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The Phone Book is Still a Most Valuable Source For Business Promotion

Jul 14, 2008
It used to be for a business or organization or business that was in the food services, hospitality, and restaurant or service industry the phone book "Yellow Pages "were the main sources of business promotion. Being in "the book" gave your business or service "instant credibility "and visibility. Indeed businesses would a limited amount of those bibles for customer service and would treasure them like gold until next years new version came out. Even then the older copies were treasured as well. True in the new millennia and 2008 in particular we have a host of other customer access and promotion routes - chief among them the internet. Many businesses often minimize or even forget about this avenue of obtaining customers and business and instead focus on the newer and sexier forms of reaching customers. Still the old standby - the phone book should not be forgotten in any way.

First of all the phone book has years of reputation. People trust it as a source.

A computer and internet may not always be handy. Not all people know how to search for what they need or want on the internet. Even if they find it they may not recognize the value of the information. On top of that your own listing may be pages and pages back in goggle or yahoo so that your customers or potential customers never will find you whereas in the phone book not only is the source trusted, but many can find you quickly.

On top of that if you pay promotional fees you can be headlined and even more visible in the listing for your particular area or category.

What can you do to make your listing stand out in the phone book and give it more visibility and thus direct a greater volume of business to your site? After all commercial advertising is not only expensive, takes time and effort for you to set up properly and on top of that, of course, is there for your purposes. It can be said that making your ad stand out is the "name of the game".

First of all try to design your ad yourself. You should know your business, its buzzwords and your customer's hot buttons best. The advertising representative from the phone company may be knowledgeable - however you known your industry and customers best. In most cases his job is to sell you the greatest amount of ad dollar volume and upgrades.

Second do not make your company name your headline. Your customers are seeking solutions - not your company name. If they know your company name and services already - then they can easily find you in the white pages. You want to direct your services as a solution to those who need it. Rememember No one wants to buy light bulbs but everyone wants the light they produce. Potential customers, and sources of profit for your enterprise, are looking for a solution too their problem or problems. Consequently your headline should reflect the solutions that your establishment can and does offer - for example - free delivery, gourmet taste, location, high quality, level of service. Whatever it is that differentiates your establishment from others in your business or even your competitors, should be in your headline. Indeed it is estimated that up to 80 % of the success of most ads and specifically ads or listings in the phone book are due to the choice of title - whether it is the words in the title , or even words , placement , arrangement or proximity of words in the title of your ad or listing.

You might think that since you are paying by space and words that it is a good idea to fill up every last point of space in your listing. After all - the more hooks the more likely it is that a customer will be attracted to your ad and act on it. Not so. People and prospective customers are often drawn to large type surrounded by empty space more than a fully listed and full ad copy. In same way although color may be impressive in nature , promotional follow up research has shown that simple black and white ads often stand out , in stark simplicity , to the bright ( and expensive ) color ad listings. Its better not to be one of the crowds - to be one of the "few: - that way you stand a better chance of being noticed.

It seems that most people and customers biggest fear is that of making the wrong decision. Provide all the proof sources in your ad that you can possibly can - using as many different senses as you possibly can. Take away the customer's risk by providing as much proof as you possibly can - for example years in business, awards won, how long a length of time you have been at that location, how much staff, industry or local awards.

Use photos rather than diagrams, or graphics. Often people do not believe graphics. However if you can spring for actual professional photos of your product, service or location - that is 100 % the best investment that you can possibly make.

On top of that nothing happens without the sale - or the call to action so to say.

Entice your customer to take action - that is to take the next step by giving more specific information to act on. This can be your phone number, name, web page, fax number or address. Research has found that when placed in a logo at the bottom of the page - on the right hand side - that contact placed in that logo can be best followed up. This is where your company logo should be - not on the top left of the page. In addition print the symbols for the credit cards or debit cards that you accept close in proximity to the contact information.

Along with your ad - you can add in additional discounts or deals on product that you are offering. It's always best to be current and verify that the information is both current and as well has a date that the promotion or coupon ends. It's amazing how long phone books can often stay in circulation. Without an expiry date a customer, or group of customers can request or demand the promotion. You could of course go to the trouble of ending the promotion but it takes time, effort and leaves a bad impact on your company or corporate image.

Advertising in the phone book - whether it be the "Yellow Pages", the white pages or in a special or separate section of the phone books may seem a simple, mundane and outmoded form of advertising. Still there is no doubt of its effectiveness and reach. There may be more exotic, more up to date electronic forms of advertising and promotion which may be even more target marketed and directed than the old fashioned phone books. Yet the phone book is tried, true and trusted. It is known to work and will as well give your business or organization "instant credibility". Why not use this tool to its best and full effect?
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