduct of this monolith and all have said "no laws are being broken". So frankly, screw the barstards. There's too many in there now, the online is crap and not worth the $200 a month a pay.
The sales reps will piss in your pocket and say things like "color will triple the amount of calls you get for only 50% more cost" All BS, I went full color and they laughed all the way to the bank.
Then when you are bidding and have such large overheads and the customer chooses Freddy down the road who has no ads and is always cheaper you'll realise that not only have you wasted a lot of money on advertising but a lot of time, petrol, quotes etc if they're getting bids from competitors with a cheaper source of advertising. /forum/images/graemlins/zbanghead.gif
Also the local paper here (local rag we call it) is owned by one of Australias largest media mogels NewsCorp ... another digusting rip off, you have no idea what it's like when huge corporations control the media ... I would suggest you think outside the box and avoid wasting your hard earned money on fat salaries and corporate cars + benefits for shiny bums.
So, what to do next? Who knows, got any jobs going?
The yellow pages is one of the first things people go to when they don't know who to call. You don't need to have the largest ad but its good to be on the first page. I agree that color does nothing but drain your wallet of green. The newspaper puts your name out there but the cost is high. A sign put out where you worked will help the neighbors find who you are.
I am running 2 half page ads. (Approx $12k/year) In my RESEARCHED opinion, position and no color are the way to do it. Read Advertising for Dummies. It is a good read. I have used some good tips from there.
However, I have seen a new developement for me lately. I am getting about 48% of my calls from current customers or referrals. So, this next go-round, I am going to down size a little. I get about 33% phone calls from the phone book.
Tip: Advertise in the phone book that comes from your local telephone provider. Don't use alternative phone books until you can truely afford it. When I tried alternative phone books, I barely got any calls. I compared Dex to the Yellow book one year and came up with a smoking gun decision. I got 300 phone calls from Dex and 12 from Yellow book! Alternative phone books are not effective. Sure you would be covered and you pay less, but it is not cost effective.
Position and simplicity are the way to go....definitely get a good "grab ya" type ad put together.
I used to get 70% or better of my calls from YP and most of those were tire kickers. But the 30% that were serious buyers did me very well.
Then I removed any reference to "Free Estimates" That ended up dropping my call percentage from YP to about 50%. But, all of them are serious buyers now and I spend much less time chasing my tail on the tire kickers.
Consequently I've upped my sales closure rate on YP calls to just about 4 out of 7 AND my average sale to a YP client went up 1.5 times in $$
Try dictating the terms to your YP agent...they are actually more flexible then they want you to know.
I pretty much agree Ekka. And our local papers are also called 'local rags'.
I have never advertised in Yp - too expensive. I've worked for losts of companies for years that have - They just field calls and price work for the vast majority that want the best price. You're only the first of 10 they're gonna call. I don't fancy running high fuel bills and wasting time on that kind of attitude.
I advertise in a charity police magazine. Thats it. All my work comes from referals or morally educated professionals.