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Opinions Wanted Yellow Page Ads

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by Bill Henry-, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. Bill Henry-

    Bill Henry- SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I don't want to start another discussion about the effectiveness of phone book ads, but I just got my new Manchester-Derry core yellow page book. It is noticeably thinner than last year.

    Last year, there were 13 picture framers listed with five 1/8 or 1/4 page display ads (including mine). In this new directory, the number of framers is down to 8 with only two display ads - one of them mine.

    I don’t know whether this is due mainly to the slow economy (two of my nearest competitors have gone belly up), or due to the fact that many companies are abandoning the YP and going exclusively with online advertising.

    Has anyone else noticed the thinning of the yellow pages?
    American Picture Frame Academy 1-888-840-9605

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  2. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    Ours used to be heavy now its more like a newsletter. What was 3 pages of print ads for frame shops is now just a SINGLE display ad beside free listings. I suspect next year there will be none. By the time the things are printed and distributed, they're obsolete.

    We started with a small display ad 8 years ago, which was over $900 per month, and have cut back a little more each year. This year they're charging us $60 per month just to have BOLD INK on our free listing. (crazy expensive) Nearly all new customers seem to find us online.

    They are in receivership and you can see how they've been cutting back. Instead of a highly pushy salesperson flipping through a book with statistics about the effectiveness of their marketing, last year they did it by phone. Next time around theyre getting sneakier. We received a letter this week from them confirming what we have this year in our contract. The small print on the bottom says that if we dont call them to cancel before 10/30/09, it will automatically renew the contract for another year. No salesperson, no phone call, no decision and nothing to sign.

    Newspapers, yellow pages, calendars, rotary telephones, dinos, teletype, and typewriters all have something in common; IMO :)

    Hey, I could be wrong! :)
  3. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    I wonder if that is even legal ,if you didn't agree to that last year when you signed for that ad?
  4. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Yeah it's legal and they do it. I wanted to cancel my ad and the saleman just never put in the change order. Another salesman called it the "car trunk closing". Put all the orders in your car trunk, close it and collect the checks.
  5. Pangolin

    Pangolin SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Hey now, don't pick on rotary phones - we still have one! (They are sneaky in that they still work when the power goes out!)

    I'll check our phone book when I switch out the new one for the old one in my husband's car that I use for a booster seat to drive. (I hope it isn't too much thinner, or I won't be able to see over the steering wheel and reach the pedals at the same time!
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  6. JbNormandog

    JbNormandog SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Any phone that plugs into the wall outlet will work when the power goes out (unless it has a seperate power plug). Cordless will not.

  7. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    sorta true. I have had the power go out and the touch tome didn't work, but rotary dial did.
  8. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    Regular touch tone phones will work fine in a power failure. All of the power comes from the phone company. The old analog phone company network has battery backup (from the central office) that is supposed to last several days. (generators after that) Phones that only have ONE wire (the one that goes to the phone jack) will work just fine, regardless of type.

    Phones that need external power, and plug into a wall jack, wont work :) (cordless, fax machine, etc) Then again, most cordless phones these days have battery backups in the base unit.

  9. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I actually had my first complaint that we're not in the phone books.... my retort: Why complain to me? The phone book people won't put me in now unless I pay.

    I mean really... do they think I called up and demanded to be left out? But then someone just asked if the floral originals we have in the gallery right now were painted by Van Gogh, so whatever.

    What a clustermuck that industry is.
  10. couture's gallery

    couture's gallery PFG, Picture Framing God

    just like magazines, newspapers, etc..the phone books are getting thinner...all media ad $ are lagging and the only way to cut cost is less pages published...did you see the latest PFM and Decor?
  11. surferbill

    surferbill SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    No one under 30 years old even knows what a phone book is.
    Increasingly, everyone is just googling to get the phone number.

    The other day I was looking for a company in the phone book and I couldn't remember the spelling and couldn't find it.
    So I googled what I thought was a close spelling and up it comes with the phone number.

