Yellow Pages ® & Other Directory Advertising

4 yellow pages articles to choose from:

1. Discover The 7 Secret And 'Immutable Laws' Of Directory Advertising

2. How Paper And Ink Can Give You An Unbeatable Edge When Advertising In The Yellow Pages ® And Other Advertising Mediums

3. Yellow Pages ® Advertising: How To At Least Quadruple Your Success With One Simple And Easy Change

4. Important Research Into Yellow Pages ® Advertising Shows You How To Make Your Ad A Real Winner And Wipeout Your Competition

"Important Research Into Yellow Pages ® Advertising Shows You How To Make Your Ad A Real Winner And Wipeout Your Competition"

Most people fail with their Yellow Pages ® advertising because they don't understand the principles of Yellow Pages ® advertising.

In fact this advertising medium suffers from what I call the 'ad copy syndrome.' Basically this means people create their ads like everyone else's because they assume incorrectly that that's the best way to create them!

When you study some very valid research on Yellow Pages ® advertising you'll see exactly what you should and shouldn't do. In fact much of the research dispels many myths and preconceived ideas about Yellow Pages ® advertising.

I've listed below the most relevant research. I've then included a small "Side Bar" where I add my own observations and comments. Please read each note carefully…

1. 60% of those who pick up the directory make an immediate purchase (Mangel 1992)

This is no surprise to me - except I
think the figure is higher. If you ever
needed any proof about the use of directory
advertising to attract new clients or
customers this should be proof enough!

2. "The more information contained in the ad the better as long as the copy remains readable" Gerald L Lohse (1997). More importantly Lohse found that the probability of selecting a business increased as the number of words in the ad increased!

Surprised? Most advertisers think people
won't read lots of information. They're
wrong - very wrong. People in the "Direct
Marketing" industry have known this for
years. If someone is interested in what
you're selling they'll read as much
information as possible. It's your job to
give them this information.

3. After graphics, colour has the smallest impact on choice. Gerald L Lohse (1997)

Two gems in this one. What it's saying
is forget about graphics in your ad (why
even bother using a designer - 'cos that's
all you'll get - nice fancy graphics').

Secondly this shows that colour in an ad
has only a small impact on the consumers
choice of business. This fact can save you
thousands of dollars.

4. Directory advertising increases the effectiveness of television advertising from 7.7% to 28.2%, newspaper advertising from 23.6% to 42.4% and radio advertising from 4.2% to 25.3% - 1996 Media Impact Study, National Directory Monitor.

This basically shows the combined effect
of directory advertising on your other
marketing tools. I call this the 'Combo

Hopefully you don't just rely on directory
advertising for your business growth. Even
with an extremely effective directory ad
(you'll have one soon) the success of your
business will be multiplied depending upon
the additional marketing tools you use.

5. Consumers noticed over 93% of quarter page display ads, but only 26% of the plain listings, therefore the larger the ad the more likely people are to notice the ad - Consumer Eye Movement Patterns On directory Advertising - Gerald L Lohse 1996

In case you ever wondered - size does
matter. I agree in principle to these
results, but don't forget, a big ad with
the wrong information will never out pull
a small ad with all the right information.

6. 62% of people look at more than one ad when they reference the directory. On average people look at 5.3 ads before deciding which business to call. And 79% of people want more information from the ads - Statistical Research Inc (SRI)

Two sides of the coin to consider here.

38% of people look at just one ad, which
means your ad better grab attention quickly.
(You do this using an all powerful headline).

Second it shows if they are looking at 5
ads before they make a choice, you must
give them a reason to choose you over and
above your competition.

The only way you can do this is by giving
the consumer enough information to make
an informed decision.


At this point I want to mention the importance of differentiating your business from the competition.

If people on average look at 5 ads, and can't differentiate between them (this happens 90% of the time, what they do is choose to call all 5 or maybe ring 3 or 4 of these businesses.

Straight away you've limited your success. But there's something even more important. If the consumer can't differentiate between the businesses they ring, what's the one thing that enables them to differentiate? That's right. They choose a business based on PRICE, and that's NOT their fault it's YOUR FAULT!

What does all this mean?

This research tells us the following…

1. Your ads must contain lots of copy/information
2. Size does matter - your ads can't be any less than a quarter column display ad
3. Graphics and colour aren't that important
4. You must grab the attention of the consumer as soon as possible. This is done with a headline!
5. You must differentiate yourself from your competitors so the consumer chooses you above all others

Now's the time to start making changes to the way you market and advertise your business. These results may sound radical to you - almost unbelievable, but if you want success with your Yellow Pages ® advertising this is what must be done. The choice is yours!

Are you getting what you want from the Yellow Pages?
Can you be sure your Yellow Pages advertising is working for you?
Have you ever considered alternatives to your Yellow Pages advertising?

Yellow Pages is a registered trademark of Yell Ltd


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