Yellow pages- Bang for the Buck

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Matthew Morgan, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. Matthew Morgan

    Matthew Morgan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    I am considering a yellow pages add. Naturally the bigger and more colorful ad you have the more it costs. I am going to try to break into this new market for next year. Dos the old saying about "You get what you pay for" hold true for this? Will I be better off with a smaller cheap ad., or should I spend more money for a bigger and better add to get more calls?

    Past experience would be helpful.


  2. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    Yellow page advertising works well for certain types of businesses.

    I have a love/hate relationship with the phone company/yellow pages. Hate paying the bill, I don't get my money's worth, but you gotta do it.

    I feel the same way a builder feels about his real estate agent. Hate to see them make so much money for comparitively little effort, but you don't want to be without either.

    As far as size, that depends on budget and goals. Either way, I'd avoid mid-size and go big or tiny.

    For most guys, I advise against it in favor of a more effective marketing vehicles, but if you're in an all-out high growth mode, a large yellow pages ad would be a key component.
  3. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 543

    My yp ad has increased a little every year BUT I don't think I'll get it much bigger. Started with a listing, then a bold listing, next listing in a box. I am not going to give them $1000 a year for pretty pictures etc... The worst part is that there is about 3 or 4 different phone books for our area and every one of them tells you that theirs is the most read blah, blah blah... $4000 a year will buy a lot of newsprint, several graphics for your equip. or even billboards on busy thoroughfairs. The yp's are required to find you, but they don't do much to sell you.
  4. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    $1K/ year, ah I wish I had it like that.

    I pay $400+ per month in phone bills, before I make a single call. And my ads are small .

    One of my competitors, who I share a little info with, spent $10K this year on YP. Shees!
  5. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 543

    So Stone, to ask the question for MM, do you receive enough income related to these ads to justify $5K a year? I'm not being fescetitious, I just want to know if I'm missing something. Is that for 1 phone book?
  6. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Well, truth be told, I just upped to the current level of advertising. And because the book doesn't come out until August, I never really know if it was a wise investment until it's just about time to decide what to run in next year's book. :angry: So far, I've been spending the money, but the calls have been slight. March and April will show me whether it was a good move.

    But I will say that the smaller single ad I had in Patio/Deck builders was very much worthwhile. It was 1 column wide, 2 inches long.

    One year I paid $750 per lead for the $1500 I spent in newspaper advertising, and this seems to be much cheaper than that.

    BTW, $26/mo of that money is going toward an ad in, YP for the internet. Right now it's about 10x slower to look something up there as it is to look it up in the book. I don't plan on continuing that next year.

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 665

    What Kent lawns said is true. If you are a tree trimming business, you will get business from the YP. Period. The bigger, the more you get. Not quite so for maintenance co's. Now, if you have a nice ad that mentions COMMERCIAL, you will probably get calls for bids. They get paid to price shop. But if you are looking for residential business, I feel the YP is worthless. I have a 3 liner simply so my customers can find my number if they lost it.
  8. UrbanEarth

    UrbanEarth LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    My experience with YP is that it is too wide a range for my marketing. I live in a large (geographically) city. I do not want business on the north side as it takes at least 1/2 hour to drive there. I prefer doing repeat marketing to an area that I want to do business in. Less travel time and wealthier clients.
    Repetition in marketing is key. Flyers, lawn signs, vehicle decals are the way to go IMHO. Multiple drops to one area is more effective that a single drop to twice as much area.
    Keep a small add in the YP just in case someone refers you but can't remember your #, or as Matthew said if they lose your number. I found that I got a lot of price checkers, or people just going down the list seeing who will be the first to show up. These are NOT my kind of customers.


    OBRYANMAINT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 555

    i have spent about 1k a year for the last two years and i have gotten contracts because of that ad, but it is still a big pill to swallow.......i think as time goes on i will spend less on the yp ad and only target a specific location that i want to service on my urban earth mentioned sometimes i get call from areas that i dont want to drive to ....thats when i feel like i waste money
  10. Matthew Morgan

    Matthew Morgan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    I bought an ad/listing in the yellow pages.

    Here is what I got.

    1 1/2 inch listing with bold text and color (red). The listing will be put into 4 catagories.

    Also listed in the white pages with bold text.

    Listed on the internet yellow pages.

    this book covers 2 counties with over 80 towns, some are nice cities.

    All for $488 per year. The book is issued in June. I hope it works out! Thanks for all your input and experiences.

    :D Matthew:D

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