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David Gretzmier
07-11-2007, 02:46 AM
I just met with my "real" yellow page rep today, and I am putting a column ad under landscape lighting, and a listing under lighting consultants, along with my existing color column ad under Christmas lights. I also added a banner corner every 8 pages in the white pages under the index words at the top corner of the right page, or about 32 ads in 241 pages of white pages.

I'll also be in the "mini" book, the small phone book some folks carry in their car or keep elsewhere.

along with my ad in the top 5 internet phone search sites ( anywho.com, yellow pages.com, yahoo yellow pages, google pages, and one other I forgot)

this is costing me about 220 per month, or a bump of 130 over what I was paying for this particular book ( we have 3 in this area)

this will cover the entire 4 city area that I service for about 350-400,000 people. 250,000 full size books distributed, 95,000 small books by cell phone carriers.

good deal?

more importantly, Do you guys get good leads from yellow pages? they have been gold to Christmas light biz. let me know !

dave g

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-11-2007, 02:56 AM
Every market is different as is every business model. I avoid the yellow pages like the plague. In the past I tried only to get lots of price shoppers and tire kickers. I prefer the refferral business. Now I just keep the basic min. free listing in the book.

Bring on the refferrals!

Mike M
07-11-2007, 07:37 AM
Dave,

I think you are on the money with the phone book exposure. The lighting guys that are established and on the way, they can count on referrals, unless the market is slowing or they are positioning for growth.

I'm wondering the same as you, what are the effective approaches for a lighting business, as you posted in "best marketing dollars ever spent." I noticed one thing. Most successful lighting guys (even the ones who say they are all referrals) have spent some good time and money on their websites and a good camera.

In addition to paid advertising, don't forget networking. I'm new in my town, I can't afford to join a golf club, so I joined the chamber and plan to volunteer on a committee (the annual business expo).

Chris J
07-11-2007, 09:55 AM
Giving an estimate off of a phone book call simply means you are one of many other bids. If they saw your name in the book, they saw everybody else's as well. In my experience, these leads tend to not be of great value. I agree that it is important to be listed in case a neighbor drops your name but doesn't have your number handy, but I don't spend a bunch of money on the bigger ads. Besides that, I think there are about 6 different varieties of phone books around here these days. Who knows which one is the right one? And who wants to spend that much to advertise in all of them?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-11-2007, 01:32 PM
Hi Mike... Its true, I have spent a lot of time and energy on marketing. More so in the early years. But the key here is that I spend time and energy, not a lot of money. I quickly learned that small B&W and even medium format colour ads in papers and most magazines are not effective. The Phone Directories are also not a great use of resources for reasons already mentioned.

The best promotion was to do newsworthy things (promote dark skies issues, provide free systems to charities, consult municipalities and media outlets, develop and deliver free education seminars to the public) and then push really hard to actually get the media to pay attention. The best advertising is free copy in a news piece. If you are new in the biz, then you probably have enough time to pursue this direction.

As your name gets out there more and more (I received 10 straight weeks of positive press one year after forcing the new local Wal-Mart to convert their lighting system to a Dark Sky Friendly System) People will begin to remember you. Refferals don't just come from satisfied clients, they also happen between neighbours who have information to share.

Also... you want to network your butt off. Chambers, Service Clubs, Community Volunteerism, Free system installs on civic and charity properties are all really good ways to get noticed. Just don't be shy! Talk to everyone you meet about your business and why it is different and better. Then deliver!


As for expensive social / golf clubs.... try a contra deal. Offer them a lighting system in return for a membership.

Its a bit old now, but for those of you with an interest in marketing your own businesses effectively I highly recommend you read the book: Purple Cow by Seth Godin. It will change the way you think about marketing.

Chris J
07-11-2007, 11:13 PM
Agree, agree, agree! Thanks for the book reference James; I always appreciate a good read. Going to amazon right now to find it.