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General Landscaping
05-18-2006, 09:51 PM
I'm going to give the Yellow pages a shot.

I'll have 2 full color spots that are a little shorter and wider than a business card.
(1) in landscaping contractor
(1) in lawn maintenance
(1) text only (in my own heading) under landscape curbing.

What are some things to keep in mind when putting together the content for these spots?
It's not a whole lot of room but it will stand out some since most others trade no color or 1 color for a little larger spot or just go with a bold listing.

What kind of things make people start dialing when they get to an ad?


I'm thinking that a lot of stuff that pertains to flyers won't apply here because with a flyer, you have to give them a reason to call. With a YP ad, they already have a reason to call, you just have to make sure your'e one of the ones that gets called.

I'd like to weed out the lowball callers.... so I'm not burning any space on "affordability"

fulano
05-18-2006, 10:10 PM
Make sure your advertisement is the same size as the people you are competing with. i.e. if everyone else is in column go in column. If the other guys use a business card size go with that, etc.

cochino12
05-19-2006, 09:24 AM
I used to sell YP advertising and it all boils down to getting your ad noticed. Think of your ad as a resume for your company, highlight your companies profit centers. Make sure you have a "call to action" in your ad like "call us first", "call today" etc. (it sounds dumb but it works). To minimize price shoppers create an ad that appeals to the eye of your target audience not to price.

A very important thing about yellow pages is that it's only designed to get your phone to ring, which means you MUST answer the phone! Your competitors are listed there too, if you dont answer the phone your potential customer calls the next name on the list.

YP shoppers only look at less than 4 ads before making a call, and make a buying decision in 1-3 calls.

sorry a little long winded, good luck

Adam

General Landscaping
05-19-2006, 12:20 PM
cochino: That's the kind of stuff I'm looking for, thanks

fulano: What is the reasoning behind using the same format & size as everyone else?


FWIW.... My company starts with "B"

ENDURO
05-19-2006, 01:46 PM
I posted an add this year and there are a number of things I would advise. #1 Get a 1-800 toll free number 1st. Tell the phone company its just for personal use as they are cheap and the beauty is, it is always forwarded to a number of your choice. The true business 1-800 ones can be more expensive, but you don't need one as you would only be receiving at most a few calls a day. This gives you the power to change where this number rings. You may move, get a new cell phone, buy a 2nd phone line, sell your business, hire a phone answering service, etc. This is crucial b/c once the add runs, you can't change that #, ever. Some people keep phone books for years. #2Don't put things in the add that you are not positive you want to do. I put powerwashing in mine and then decided I hated it. Now I get calls all the time for powerwashing. Make your add look professional even if you have to pay extra to have someone design it. There is no sense paying for an add that doesn't work.

Fantasy Lawns
05-19-2006, 01:59 PM
I would use only 1 ad & used the saved $$ to make the 1 ad Bigger .....

If possible look at the last few years of YP (library) look at what others have used n look at it from the perspective if you are the shopper ..... which would you have called

Also how much is that in your area ..... over this way that's $2400 fore the year .... per ad

fulano
05-19-2006, 03:12 PM
If everyone else in column and you have a small display ad the consumer may miss your expensive ad. You could have went in column with a bold or colored or 3 line ad or something for a lot cheaper.
If there are a few 1/4 page ads and you are big enough to support the ad then go 1/4 page. It can't hurt if you can afford it.

Freddy_Kruger
05-21-2006, 04:58 PM
Make sure your advertisement is the same size as the people you are competing with. i.e. if everyone else is in column go in column. If the other guys use a business card size go with that, etc.
What is the logic there?

OH yeah never advertise that you are listed in the yellow pages because if a perspective customer looks, they also see your competition.

JohnsonLawn
05-22-2006, 09:19 PM
Just my 2 cents, but I would save your money and just put in a one line ad with your business name. Put ads in newspapers and community publication that target the area your trying to sell to. Get a good website up and running and put your web address on business cards and your trucks. I have used alot of different advestising method in the past and feel that the $244.00 per month I spend for a 1/4 page ad in the YP is a waste of money. I feel fewer and fewer are reaching for the YP these days, unless they are looking to boost their child up to the dinner table. Good luck

fulano
05-22-2006, 10:44 PM
What is the logic there?



There is no reason to go bigger and waste more money if everyone is the same size. If your ad is the same size the person calling will probably call both ads. Especially if both ads are on the same page.

