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Drain Cleaning Specialist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Normally I advertise in the Verizon/Idearc now Fairpoint/Idearc.
Took a chance on the other book Yellow book hoping to get maybe 10-20% increase in calls. Had the biggest ad in Yellow book? I service all my calls ask where did you find us what book? So I know how they found me.
Track what's working what's not. Shelled out $1,200 for the year for it rep said book is great all color ads no big deal if everyone is color.
Not 1 call off that book all year. Well, had to try it out now I know.
Yellow book looked good covered a larger area takes two of my Idearc/Fairpoint books to cover same area. Talked to people who called me all use the book that is more local and use other yellow book as a door stop. So far Internet is a dog but atleast I get a few off that.
 

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We spent $3,600 last year on Yellow book. We try to track our sales so we can budget for marketing for the year. Yellow Book had 2 leads, 1 sale for $525.00. Yeah, that was a net loss:furious:

Best form of marketing for our business hands down......referral.
 

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Drain Cleaning Specialist
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2,076 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Go figure yesterday I post no calls from Yellow book. The following day and the beginning of the new year I get a call of what would be the old 2008 book lol.
 

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Drain Cleaning Specialist
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Glad to see it working for you. Do you advertise in Verizon/Idearc if you do how's it working for you. Plus how big is the population you service?
 

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Seems like most of my jobs come from word of mouth and advetising in the local paper. Kind of wondering if the yellow book is even worth renewing next year. Not a single call has come from them. Think I will cancel yellow book and just go with the yellow pages in the back of the phone book.
 

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I aint CPV see in it?
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4,896 Posts
I am in three of those high dollar peices of crap here. I have to say that the majority of my calls come from the internets(thanks GWB)
I will stay in the big book here, but cancel the other two. Too much money, not enough return.
 

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Before you decide not to renew altogether, want to share a few facts. Last year, we had a special tracking telephone number in the Verizon/Idearc book. This was the first time ever we advertised in this particular book. I got monthly reports of all the calls that came in through that number. I painstakingly went through the calls to see if it translated into any business and discovered a few surprising things:

Fact 1 - Some of the calls we received were from existing customers that we have had for years. By now, these customers would have had something stickered and at the very least a magnet. Yet they went to the YP to find us (remember, this was the first year we were even in this book). The tracking number was only in the ad - NOT the alphebetical listing in the front.

Fact 2 - New customers who found us for the first time ever, when needing to call us for more work (a month or two later) went right back to the YP ads. Again, why didn't they look at the magnet, invoice, sticker, alphabetic listing etc.?

?'s - If your customer is like the above and doesn't see your ad, will they go through the effort to look you up in the alphabetic listing under plumbing? or will they assume you didn't make it through the recession?

?'s - If your customer doesn't see your ad, will they be swayed by the other ads?

?'s - Once you lose placement, the only way to move up in the book is to spend more money and buy a bigger ad.

We considered all of the above before making our final decision.
 

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residential service
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The biggest problem we noticed with Yellow Book was who ever they hired to deliver the books did not do their job. Half of our steady customers we polled said they never received the phone book.
That's not just the YB, went on a call about a month ago and what do I see stacked up in the garage but 68 (I counted) AT&T yellow pages most of which were still wrapped in plastic. They were to have been distributed in Oct. '08. I took a couple of pics of those 68 books which contained 68 of my nevertobeviewed by any customer but still paid for yellow page ads. When renewal time comes around I think I will have a little sport with my rep, when she visits me, before I tell her to hit the bricks and don't look back.
 

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www.DunbarPlumbing.com
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5,478 Posts
Fact 1 - Some of the calls we received were from existing customers that we have had for years. By now, these customers would have had something stickered and at the very least a magnet. Yet they went to the YP to find us (remember, this was the first year we were even in this book). The tracking number was only in the ad - NOT the alphebetical listing in the front.

Fact 2 - New customers who found us for the first time ever, when needing to call us for more work (a month or two later) went right back to the YP ads. Again, why didn't they look at the magnet, invoice, sticker, alphabetic listing etc.?

?'s - If your customer is like the above and doesn't see your ad, will they go through the effort to look you up in the alphabetic listing under plumbing? or will they assume you didn't make it through the recession?

?'s - If your customer doesn't see your ad, will they be swayed by the other ads?

?'s - Once you lose placement, the only way to move up in the book is to spend more money and buy a bigger ad.

We considered all of the above before making our final decision.

That's where they've got me by the nuggets, on their online advertising.

I lose that, I'll never get it back.


I can't knock what is making me money.



In three of the smaller books, that covers each county individually, I crank great numbers from them.

In the bigger book, I have a 3HS inline advertisement, nothing big, but I end up on the first page of plumbers before all the full page ads become a blur.

And then on the advertising on the internet, as of late I'm getting calls off that as well.


I show up in the first row of plumbers under "plumbing contractors" and I'm the first one from my area in the silver listings. Gold is a waste of money but if I do anything else...I get lost in a huge rolodex of alphabetical order at that point.

I just want to clean up my outgoing expenses but it seems almost impossible to give up what still is working.

:blink:
 

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Drain Cleaning Specialist
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2,076 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I really do believe advertising to be a very tricky Nessary Evil.

With the economy if they can't find you they will think your gone.
Very true you scale your ads down you show weakness, and competition will jump at the chance to one up you in advertising size.

If you slow down then you have to come back bigger just to out do the guy you surrendered you spot to.
Luckily Yellow Book I was the big ad everyone was basic listing. Feel I can roll the dice on this book and see.

The only good thing is phone book reps cannot tell you what the competition is doing. It gives you a year to see what happens. They my come strong with a bigger ad or scale down because of the economy. But always remember if you service say 30,000 people and did only 300 jobs all year there's still a lot of fish out there. Just have to have the rite bait.

The only thing that made me dump Yellow book was 365 day's 0 calls thats bad for any book. But if you do come back make sure it's bigger than the last time because you know you competition is gunning for you.
 
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