There are a ton of online business directories flooded throughout the web and offline business directories are being ignored more each day. The question is if you as a small business owner should invest any of your advertising budget into an offline directory in order to acquire more customers. The Yellow Pages is perhaps the most well known business directory and some people still use the traditional phonebook The phonebook manages to survive because of advertisements placed inside but it is no where near as effective as it once was. The ads the phonebooks include are small boxes that contain the company name, logo, slogan, and contact information. Even the smallest of businesses can usually afford a small ad and many invest in a larger half-page or whole-page ad. The ad immediately sets your business apart from the others on the same page and can be beneficial for local and/or community focused customers.
The phonebook is a simple marketing technique. The directory lists every business in a specific area in alphabetical order and ordered based on business type. For example, all of the restaurants are grouped together under the “R” section, while bookstores are grouped together under the “B” section. When someone flips through the pages to find a specific type of business, their eye immediately sees your ad on the page, which might result in more customers. The phonebook often offers package deals, where you get an ad in the phonebook and an ad on the website, which gives you web marketing for a low price.
Open the back of the Yellow Pages and you will find a list of coupons from different businesses. The businesses pay a fee and have their coupons and discounts placed in every phonebook passed out in the community. You do not need to place a large coupon in the phonebook, but even a 5 or 10 percent discount might appeal to more customers. If you sell products, consider using an ad that gives a set amount of money off a purchase, such as $10 off a purchase of $100 or more in your store.
Advertising in the phonebook is a great choice for small businesses because you typically do not cover a wide area, but have a smaller focus in the community. The Yellow Pages go out to everyone living in the community. Other businesses receive their own copy of the book, as do those that live in houses, gated communities, and apartments. Everyone in your community has a copy, which means that you reach customers that you might not otherwise reach. The ads and coupons listed in the phonebook are a little expensive, but well worth it when you own and run your own small business.
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