Freddy_Kruger
05-22-2006, 11:01 PM
I suppose... I havent' thought too much about yellow pages but I've never heard it said be like your competition. But you are very right in that you don't neccessarily need the biggest ad, I have heard that a medium size is very cost effective.

One year I had a business card size ad, just black and it more than paid for itself, the next year I went with a quarter page and I got the same amount of calls but it cost $500 a month instead of $85, lol. I actually lost my phone number once winter hit and my business partner left. I couldn't afford it. Now I don't use yellow pages.

Josh.S
10-11-2006, 10:25 AM
I suppose... I havent' thought too much about yellow pages but I've never heard it said be like your competition. But you are very right in that you don't neccessarily need the biggest ad, I have heard that a medium size is very cost effective.

One year I had a business card size ad, just black and it more than paid for itself, the next year I went with a quarter page and I got the same amount of calls but it cost $500 a month instead of $85, lol. I actually lost my phone number once winter hit and my business partner left. I couldn't afford it. Now I don't use yellow pages.

How many accounts did you gain per month in the summer months? or how many accounts did you gain per summer?

Runner
10-11-2006, 01:43 PM
Pay your money, run your ad, and be prepared to field a bunch of worthless calls from tirekickers asking things like. "How much do you charge to mow a lawn?" When you ask how big or explain it is done by area, they will say "Uh,...it is average sized, I guess."
When you say you'll come out to look at it, and ask where they are, it will be SOMEwhere with a 75 mile radius.
Bottomline is this...for operations like maintenance, since it is done on a clientele basis, yellow pages advertising isn't even worth it. Now, if you were doing some sort of one time services, like installations, irrigation, or something like that, that will require new calls constantly coming in, then ok. The fact of the matter is,...you can fill your plate with a relatively tight route in the spring if you want to. There are far better methods of advertising than this.

ACutAbovesiny
10-11-2006, 02:03 PM
I disagree fulano. I want my ad to stand out from the rest. If my ad is the same size then I want more color. If my ad is smaller then I want it in more than one location.

MarkintheGarden
10-12-2006, 11:00 AM
I disagree fulano. I want my ad to stand out from the rest. If my ad is the same size then I want more color. If my ad is smaller then I want it in more than one location.


When I go to the yps and I see like fifty adds, I first narrow it down by location sometimes that has already been done, next I eliminate the biggest and smallest adds and focus on the most appealing adds. The biggest adds are eliminated because in my disfunctional mind they signal big company, high price.

Simple is the key to good advertisement, imho!

tinman
10-28-2006, 05:44 PM
Just my 2 cents, but I would save your money and just put in a one line ad with your business name. Put ads in newspapers and community publication that target the area your trying to sell to. Get a good website up and running and put your web address on business cards and your trucks. I have used alot of different advestising method in the past and feel that the $244.00 per month I spend for a 1/4 page ad in the YP is a waste of money. I feel fewer and fewer are reaching for the YP these days, unless they are looking to boost their child up to the dinner table. Good luck

YP are out of date I think also. I stopped both mine this year. They got me calls but I made money off the calls . But cost of the ads compared to work I got was too much. I want ads that really perform, not ones that do just enough to get you to sign up again. All ads work to some degree, we need to find what returns the most money. Nothing wrong with having your name listed in the YP in case someone knows about you but needs a number.

Good thing about newspaper ads is you don't have to sign up for the entire year. You can do 1 week or 25 weeks. With the YP you have to pay in January even tho your phone did not ring once from that ad. I ran one in a different county and got ZERO calls from it ($50 per month). That hurts. Be careful where you spend your ad $$$$$$$$. Good luck!

tinman
10-28-2006, 05:46 PM
Pay your money, run your ad, and be prepared to field a bunch of worthless calls from tirekickers asking things like. "How much do you charge to mow a lawn?" When you ask how big or explain it is done by area, they will say "Uh,...it is average sized, I guess."
When you say you'll come out to look at it, and ask where they are, it will be SOMEwhere with a 75 mile radius.
Bottomline is this...for operations like maintenance, since it is done on a clientele basis, yellow pages advertising isn't even worth it. Now, if you were doing some sort of one time services, like installations, irrigation, or something like that, that will require new calls constantly coming in, then ok. The fact of the matter is,...you can fill your plate with a relatively tight route in the spring if you want to. There are far better methods of advertising than this.

Also, "do you charge by the hour or by the job, I'm just calling around, what is the avg price, etc."