“No one is using the Yellow Pages any more!”

I beg to differ, my friends.  It’s an argument we “in the business” have constantly.  In fact, just the other day my very own cousin made a Facebook post complaining about the print Yellow Pages and how “no one even uses the phone book any more.”  It was all I could do not to go through my computer and smack him upside the head all the while screaming, “Hey Cuz, that’s my livelihood you’re trashing!”  But I refrained.  I figured I could respond with all sorts of stats and research material from independent third party studies but I really don’t need to go any further than my very own PC to disprove that statement.

I am working with a national client who is tracking a number of their Yellow Pages ads.  Remote call forwarding telephone numbers are being used in each of the print ads.  These telephone numbers are used exclusively by the assigned Yellow Pages ads and do not appear anywhere else.  There is no guess work here.  We know exactly where the phone calls are coming from, who is calling, what time of day, etc.

In the last 90 days their business has received over 1450 phone calls as a result of their Yellow Pages advertising.  1050 of those calls are from unique callers.  I should probably point out that the books didn’t publish until April so the numbers are sure to increase the longer the books are on the street and as new books publish.  In some cases the cost per call is under $5!  For a company who makes probably $200 or more on a new customer I’d say that’s a pretty attractive ROI, wouldn’t you?

I don’t live under a rock.  I realize there is a shift to online and mobile.  And I promote that, too.  But can’t we appreciate them without trashing our good old buddy the print directory?

I don’t care what sort of media you are using…radio, TV, online, mobile or print…if you aren’t tracking your advertising you are, in my opinion, throwing your money away.  Would you go into a store and tell the clerk to pick out a pair of jeans for you and go home without trying them on?  That would be foolish, wouldn’t it?  If they didn’t fit it would be money wasted.  So why would you gamble with your advertising dollars? The Yellow Pages industry (and that includes online) recognizes the need to track its effectiveness and we strongly encourage our advertisers to track not only the phone numbers but their URLs as well.

So go ahead and listen to the nay sayers but the numbers don’t lie, folks. How many phone calls are you missing by not advertising in the print Yellow Pages directories?

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