    I have been cutting back each year on YP ads and now only have a bold listing.
  12. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    I moved almost 4 years ago. I get calls almost every week with somebody asking where I'm at. They are looking at my old address from an old phone book. I'm not about to up my microscopic phone book advertisement. I'm also not so quick to ignore it either.

    In my feeble attempt to stay on topic I'll add that I have somewhat noticed that not only are the size of the yellow pages shrinking whole phone books are going away. If others are like myself it is because we refused to pay the new 20% increase for the same sized ad. Instead we ask, “what is the least we can pay and still be listed”. Just like our industry they don't get to make up some price out of thin air and expect to sell their goods.
  13. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Buyer Beware.

    Yellow Page companies are going bankrupt left and right. Everyone should have a heightened awareness and be on alert for any pay in advance schemes.

    IN 2009 my yellow page expenditure is zero. All the money was diverted to a hyper-local internet news site.

  14. jim_p

    jim_p SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I can't remember the last time I looked for a business in the dead-tree Yellow Pages... I too do it all online now.

    Ever since I've done a bit of SEO to my website the phone has been ringing more frequently. That right there tells me where it's at. As soon as my current contracts are up I'm cancelling both of my YP ads.
  15. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    Everyone seems to still advertise in our book, but all the ads are smaller, including ours. I have not counted, but there are a lot of frame shops in the Oakland/Berkeley area. We cut our size in half over the last two years and will do so again next year. For the first time in many years, we do not have the largest YP ad.

    Having said that, we do have a certain percentage of older customers who may still use the YP. The ad is for them, but it still doesn't justify the cost.

    Do you still look for plumbers and electricians in the YP? How about pizza delivery places? It seems that those industries are still battling it out in the YP.
  16. Pangolin

    Pangolin SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Las tnight I looked at our new phone books. Last year there were three of us that had the leader ads at the top of Picture Framing section. They only allow three of these bigger in-line ads right below to heading bar for the category. This year - none. I took mine out (much to rep's distress!) and apparently the other two shops did too. The ads wre running $700/mo - $900/mo this year, and I think we all just figured we'd give it up.
    I have a free ad in the printed book and that's it. I do have an ad online with AT&T YP, but even that was minimal, and I made the rep BEG and give me free listings in other categories along with it just to get me to buy into the online ad.

    (Oh, and it's still thick enough for me to use a booster seat when driving - although I'm worried in the future I'll have to drag out some of those old Encyclopedia Brittancas my parents have from the 1950's and tape them together!)
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  17. surferbill

    surferbill SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Wow! $8,400 a year for YP ads is a lot of money. That means you had to do almost $17,000 in sales just to pay for the ads.
    You are very lucky to get out of that commitment.
    If I had $8,400 to spend on advertising, I think I would put it into a killer website and Facebook ads.
  18. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    I'd like to call a meeting of East Bay framers and all agree to drop the YP display ads next year! There are two pages of us in there all wasting money each and every month. The big boxes are not represented. Interesting. They are spending their advertising dollars on Sunday supplements.
  19. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Last week I would have discounted any effect of the YP at all but on Tuesday when I got to the shop there was a message from a lady who wanted to know if I could go to her office to check out a framing job (as opposed to her coming to me).

    I phoned her back and made arrangements to see her on Monday morning and then I asked her how she had heard of me? Her original framer has retired and she went hunting thru the Yellow Pages to call potential replacements - I guess I was the only one to return her call.

