Most of our clients tell us that enquiries from the Yellow Pages are a major source of business for them – and in fact the major source if your product or service is home related. If it has not generated much business for you in the past, it may be that your layout is ineffective, or possibly there are additional categories that you should be in.
Online is also growing hugely. In this article, we summarise eight key points that will increase response from this source.
Research(1) shows that 58% of people who look in the Yellow Pages do not have a supplier’s name in mind. The other 42% have a company in mind but will on average contact at least two organisations. At least one third of this group are willing to be swayed to a different company. Therefore, nearly three quarters of all users are up for grabs! So it makes sense to have a more powerful and effective ad than your competitor! Here are some tips for success:
1. DON’T put your company name at the top of the ad. Just because everyone else does this, doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do! DO put a benefit or a catchy phrase at the top, such as “Reliable & fast appliance servicing” or “service around the clock”. Select a phrase that is a) less than ten words long and b) includes a benefit or unique feature about your business.
2. DO include a list of the products or services you offer. 71% of Yellow Pages users would not ring to enquire about a product or service if it was not mentioned in an ad, but would look for another one that did mention it. (2)
3. DO include a graphic or illustration – a picture paints a thousand words and can break the monotony of text.
4. DO include an incentive to call you now such as “free quote”, “free trial” etc. Try and do something extra that will differentiate you from your competitors.
5. DO go for as big an ad as you can afford. The user may think you are as big as the company in the neighbouring ad if your ad is the same size. Also, research proves that enquiries go up exponentially with each jump in size.
6. DO use contrast to stand out from others around you. This can be spot colour or white knock out if the surrounding ads are not all already using it. Alternatives include using freeform shapes (instead of rectangles), hand drawn illustrations, kids crayon style headings (since everything is normally typeset), blocks of black, or space.
7. DON’T reverse out the main text of the ad in white as it is 25% harder to read although a few words in the heading is OK. Choose dark text over a light background to hold attention.
8. DON’T use capital letters for a heading of more than three words. A professor from Stanford concluded that capital letters inhibit reading and “dance” when used in succession. We are trained from a young age to read words in small letters.