Do the Yellow Pages still drive sales?
We’ve put a lot of thought into this question. After all, our remodeling partners pour cash into both the paper Yellow Pages and the internet equivalents. Here are some hard facts. We track where all of our leads come from, with unique phone numbers and URL tracking for each source. When you track your marketing efforts at this level, you get a crystal clear picture of your ROI.
Over the last three months, a paid listing in the Yellow Pages has generated:
- 3 visits to their website. That’s one visitor per month, and that visitor costs north of $100. Talk about paying per click!
- 0 phone calls.
- 0 online quote requests.
Here is a screen grab of the analytics. Yellow Pages comes in 29th place for driving site visits, and dead last for driving sales.
That’s brutal! For this remodeler, Yellow Pages ads are clearly not working at driving sales. Consider that the 1st and 2nd best sources for driving leads are Paid Search programs.
Looking for this level of trackability for your own marketing? Download our lead tracking guide below for an accurate system to measure and improve your ROI!
In listening to industry insiders discuss the Yellow Pages and print advertising in general, the same arguments come up again and again. Here are the 3 arguments I hear most often.
Argument #1) If you aren’t getting leads, you need a better/bigger/more expensive ad.
The sales teams for the phone books aren’t doing us any favors here, but can you blame them? There are premium options and cheaper options in the phone book, most of which revolve around getting a larger ad. The size doesn't matter, though - people just aren't picking up the phonebook to find remodelers anymore!
Don’t go by your gut feeling – measure your ROI and there is no guesswork involved!
Argument #2) Lots of customers tell me they found me in the Yellow Pages.
Customers don’t remember where they heard about you – or worse, they just make up a response when you ask. When you measure where your leads are coming from with high-accuracy techniques, you get a clear picture of marketing ROI. That picture is pretty grim when you’re looking at the Yellow Pages
Argument #3) It’s a bad deal, but you should do it anyway to cover your bases.
This line of reasoning is more common than you might expect. If a marketing channel isn’t driving sales for you, you should cut it. If you see your other channels performing better, put the budget towards those channels instead. Don’t let habit keep you from growing your business.
Print phone books are high competition, meaning that there are many different phonebooks circulating. When you buy a listing, you’re only covering one of the many options. To cover them all is prohibitively expensive, and as we can see, the ROI just isn’t there anymore.
So, what *does* work for generating leads with a solid ROI?
If you look into your call records and see that the local directory isn't driving sales leads, think about reallocating that funding to these highly efficient channels. For instance, this remodeler gets the majority of their leads from their website, and from paid search on Google and Bing. Particularly from your own website, leads will come in consistently and at a very affordable cost-per-lead.
Wondering how to calculate your cost-per-lead and cost-per-sale to make data-driven business decisions? Check out our Lead Tracking guide below! It has a complete system to set up your marketing strategy for steady and measurable growth.