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Yellow Pages Warning!!!

Will your ad make you Rich, or send you to the Poor house?

With the Yellow Pages deadline looming, it's finally time to think seriously about how to make this investment really pay off.
Advertising in this directory is really no different to advertising anywhere else, except with this one major problem...
Once your ad is placed in the yellow pages book - that's it!! - It's there for the WHOLE year, and you can't make changes to it if you are getting no response.
So, do you think it may be of benefit to having a good ad that will guarantee you:

More calls and better quality customers ready to give you their money, more sales even if your prices are higher than your competitors, more money...

Let's have a closer look at the ads that are found in any directory. How many ads start off with a business name, followed by a few bullet points about what the business does, a picture or two and finally contact details at the bottom?
This is what I call a ‘Name, Rank, Serial number ad, and these ads represent at least 95% of ads found. Do these ads work... sure they do to a degree, but theses ads are competing against all the others that look exactly the same. Hence why you get a lot of price shoppers or tyre kickers, as people can't distinguish why they should do business with you over your competitors. Remember, marketing is about standing out from the crowd, not blending in.
Here are just a few quick ideas to make you stand out above the crowd...

Using a headline can easily double your response rate. Let's take for example a plumber's ad that starts off with a business name like ‘Tony's Plumbing Service'... now, only 2 people get excited about this headline; Tony and Tony's mum.
Now, what if we used a common frustration people have with tradespeople; that they never show up on time. Let's change the headline to; ‘A Plumber who guarantees to show up on Time'. Would that be a more compelling reason to call Tony?
Now, instead of having your business name take up the top half of your ad, you are now providing your potential customers with a reason to read your ad.

Body Copy
Instead of having the usual features of your product or service in the middle of the ad, why not explain a little further the benefits of your product or service to the reader. For example a carpet cleaner who states ‘we'll clean your carpets' isn't as compelling as "when we arrive at your home the first thing we do is take off our shoes, we move all your furniture for you, pre-vacuum your carpets till they are dirt free, then spot treat any stains, use a hot water extraction method to remove all remaining dirt and kill off any dangerous bacteria, rake over your carpet so the pile stands up just like new, and then we'll put your furniture back.
Now, who would you rather clean your carpets? Now, here's a little secret... did you know that the majority of carpet cleaners do exactly what I've just explained?

Free offer
A free offer is another incentive for a customer to choose you first. It doesn't need to cost you a lot of money, but it needs to have a perceived value. As an example for our carpet cleaner, a free bottle of stain remover valued at $29.95 free to every new client. The hard cost of the stain remover is less than $5, but has a high perceived value to the customer.
A free report valued at $37.95; ‘7 things you should know before you hire a plumber'. Again, high perceived valued and very low cost

Phone number / Business name
Your name and number should generally be at the bottom of the ad. Your contact number displayed clearly with your business name under it. Unless your business name has a very high perceived value in the community or has been heavily ‘branded' like ‘Coke' there is no need to display it anywhere else

This is just a few simple tricks out of many more that can have your advertisements causing your phone to go into a ‘meltdown' from customers eagerly lining up for your product or service.

But one last Warning... I have literally seen hundreds of times when a great ad keeps the phone ringing hot, but at the end of the day didn't result in increase business because the owners didn't know how to properly handle enquiries. It then all comes down to having effective systems or a process to converting those enquires to sales, but that's another story for another time....

these principles apply to any advertising, not just Yellow Pages

by Brian Brown

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