Do The Yellow Pages Still Work?

33 replies
The only thing I know about the Yellow Pages is that they're "very expensive". Somebody told me that their least expensive advertisement is about $200 per month. But I guess that depends on how much coverage you get. Has anybody recently tried advertising in the Yellow Pages? If so, what was your experience? Was it worth the money?
#pages #work #yellow
  • Profile picture of the author somacorellc
    Totally not worth it. Every single business owner I've ever talked to has regretted putting their money into the book.

    1. Expensive
    2. Locked into a year long contract since it's printed
    3. No leads from it
    4. Leads they do get are tire kickers

    In a year's time at $200/month you could have build up a 52-post blog that ranks awesome for both main and longtail keywords, plus have directory submissions, social networks, and backlinks all building your page rank and domain authority.

    Instead all you get is a static, non-changing print ad.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Yellowpages, yellowbook... all that crap DOES still work. How long will it work? Who knows.

    I know that I currently am at war with yellowbook, and their clients are flocking to me. If you're talking about advertising your own consulting business... probably wouldn't recommend it in your case.
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  • Profile picture of the author JerrickYeoh
    $200 per month. I believe it too expensive for that .
    Even online yellow pages, i wonder how many visitors per day . Even SERP nowadays might not able to find yellow pages online search result on the 1st 5 pages.

    I would rather spend the $200 to advertise on banner ads which might more effective than yellow pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nail Yener
    Whenever I do local niche research for US cities, I always see yellowpages and such bigger directory sites on the first page of Google. The same for some local directories in where I live. It is obvious that they are bringing customers to some of their listed businesses but probably not to all of them, which is quite normal. If you are listed in a directory with 1000 other businesses in the same category, it will be very difficult for you to get noticed unless you get a premium listing.

    In my opinion, directory sites will still be around for a long time and businesses will continue paying to get listed or featured. Because when I need to find a local business, I tend to go to directories first to get more options.
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    • Profile picture of the author goindeep
      I used to work for them via an outsource.

      I would sell and create online ads for them.

      Most pathetic company I have ever worked for.

      Only interested in on thing and one thing only. Taking customers money.

      I once spoke to a manufacturer of plastic products and he told me he paid almost 100K for a full page color ad for 12 months and he got only a handful of calls. My firth thought was that he was stupid, my second thought was that even if he is stupid the sales people are clearly evil.

      Their online ads used to run on a first in best dressed method. So if you get in and buy an ad after 20 of your competitors for a specific area then you are going to show up in position 20.

      I do know that in Australia were I am from they are now offering fully fledged online services such as web design, seo, ppc, social etc. However I don't know the prices they charge. Would be good to find out.
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    • Profile picture of the author somacorellc
      Originally Posted by Nail Yener View Post

      Whenever I do local niche research for US cities, I always see yellowpages and such bigger directory sites on the first page of Google.
      This is actually a good indicator of how easy it will be to grab a first page ranking for your client. With a few exceptions like bbb.org or a high auth local directory site, the more yellowpages/etc on the front page the easier it will be.
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      • Profile picture of the author nyk24
        They do wonders for wonky table legs lol....sorry could not resist cracking a corny joke lol.

        Funny I remember as a kid going to the opening of a new shopping centre which was opened at the time by the strongest man in the world...Jeff Capes. He then proceeded to rip the yellow pages book in half with his bare hands lol.

        Here in the uk the yellow pages is alot thinner and shorter than it used to be an indication of google's dominance perhaps?

        It's used mainly by older folks not wise to the internet yet so its a life saver for them when people like plumbers are needed.

        However I will never understand why a lot of small traders I have cold called spend a fortune on yell.com for advertising it's almost as useless as a website that's on page 20 of google. Unfortunately these small traders get sucked in by the brand name and don't realise they are being screwed.

        Now I say to those small traders how many people view your yell.com listing a month if they know I say now look how many would view your site if you were top of google.
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  • Profile picture of the author infinityplr
    I don't think it still works. Why do you need a yellow pages directory when you can find what you are looking for using Google and other search engines. Every who said it is just a waste of money and time putting your ads Up there is right.

    Instead of putting your ads there try focusing all your advertising efforts into improving your websites and its contents. That way you can earn more traffic than relying your online visibility from yellow pages. Plus you are not only one who can have your ads up there. You are side to side with your competitors and if your ads is not looking great you will lose again.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Martin
    Directory sites are for sure the future. If I were you I'd take that $200 a month and invest it into online advertising. Friends of mine have put ads in the yellow pages and they regret it to this day.

