Phone book advertising. Is it worth it, or are the Yellow Pages dead?
If you’ve been weighing the pros and cons of advertising your local business in the Yellow Pages, this article is for you!
We’re going to take a look at the return you’ll get from phone book advertising as well as how it stacks up against digital marketing (local search marketing, specifically).
Today, we’re going to look into some more research and show you how to determine the ROI of your phone book advertising to figure out if it’s worth it for your business.
So, how do phone book advertising and local search marketing compare?
Well, let’s look at the numbers.
We know that phone book advertising has its challenges. You have to commit to a year of advertising, and unless you ask every single person who calls you how they found you, there’s no way to track leads coming in from the phone book.
With local search marketing, though, you can track how many people have viewed your listings and clicked to call or get directions. You can also monitor website traffic and much, much more.
Not to brag or anything, but we have an analytics platform that comes equipped with interactive dashboards, Google My Business tracking and a place where you can manage and follow up with leads.
Here's what our Product Development Manager, Mike Christie has to say about being able to track all your marketing efforts.
"The phone call is important, but knowing how the customer got to the phone call is crucial for local businesses trying to determine which of their marketing efforts bring the most return."
Still, even with all these numbers reminding us that the phone book is (so far, at least) less effective than local search marketing, they keep printing the phone book. That means someone must use them, right?
Well, sort of.
It looks like older demographics, as well as people in rural areas, are still using their phone books to find local businesses, but it’s unlikely you’ll find Generation X, Y or Z picking up anything but their phone to find your business.
Still, if you’re advertising in the phone book, it’s a good idea to figure out the ROI (return on investment) from the phone book.
Time to get out your calculators.
Here’s how to figure out how many phone calls you’d need from one phone book ad for you to break even. That’s right, we’re not even going for profit here.
Ok, take the cost of the ad and divide it by your average sale. Then, figure out how many phone calls it takes to make a sale. For instance:
If your ad is $200 and your average sale is $30, and it takes 10 phone calls to make a sale, 200/30=6.6 and 6.6x10=~67 people.
That means 67 people would have to call your business from a yellow pages ad in order for your phone book advertising to break even. Ten more calls (or one more sale) and you make a whopping $10.
Obviously, these numbers are made up. You’ll have to do the math for yourself and figure out if it’s worth it for your business to advertise in the phone book.
Ok, let’s wrap this up.
If you are set on advertising your business in the Yellow Pages, even after reading these numbers, we can’t stop you. Still, you should give digital marketing a try and see which is more profitable for your business. I’m betting you’ll find digital marketing is easier to track and has greater returns. Give it a try.
To see what RevLocal and online advertising can offer your business, click here.
Keep an eye out for more of this!
This post is the start of a series we’re doing that will compare the ROI and efficacy of various traditional and digital marketing methods to help you determine which is right for you each month.
Next up will be reviews vs. word of mouth to help you figure out if online reputation management and review marketing can help your business or if you’re better off relying on word of mouth.
Check back often for new posts! And, learn more about our local search marketing services here.