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Yellow Page Ad

Meghan MacMillan

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I ask every single new customer how they chose my shop. The most frequent answer by a large percentage is along the lines of "I live in the neighborhood" or "I saw your sign". In each of the first 3 years I paid between $5000 and $6000 on YP ads (also in 2 books, Verizon and YellowBook)this year I'm cutting that by half and am negotiating with the landlord to put a more eyecatching sign on the second floor of the building.

YTD yellow pages accounts for 11% of sales and website 9%"Neighborhhod/saw sign" 38%. (the largest percentage is repeat client - whoo hoo!!!!!) I don't think that if I double what I'm spending on YP that 22% would answer Yellow Pages next year. I'm investing in more signage.

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Hi Meghan-I know many do track that "How did you find us" question

I'll share this for what it's worth

We haven't had a yellow page ads for probably 10 yrs. But, when asked, suprisingly several respond "I saw your yellow page ad".

My take? When asked, especially older than 40 yrs old, it's a "comfortable" answer.

I don't put much faith in those polls and even less in YP data

And, age, is HUGE variable


PFG, Picture Framing God
I also ask the tracking questions, and I pay close attention to the answers. Lately I've been getting a fair amount of customers who found me on Yelp.com -- they saw my favorable reviews there. It's brought in a good sum of money for free, and I think every single one of those respondents was under the age of 40. A very desirable demographic if we are interested about long-term growth.

I also send out marriage mail and direct mail, and it's easy to track those. The person either has the coupon clutched in their fist, or they mention having received the coupon.

I get a few yellow page responses -- enough to pay for the ad, but nothing earth-shattering.


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Several years ago, I took my Yellow Page budget for the year and bought this Van. Just updated the graphics on it. (It's a vinly Wrap, cheaper than a paint job)

Drive it all over town, deliver framing, everyone sees my "yellow page ad" now ... and they comment on it regularly.

It also sits outside the gallery and serves as an additional sign.


Jerry Ervin

PFG, Picture Framing God
I like that Steve! That is a good looking ride.

I have been thinking about procuring a van for the business and have it wrapped like that.

One of the places I talked to was in the neighborhood of 5 grand for the wrap. What did you get yours for?

It is also too bad that GM stopped that model of van. It was a workhorse.

Tim Hayes.

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Let me see, 22 years in business with NO YP ads ever.
22 years x 12 months per year = 264 x $500 month(?) = $132,000.00 YP never saw from me.
and with a half dozen different directories which to use ???

I'm with Bob Carter on this one and put the money into location.


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I'd be interested to know how many of the "I never have had a yellow pages ad" people have more than one or two competetitors in their area. It's easy to do if there's no competition but, especialy when you are starting out, how would you be able to drive business in without strong advertising including at least a small yp ad? I can understand a long time established business dropping the yp once they reach their work load comfort level. Or as Bob C. dictates, put those dollars into a location that more than makes up for the lack of advertising.

Tim Hayes.

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
My new store 2nd location (3 1/2 years) is in a Washington DC suburb so yes there is competition but for me, not for anybody else(make your decision based on the specifics of your store) I feel that anything more than the free line listing is a TOTAL waste of $$. As I said with the proliferation of YP directories you need to consider how would you determine which one the consumer is going to pick up and find your store in. Furthermore you need to know with some degree of confidence, in this day and age, how consumers search for information. Most of the people I know young thru old have a computer and use it. About the only time that I have touched the YP in the last dozen years is when I am forced to pick it up from outside my front doorstep so that I can pitch it immediately into the recycling bin. ( I have asked to NOT receive the YP but it seems to be impossible not to) If the consumer is looking for a framer and Googles framer they can also get a map of the framer's location and check out their website.


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I like that Steve! That is a good looking ride.

I have been thinking about procuring a van for the business and have it wrapped like that.

One of the places I talked to was in the neighborhood of 5 grand for the wrap. What did you get yours for?

It is also too bad that GM stopped that model of van. It was a workhorse.


My wrap ran about $1900. Was going to need a new paint job for about 6M, then replace the lettering. This covers everything and looks great.


PFG, Picture Framing God
How long does a wrap like that last?


PFG, Picture Framing God
A good way to track your Yellow Pages results is by using a seperate phone number with a unique ring tone (Call Star Ring in many areas). This service is very affordable at about $5 monthly, and will let you monitor results from your other advertising as well as your YP ad.
Yellow Pages - To the top:

ATT will do this for you for free if you ask. they want to sell you an ad and will offer this service to "validate" your YP response. Do you think this is valid?

What free secondary ads are you using (wholesale framing, Art Gallery Dealers and Consultants, Art restoration, photo retouching and restoration, etc. )?

The bartering is quite something. The price changed faster than I could keep saying no. We are still tossing around our size decision.

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I think it's a good way to know if people are calling from the YP ad.

I used to run a 1HS (1/2" In-collumn display ad) under Art Galleries.

BTW, a huge No-no I hear occasionally is the business that advertises on the radio and at the end of the commercial says, "Look for us in the YellowPages."

Big mistake to pay money and then direct people to the one place where all your competitors are. I always refer people to the white pages (or website, but a phone call is better) in your radio/TV ads.

Mike Labbe

Member, Former moderator team volunteer
I agree with Paul. It's important to direct them to YOUR web site, NOT the yellow pages. "For more information, or to reach us, visit www.custompictureframing.com "

While the small yellow page ad may be a year old, your web promos and offerings can be updated as often as you want. You can go into far greater detail about your services, and they won't be looking at your competitors ads. They can learn more about your services in a non confrontational way, before calling. It's a flexible, inexpensive, and easy to update situation. A website costs less than $100 per YEAR, not including your design time :)

Almost everyone has a computer these days. It's also quicker to look something up online than in a paper book, imo. I believe this is the first year that paper phone book usage dropped below 50%, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them go away in the not so distant future. The phone book companies are improving their web sites and partnering with major search engines for a reason :) Some phone companies recently sold off their yellow page businesses, and got out of it.

One of my concerns about putting an metered line/alternate phone number for a business is what happens when the ad expires? Anyone who looks you up in last year's version of the phone book may get a disconnection recording (no longer in service, etc).

You can do something similar in house, by pointing an alternate ad or website to "line 2" if you have more than one line. If you have only a single line, you can install the phone company's "distincting ringing" feature, so it will ring in a different way when someone calls the alternate number.

While I think YP are a "necessary evil", I don't think they are nearly as effective as they used to be even a few years ago. I also think this varies by region. We ask every customer how they heard about us, and track it through the POS. Every year, YP gets lower and web gets higher.

Thats just my own personal opinion

PS: In answer to your question, we are under categories Art Galleries, Picture Frames Custom and Ready Made, and Mirrors. There are 5 books covering our 10 mile radius from the shop, which is another of my pet peeves. :)

Paul N

In Corner
I honestly think that Internet search (Google being top choice these days followed by Yahoo and MSN and others) is the way to go.

I got a $4000 job 10 days ago from a new business in town that Googled and came straight to me.

I would also think that if you ask our demographic group(*) how they find what they're looking for these days, "Internet search" would be on top of their responses.

(*) if you live in an area where the average age is 70+ years, obviously this would be different situation. But that doesn't mean there are no older folks who are very much Internet savvy either.
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