Referred to in professional circles as telephone directory advertising, or telephone classified advertising, everyone nation wide knows and uses the Yellow Pages; that powerful result-getter is an effective tool critical to a service oriented business.
Every year, more than 6,000 classified yellow page directories are published in the United States. In fact, a recent study completed for the National Yellow Page Service indicated that Americans use the Yellow Pages an average of 44 times per year.
Thus, the Yellow Pages are an enormous consumer selling force with the majority of entries being local business. While many national advertisers of consumer goods also use the Yellow Pages, it is of course the local merchants and businesses that actually benefit the most.
In directory advertising, people are reached who are considering a specific purchase or need or who have already decided what they want to buy and need to know where to buy it. It is the purpose of the Yellow Pages to direct people to sources that can provide what they are looking for.
In its simplest form, directory classified advertising lists a business name and address under alphabetical heading of products and services. Information is organized so as to make it easy for the buyer to find what he is looking for.
If an advertiser whishes, the salon may have its name and address listed in heavy black type, sometimes referred to as a bold listing. More common these days is for advertisers to choose an informational listing that provides for a small amount of advertising as part of the alphabetical listing. This may include a few descriptive lines, or it may be a small display ad limited to one or two column inches. Similarly, many businesses will choose to purchase a display ad in addition to their alphabetical listing. A display ad may be any size, sometimes up to a full page. It usually appears on the same pages as the listing, but may also be on an adjoining page.
The biggest advantage of this type of advertising is that people who consult the Yellow Pages are ready-made prospects. That is to say that they have either already decided to buy or are interested in the service.
Statistics of the industry gained from over 200,000 personal interviews with citizens nationwide also point to very impressive facts concerning the advantages of Yellow Page advertising. Among them
- 93% of the usage is by people who used the Yellow Pages to take action by telephoning, visiting or writing.
- 58% of the usages were for personal reasons.
- 42% were for work or business.
- 52% of the usage was by people that could have used the white pages but used the Yellow Pages because it was easier to do so.
The Yellow Pages also assist new residents of a community in finding particular types of stores and product with a minimum amount of effort. Yellow Page advertising also has the advantage of 24-hour availability with a life expectancy as long as the directory containing it.
It goes without saying that all salon owners, boutique owners and manicurists in our industry should be listed in the Yellow Pages. It is an extremely important advertising vehicle and can be critical in bringing in new referrals.
Display advertising in directories is of ultimate value for three very important reasons: first, near your listing you can tell more about your service; second, if the customer has not seen your operation, she is very likely to equate the size of the ad with the size and the professionalism of your business, and third, the advertisement both in size and in content many times has psychological affects upon the reader by letting her know that you are alert and want her as a customer. Thus your display ad should contain as much information as possible about your products and services as well as your address and telephone number in large, bold print.
Additionally, you might want to call attention to your hours and the number of years in operation. The name of the game in display advertising is to try to list as many reasons as possible for a consumer to want to patronize your operation….but all in an esthetic manner.
Take your time and play your Yellow Page advertising strategy carefully. It may be the most important ad you run all year. And keep in mind that consulting telephone directories to find products and services has become a way of life for most Americans.