    Best of luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author prismkuet
    Yellow pages lost its appeal quite a long days ago, I believe. As much as Google spreading it's popularity, yellow pages are going down. people are not interested to carry a big book with them and also businesses are losing interest to give ad on that. However, what Nail Yener told is a good point for using yellow pages, still in current world.
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  • Profile picture of the author kvnkane
    never used them personally. i do know when i cold call that allot of businesses are using them and many of the people i have spoken to have wished they never went with them due to high costs and low leads.
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  • Profile picture of the author RexMapes
    The big selling point for yellow pages was that every household that had a phone had a phone book. Inside that phone book was white and yellow pages. Your ad was always available when the homeowner needed something. It was the first place they looked.

    Today only about half of the homes have a landline phone. Many only use their cell phone. They never receive a phone book. No phone book...no yellow pages. Even the Yellow Pages only books that are given out are sadly lacking in usefulness and are usually thrown away.

    The first place 80% of people look for local businesses is online. If a local business doesn't have a website all of the yellow pages in the world aren't going to get them customers. Even peope that use the yellow pages many times are looking for the web address of the business and NOT the phone number.

    Yellow pages aren't dead...but the business that relies on them soon will be.
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    • Profile picture of the author mojo1
      Originally Posted by RexMapes View Post

      The big selling point for yellow pages was that every household that had a phone had a phone book. Inside that phone book was white and yellow pages. Your ad was always available when the homeowner needed something. It was the first place they looked.

      Today only about half of the homes have a landline phone. Many only use their cell phone. They never receive a phone book. No phone book...no yellow pages. Even the Yellow Pages only books that are given out are sadly lacking in usefulness and are usually thrown away.

      The first place 80% of people look for local businesses is online. If a local business doesn't have a website all of the yellow pages in the world aren't going to get them customers. Even peope that use the yellow pages many times are looking for the web address of the business and NOT the phone number.

      Yellow pages aren't dead...but the business that relies on them soon will be.
      This post is truly the makings of a nice direct mail piece stats and all
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    • Profile picture of the author mojo1
      Originally Posted by RexMapes View Post

      Today only about half of the homes have a landline phone. Many only use their cell phone. They never receive a phone book. No phone book...no yellow pages.
      In my area, yp.com commercials are in heavy rotation on the radio daily. Informing listeners that they can look up their local this or their local that all on their mobile phones.

      If nothing else, the businesses currently advertising in the Yellow pages could be approached for mobile websites considering YP.com has done all of the pre-selling for us.

      I'm sure the sites built by YP or any of their directory competitors are probably not mobile ready or responsive themes either.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rebecca3
        good to see some comment about yellow page, we all know that yellow page is also online, not just black & white paper books. and when doing local searches, yp and other large directory listing websites on top of the 1st page of google, is this good or bad for our IMers? is it possible to beat the these large listing sites and put clients website on top?
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    • Profile picture of the author Robert Domino
      Originally Posted by RexMapes View Post

      The first place 80% of people look for local businesses is online.
      Gotta love BS made up statistics.

      Classic case of online-oriented people (WF) tunneling on what we know.

      There's actually boat loads of people who still use the Yellow Pages and never look up stuff online.

      With that said, the prices are too expensive (not worth it) for most.

      This post is truly the makings of a nice direct mail piece stats and all
      If his stats weren't junk.
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  • I know every time the yellow pages comes to my doorstep, I toss it. I have since lost the statistics but from what I remember the yellowpages are a waste of time and money.
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  • Profile picture of the author zuhaib1111
    Can you please tell me usa cell phone directory sites I want to start cold calling today
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  • Profile picture of the author rob19028
    Yellow Pages still work, especially if your target coustomer is over 50. They are expensive about 1500 per month for a dollar bill size ad....but thet gaurentees 160 calls per month. (this is for a contruction business-the rates and call volume change business to business) call a rep and they will come out and tell you everything exact for your area.

    I do think most people under 50 throw the yellow pages away when they get them. But many homeowners are over 50 and have expendable income so it works great for contractors.

    Lots of the calls are just trying to "kick the tires" but a salesman sells...no excuses...if you can not sell rent someone who can...I mean hire them

    But yellow pages is a declining medium for sure. But it works for many people or the book would not be so thick....FYI...that lawyer on the back cover pays 20K per month
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  • Profile picture of the author JaceBarnett
    They STILL work and probably ALWAYS will as a source of business to business leads. I don't use mine to find out who I should buy from, but I sure use mine as a list of people I should probably sell to.
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    • Profile picture of the author Blase
      I was reading the subject line for this thread
      and had to chuckel.

      "Do Yellow Pages Still Work?"

      My first thought was don't ask the people that
      use them because I've met very few that know.

