Have you looked at your Yellow Page ad recently? You know, the one you’ve had for years. Has it changed much? Is it getting all the customers you want? Are you really tracking the results? Perhaps you are doing everything you can or don’t have the time to do anything at all. The day will come when the rep calls to renew the ad and you should take a few moments to make sure it’s working hard for you. Besides a headline that excludes your name, unless it’s a brand-name, and a picture that ties back to this headline, have you given much thought to the copy? This is the critical area that can make or break a sale. And it’s probably missing from your current ad. So what should it contain?
Start with the whole concept of the ad. It should fill a need and offer features and benefits. So a carpet cleaner removes allergies. A plumber keeps water flowing. A mover transplants families. An insurance agent providers peace of mind. Get the point?
Insure that the headline follows this thought process. So, as an air conditioner repair service, you say, “Cleaner Air and Cool Comfort by Fred. ” Now it’s time to explain how you do it. This is the feature and benefit story. It should be written into the subtext and body copy. It can also be simply listed as bulleted copy points. Give your qualifications, certifications, areas you cover and the services offered. Mention references, warranties, and hours of operation. In short, all the who, what, when, where and why should they call you, versus your competition. Okay you say, so who am I and how do I know so much?
I was a YP rep and consultant for nearly 25 years and, prior to that, had my own advertising agency. I also have a degree in marketing. I’ve been designing Yellow Page ads for the past three decades. So I have expertise in YP creation and have advised almost 7000 companies on how to put together the most effective YP ads. If you have a display or in-column ad, regardless of size, color or position, I can tell you it most probably needs improvement in the headline, artwork, body text, placement, book, or heading. You must understand the ROI or return on investment and learn how to track the results as well.
So consider getting some expert advice before you place your next ad. There are many good and inexpensive places to turn, some available on the internet. Make sure the consultant is well qualified with at least 25 years experience. Then you might uncover the other things your ad is missing that could affect your results and overall profits.
Jeffrey Hauser’s latest book is, “Inside the Yellow Pages, ” which can be viewed at http://www.poweradbook.com
He was a sales consultant for the Bell System Yellow Pages for nearly 25 years. He graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Advertising and has a Master's Degree in teaching. He had his own advertising agency in Scottsdale, Arizona and ran a consulting and design firm, ABC Advertising. Currently, he is the Marketing Director for thenurseschoice.com , a Health Information and Doctor Referral site.