    Of course our YP is still attached to the WP and is over two inches thick combined.
  20. couture's gallery

    couture's gallery PFG, Picture Framing God

    we still havwe fairly good results from our YP ad (small )...I think it is because in our neck of the woods thre are sooooo many old timers 70s-90s yr olds that still use the YP.
  21. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I only have a small free listing, for the older people that don't use computers, or even own one.
    I get more feedback from my website.
  22. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I was spending somewhere between 10k and 12k in two YP ads just about 2 years ago. ...not anymore. Other shops are still in there, and for all I know they may be getting some business I would otherwise have gotten, but now I'm just at simple smaller ads or bold, and am considering cutting back even more.
  23. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    And you can use your money for more responsive ads.
  24. JWB9999999

    JWB9999999 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    We're small town and rural. As I've said many times before, the yellow pages are our number 1 source of new customers here from marketing efforts. I have small in-column ads in the ATT yellow pages and in Yellowbook yellow pages. ATT is running me about $1700 a year, while Yellowbook is running about $400. Next year I may well put an ad in the 3rd local directory.
  25. CAframer

    CAframer SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Nah! Never, ever look at it. Internet is so much more useful.

    If we get a YP delivered it goes straight in the trash. Just too much useless clutter to keep it!

    I guess a lot depends on where you live as to how much life still remains in YP. Around here it's more than one foot in the grave.

    I talked to an advertising sales person the other day. She is with another type of company now but used to work for YP. She said she "got off that Titanic in a hurry before it sank".

    Great idea!
  26. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    We are also down to only our Free listing and doesn't appear to make any difference. Website is by far #1 .

    Ylva, every time you say that, I get a kick out of it. What has it been, maybe only a year since we got you up and going. See, I told you then how important it would be. So glad it is working for you. You should be the poster child for setting up a site. :D
  27. surferbill

    surferbill SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    If it wasn't for Grumblers talking about YP a couple of years ago, I would have not known about the serious decline in YP viewership, and might be still wasting my money on YP ads.

    The jeweler beside me is older and had no idea that most young people are googling and not using YP books.
    Of course, he doesn't even check his emails, so he's not exactly up on what's going on in the internet world.
  28. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    To battle back most of them removed our stores entirely from their books until we repurchase ad space. I thought we would get a line with our name and number still. They are nothing but huge advertising books that people less and less frequently go to... especially since they no longer list each business available to you, the internet is more complete and uselful.
  29. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    We have not seen that here in central Ohio. We still get our free "line listing".

    I thought there was some sort of law requiring public telephone directories to publish all names, phone numbers, and addresses unless they were specified as unlisted. No?
  30. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    And you know I couldn't have done it without you John! I still have a lot to do, but just having the website and hearing customers tell me that's how they found me.... priceless!
    And it hasn't even been a year yet, probably more like 7-8 months! But I do show up very quickly in search engine (again, thank you).

    I can only say to everyone that does not have a website yet; get started. It really didn't take me that long to start it, just having that web presence is very important.

    And my second best advertisement? Word of mouth.
  31. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I don't know what the laws are. We have 8 different phone books delivered to this address. I'm on the county line so just 2 miles down the road they have nearly 8 different ones. I'm beyond caring anymore. Pay to be in all of them? No way. Pay to be in a couple of them? Why? The value is too diluted by all the others and the internet.

    I pay to be in one of them because it was the Chamber of Commerce one but then was purchased from them by a phone book company. I'd stop, but the salesman each year spends more in my store than I pay for the ad. There are only two framers listed in the book.
  32. surferbill

    surferbill SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    That's the way I feel. They cut there own throats by charging too much. IMO
    Plus, having multiple books is just too confusing, so I've just decided to only have a bold heading in one book.

    I just throw away any books that I'm not listed in.
  33. Audrey

    Audrey CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I had thought about it and decided not to, from what I had read here, plus some other business owners in our area had incorrect ads or even had been left out. Crazy for that price! I do think it depends on your clients age group and location.
  34. JbNormandog

    JbNormandog SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    They did the same to me.

    When I asked the rep the next time she tried to sell me she told me to call the book and request a line add. I asked her for the number and she said she didn't have it and it isn't in the book. DUH!

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The American Picture Framing Academy Learn Picture Framing Now

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