      I had a client that was spending $55,000 a year
      on yellow page ads and had no idea how many leads
      they got from the yellow pages.

      Just FYI, I think it would be fair to say that asking
      that question to the people on this forum is going
      to get you a very biased answer. I think it's fair to
      say that the members here use the Internet a lot.

      My wife is 60 years old, she was looking for a place
      to buy paper for wedding invitations locally, she had
      the yellow pages out. Here's the really weird part,
      she owns a pc, a laptop, and a Kindle Fire. Go figure!
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  • Profile picture of the author andrekhrisna
    Of course they're still working and will keep working.
    Use it wisely and you'll get benefit from them, say it's for exposure too.
    If you do offline business then it will help you a lot.

    Success for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author rob19028
    They STILL work and probably ALWAYS will as a source of business to business leads. I don't use mine to find out who I should buy from, but I sure use mine as a list of people I should probably sell to.
    Nice Jace...I like it!
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Ewen I love seeing that ad everytime you post it. It is such a clear example of what we can do for businesses when we stop trying to sell them something and start helping them sell something.

    To those who have an eye for marketing it seems simple. But to the average business owner it can truly change their business and their life for the better.

    Using your example that company made over $150k (took out some to cover what they paid you and the bigger ad size in the yellow pages) with a simple ad change.

    This was just one ad. Just think what could (and likely did in this case) happen when a professional takes charge of all their other marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Thanks Aaron.

      The medium isn't always to blame.

      It's the guy/gal running the ad who is.

      Once you see hard numbers from tracking split tests,
      then it can be a very bitter pill for the advertiser to swallow that their ad actually is crap.

      And as human nature goes, they'd rather lose money than admit fault.

      Best,
      Ewen

      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      Ewen I love seeing that ad everytime you post it. It is such a clear example of what we can do for businesses when we stop trying to sell them something and start helping them sell something.

      To those who have an eye for marketing it seems simple. But to the average business owner it can truly change their business and their life for the better.

      Using your example that company made over $150k (took out some to cover what they paid you and the bigger ad size in the yellow pages) with a simple ad change.

      This was just one ad. Just think what could (and likely did in this case) happen when a professional takes charge of all their other marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author footballfreak
    How often do you use the Yellow Pages? I sure not $200's worth.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      The OP's question about Yellow Pages has a big flaw. He doesn't mention the business niche.

      Is the print Yellow Pages useful for Bail Bondsmen? Almost always. Taxi services? Pizza parlors? Emergency services? Plumbers? The Yellow Pages can really be made to work.

      If your business is something someone calls for immediate service, or your business caters to older people, the Yellow Pages tends to work better.

      But there is a huge difference between a bland "looks like every other ad" YP ads and an ad written by a trained copywriter like Ewenmack or Bob Ross.

      Just asking "Does Yellow Pages work?" is like asking "Does food taste good?"
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


        Just asking "Does Yellow Pages work?" is like asking "Does food taste good?"
        Love that line Claude because it gets to the point in a fun way.

        Best,
        Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author jayspann
    I agree... it depends on the message to market match. About a year after I started Quick Spark we struck a deal (barter) with the local YP rep.

    We got a 1/3 page ad that was quoted to cost $700 per month.

    I swiped an idea from Joe Polish and did one of those "Warring dont do this until you call the FREE recorded message any time day or night..."

    We got around 2-3 calls a day to the recorded message. So I would say that it worked pretty well. I didn't track it conversions as close as I should have but when the "free" ad ran its course we continued paying for it.

    Nice thing about using a free recorded message is that you can change it to anything you want. But you better test and pick a great headline for the ad because your stuck with it for a year!
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  • Profile picture of the author karlmay1980
    Targeted traffic is easily available online and you can set a budget to suit your needs, with good planning and specific targeting by knowing who your potential customers are will bring you everything you need and pay for itself many times over!

    Forget the old techniques they dont bring the value you can get elsewhere.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by karlmay1980 View Post

      Targeted traffic is easily available online and you can set a budget to suit your needs, with good planning and specific targeting by knowing who your potential customers are will bring you everything you need and pay for itself many times over!

      Forget the old techniques they dont bring the value you can get elsewhere.
      Making blanket statements makes you look like a fool
      when certain products sold aren't searched for online,
      or the numbers don't stack up to warrant it.

      For example in my business supplying paper receipts
      to retailers, numbers searching for it are so low, it isn't worth it.

      Cold calling yields the best results.

      And would you tell a plumber who can trace $183,00 in revenue to the Yellow Pages drop it?

      If you are, then you should be had up for reckless mal practice!

      Best,
      Ewen
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