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Not too long ago, my friend had moved to a new apartment in Washington, D.C. and we took over a few bottles of wine to celebrate. Unfortunately, his wine bottle opener was nowhere to be found—a moving casualty, I suppose. Not ready to give up, I did a few Google searches to find out how to open a wine bottle without an opener. One of the methods involved using a phone book.
Since the birth of the ‘Net, I’m pretty sure that’s the only time I actually sought out the Yellow Pages to solve one of my problems.
My guess is, that’s probably true of most of your customers (the Yellow Pages part, not the part about the wine).
Phone Not Ringing Like It Used To?
If you’re reading this blog post, my guess is, your Yellow Pages’ contract is up for renewal and you’re wondering whether your YP advertising is still worth it.
At Blue Corona, we don’t like to wonder anything—we like to take a data driven approach to our marketing as well as our clients’ marketing. So if you think your YP ads no longer make your phone ring like they used to and you’re seriously debating your Yellow Page ROI, we can help.
Should You Renew Your Yellow Page Ads?
It’s hard to know which of your marketing strategies offer the best ROI if you don’t track them—and very few business owners do it correctly. By implementing tracked phone numbers in each of your current YP advertisements, you’ll be able to see how many calls come from the YP advertisements each month. And through call recording and tagging, you can find out how many of those calls are leads.
By comparing your monthly spend on the Yellow Pages with the amount of revenue those ads are bringing in each month, you can make a confident decision on what actually works for your business. If you discover that you are spending more on the Yellow Page print ads than the print ads are producing in revenue for your company, it’s time to move in a different direction and spend your marketing money elsewhere.
Important word of caution: don’t take out tracked lines with the Yellow Pages, even if they are free. If you cancel the ad, they will cancel your number. This is problematic if people use an old version of the Yellow Pages and try to call one of your cancelled numbers. In addition, the Yellow Pages won’t tag your calls for you, so you won’t be able to determine which calls are actual, high quality leads.
Our Yellow Page Ad Tracking in Action
Back in 2008 (think how much YP use has likely continued to decrease since then), DrinkMore Water used Blue Corona’s ad tracking platform to justify eliminating a majority of its Yellow Page advertising spend. In two short years, this allowed the company to eliminate over $175,000 in ineffective YP ad spend.
Read more in our case study, “Is Yellow Page Advertising Still Effective?”.
Moving Your Yellow Page Advertising Spend to the Web
If (and most likely when) you realize the Yellow Pages no longer offer a reasonable ROI for your company, where should you put your marketing dollars? You most likely already know the answer to this question, but I’ll say it anyway because I like the sound of my own voice, or rather, the look of my own text:
Unless your target market is the Pennsylvania Dutch, your customers are using the Web to find your products and services. The ROI from the Web often exceeds traditional ads by more than 20 to 1! More and more business owners are discovering that they need to invest money into the Web in order to grow their businesses.
If you’re new to the online marketing game, I recommend checking out my coworker Erin “Young Stunner” Clark’s blog post on how to transition from Yellow Page advertising to the Web.
Need a Web Marketing Partner?
For those who might not be so experienced with all things marketing (even after reading Erin’s post), you’ve probably heard your buddies mention that you need an SEO company to improve your online visibility and get more leads from the Web. I’m going to contradict this.
There are scores of SEO companies that will promise you rankings and results, but what you really need is a Web marketing partner. It takes more than SEO to market your business online.
When most companies sign up for search engine optimization, it’s because they want to outrank their competitors in search engine results. Unfortunately, SEO companies (and everyone else for that matter) don’t know exactly how the search engines work—meaning it’s difficult to guarantee results for companies looking to improve their search engine rankings. Not to mention there are many SEO scammers out there who give the legit SEO nerds a bad name.
At Blue Corona, we think of SEO as part of a larger Web marketing strategy. When it comes down to it, it’s not enough to just outrank your competitors. After all, even if you rank first in search engine results for your target keyword—and even if you win the click—you still need to convert that visitor into a lead and a sale.
Let us help with your overall Web marketing strategy. Contact us yesterday—you’re late to the game!
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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