Business Naming and Yellow Pages

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by heygrassman, Jan 5, 2002.

  1. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 509

    All:

    I am attempting to start a new LCO. I am in the process of creating a name for the co.

    I belief that most that are new to landscaping or the area and those looking to price shop are going to use the YP's as well as seek out recommendations. Does anyone see an advantage to being at the top of the list with a name that begins with an A,B,C or do you not find it important?

    Has anyone been able to attribute the % of leads by marketing tactic (advertising, YP, word of mouth, etc)? How about a cost per lead?

    Thank you in advance.

    Jeff
     
  2. Heygrassman
    Let's see if I can educate you and others a little here. You see, I consider myself an expert on this particular subject and I have a dilemna as well. I will start a new thread though so I don't dilute yours.

    The yellow pages generally sorts its ads in a couple of different ways. Size and alphabetically. (translate "size", as "$$$) If you buy a "display ad", make it a big one. They will place the full page ads first, then 1/2, and so on and so on. If you have a dollar bill sized ad, you could not only be pretty far back but you may end up on a page by yourself at the end. I did once. The bigger the ad and the more extra colors, the closer to the front of the heading.

    The "in column" ads are the only ones that are alphabetical. When you buy an "in column" ad, they restrict you to an ad of a certain width. It cannot exceed the width of the "column", hence the name. So, if your business name starts with a Q, you will be far down the list, size won't matter

    The problem is some consumers only look at display ads and some consumers only look in the column, trying to find someone whose phone number 'PREFIX' is the same as theirs or someone who SEEMS local. Because of this who really knows where to put your ad. Here is what I do:

    The first year I had a very small display ad. I ended up towards the end of the book and got very few calls.

    The second year:
    I had an ad that was approx. 1/3 of a page. Because of all the other sprinkler companies in my area I was on the last page, on the back side of the page, again very few calls.

    This year I called my specialist to cancel the ad, the 400 per month wasn't working. He told me to:

    Run an 'in column' ad, make it approx. 2 inches high and use a BOLD RED HEADLINE. My answer was: but my company name starts with an S, I will be at the end again!! His solution was to change my company name, in the book only! We went from "sprinkler solutions", to "A sprinkler solution for you!". The book has been out for 1 month and I have made as much money already as I did last year. This is not even my busy time. The best part was, I am in two books now instead of one and I pay 100 bucks less!!! My advice, if you cannot afford a HUGE ad, do what I did and ask your specialist about it.

    As for your question about leads, yes we track that too. I spent 13k and got 320 leads from one method of advertising that I do. That is.....40 bucks per lead. My yellow pages....about 170 bucks per lead. Ouch! I got 20% of all calls on the yellow pages in December, my slowest traditional month. December was when the new "in column" ad came out. WOW, should be a great summer.

    Hope this helps







    BOLD RED HEADLINES
     
  3. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 509

    Hey... SprinklerGuy..

    Thanks for the input. Your points are all too ironic. My wife and I were discussing the same principles. She is definately a display ad caller. I am a column caller. Story of our lives, but that is a whole 'nother story.

    I was planning the same attack as you. Column ad bigger and bold Zoned for the part of town that I am in and hope I can afford a display ad later.

    Good Luck to you this year!!! Thank you for all the info!!!

    Jeff
     

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