Yellow Page Advertising: 4 Need-to-knows

 yellow page bad ad

Yellow page advertising representatives are the best trained advertising salespeople in media sales

It’s a fact.  They are good.  They are persistent.  They motivate by fear.  But think about these four things the next time your yellow pages ad is up for renewal:

Most people are right-handed. They hold the phone book in their right hand, and use their left hand thumb to flip through from back to front. So what’s so great about having the biggest ad in the front — when most people see the smaller ones in the back of the section first?

According to the Yellow Page industry, Americans look in the Yellow pages about 3.6 billion times per year. Sound like a lot? That’s only about 14 times a year a person.

Beneficial Finance always advertised, “If you’re within the sound of my voice, there’s a Beneficial office near you. Look for us in the White Pages.” Smart move — a listing in the White Pages is free — and consumers choose among competing locations instead of competing companies.

Yellow Pages advertising is sold as “bigger ads are better” or “color is better.” The best marketing strategy is for people to never have to go to the Yellow Pages.

Which book should I choose?

I get asked this all the time.  Every yellow pages representative will throw numbers and statistics at you.  As a business owner, it’s a tough decision.  My advice:  If you want to cut back on your yellow page advertising, there are two primary books you need to be in.

The most important YP to advertise in…is your primary (biggest) circulation directory for the area.  In my area (Minneapolis)…it happens to be Qwest/Dex for Minneapolis.  70% of residents use that.  Your local utility directory is the second most important.  So…put 70% of your budget in the primary, and the balance in the utility directory, and call it a day.   The rest of ’em are fighting for market share…and readers.

PS.  Make a three to five year plan to scale back on YP.  Divert YP resources (budget) to online.  It’s headed that way.


Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency in Elk River, Minnesota. He plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. Mitchell is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.



2 responses to “Yellow Page Advertising: 4 Need-to-knows

  1. Excellent, Chris! I wrote a book on Yellow Pages advertising but missed two out of your four secrets.
    You have a great blog.


  2. 258marketing

    Thank you for the comment and feedback Steve. I’d like to read and learn from your book.

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