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3 Things Every Yellow Pages Advertiser Must Know

Most business owners know that Yellow Pages advertising has an incredible amount of potential... but they don’t know how to take full advantage of it.

Fortunately, it's a mystery that's solved pretty easily once an advertiser knows where to turn for advice. There are fundamental truths about Yellow Pages advertising that so many businesses fail to recognize… but once they do, they find themselves "on top of" a medium with an incredible amount of business generating power.

It's a medium, that handled correctly, will generate new business month after month like clockwork.

That said... let's try to understand it a bit better, shall we?

1. Common Yellow Pages advertising mistakes are simple to fix.

Very simple.

You don't have to be a graphic designer or marketing expert to drastically improve your ad either - you just need to know your customers.

You see, most Yellow Page ads make the very same mistakes... year after year... directory after directory... category after category.

Some of the ads I see from professional design firms are riddled with the same mistakes too... the ad only looks nicer.

That won't cut it in the Yellow Pages.

While a professionally designed ad can certainly help grab attention, there is no substitute for ad content (read: words) if your goal is to generate a phone call. When it comes to Yellow Pages advertising, that's all that really matters. (The Yellow Pages should have nothing to do with building your “image”.)

By learning what makes a good headline, good body copy, and how to develop a strong offer, your Yellow Pages ad will run circles around an ad that just "looks great," but makes the same mistakes most others are making.

An example? Using your name and logo as the headline. It's disastrous and yet more advertisers do it than not. No one cares what you call yourself until they've decided to pick up the phone and actually call you.

Think about it…

Someone turns to the Yellow Pages because they don’t have an optometrist in mind. They don’t know who to call. Rather, they’re looking to see what options are available, and what one company offers over another.

Your company name will never be a factor.

So if your name and logo is at the top of your ad... it it's big and bold and takes up space... if it takes the place of an attention grabbing, hard-hitting headline... you're wasting your ad’s most valuable “real estate.”

Of course, like most common mistakes, it's a pretty easy to fix.

You just need to know what makes a good headline. A good headline is something that’s impossible to miss, and engaging enough to draw the reader into the rest of the ad.

Continuing with the optometrist example, look in your local Yellow Pages to see what headlines (if any) your competitors have chosen and imagine having one of the following at the top of your ad.

•3 Things You Need to Know Before You Call An Optometrist!

That’s attention grabbing, compelling, and nearly impossible to NOT read further.

•“I Was So Surprised by How Gentle and

The Care Is At Optimal Optics. Everything is Explained
So I Feel 100% Comfortable With My Care.”

An honest testimonial from a satisfied client is FAR more credible than your ad saying “We’re Gentle” or anything of the sort. And again, your readers will be compelled to read more.

2. Most Yellow Page ads are developed by the directory publisher.

That's right - the directory itself develops most of the ads you see. What happens if they design your ad and 4 of your competitors' ads? Can you expect your Yellow Page ad to receive more time and attention than another? Can you expect it to be any better, or stand out more?

When it comes to Yellow Pages advertising, those that know how to set themselves apart from the pack fare well. Differentiation is the name of the game. Good design might look professional, but it never stops a prospect in his tracks.

Good ad copy on the other hand, grabs attention like a magnet and doesn't let it go.

Don't just hand the reins to someone else and let them develop your ad for you. Learn what it takes to generate response and play a role in developing that winning ad for your business.

Because no one knows what makes your customers "tick" like you do.

3. Yellow Pages Advertising is different from just about EVERY other medium you use.

You might want to re-read that.

Yellow Pages advertising is different because people see your ad when they are ready to buy.

A newspaper ad? That's a distraction. People are reading to get the news. TV spots? Again, commercials disrupt the intended activity.

The Yellow Pages is virtually the only place people turn to read ads!

And yet, almost every Yellow Pages ad I see takes the approach: "This is who I am and this is what I offer." The ad content is little more than a company name and logo, and what I refer to as a “laundry list” of products or services offered.

Guess what? This is a huge mistake!

They know what you offer. They're looking at your ad because their eye hurts and they know a professional should take a look at it. Focus on "why, with all of these options, they should choose you!"

Your prospects are a skeptical bunch. Make contacting you and giving your business “a shot,” a risk-free, value-filled, proposition for them. Tell them about the policies you hold yourself to that will make their lives easier. Tell them what you do (or how you do something) that your competitors do not – or - that they forget to mention in their ad.

Done correctly, this will give any business a tremendous edge over the competition. Care to learn a little more?

About the Author

Alan Saltz is the foremost expert on effective Yellow Pages Advertising content. He teaches advertisers how to boost their response and return on investment using simple, but extremely powerful techniques. For unbiased Yellow Pages Advertising advice and "tricks" that any business owner can implement, visit:

© 2005 Alan Saltz, All Rights Reserved

Written by: Alan Saltz

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