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If You Lost 70% of Your New Customers, Would You Notice?
Buyers Don't Rely on the Yellow Pages Like They Used to
Customers' buying behavior has changed - for good. If your business depends on most categories in the Yellow Pages to attract new customers, you've probably seen a decline. Traditionally, people headed to the Yellow Page directory precisely when they were ready to buy. They'd check the listings to find their options, or "let their finders do the walking." Now they've got more choices.
New research by The Kelsey Group in March, 2005 found that 70% of US households now use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally for products and services. These buyers aren't going to the Internet for online purchases, nor to find distant providers. They intend to spend their money in their own community.
The Kelsey Group also found that interviewed individuals felt the search engines were a "better source of purchasing information than Yellow Pages, newspapers and magazines." The trend is being driven entirely by Internet users. Related data from other sources show that consumers who search online for purchases spend more than those using the printed directory.
Demote the Yellow Page Ad to a Smaller Portion of Your Budget
The Yellow Page industry is a Fifteen Billion Dollar industry in the US. While there are more choices of printed Yellow Page directories than ever, the buying habits of the public have moved away from using them. Computer-savvy buyers know the easiest way to find the information they want is through search engines (and since May they can do searches on the run, on their cell phones). But many small or local businesses aren't even listed.
The Kelsey Group's data is consistent with other statistics showing that the Internet has overtaken the newspaper for cars and real estate (major purchases). And it's becoming the "go-to" place for information. A study by imedia Connection found it's "second only to spouses for finding referrals."
To stay competitive, small and mid-sized businesses will be compelled to make sure they're included in search engine data bases. While it's not necessary to have a website, it helps to be listed on someone's (like a local portal or professional group). Enterprises that can't be found by online searchers risk losing sales to businesses they find instead.
Where did the Customers Go?
Many factors influence where and what a person decides to buy. Although the Yellow Pages are no longer an automatic part of the loop, many buyers consult both the Internet and the directory, not relying on either one alone. However, many shoppers only call Yellow Page ads that show a website, even it they don't intend to visit it. It goes to the credibility issue.
- Buyers are less trusting and more willing to shop around
- Availability of Internet Yellow Pages (IYP)
- Expanded options and more ways to find them
- Aging population uses the Yellow Pages differently than young people
- Development of unique, narrow niches and specialties
- More choices for a "better deal"
- Increased immigrants and those from other cultures, unaccustomed to Yellow Page use
- Larger cities with multiple directories, rather than one large one
- Local search, whereby the search engines locate suppliers by zip code, state, city, region
Time for a Reality Check - Can You Find Yourself?
The next time you go online (or have a friend walk you through it), see how you rate in some local searches. Conduct a query in Google (then Yahoo, and MSN). Enter your type of business + Your town ("Pet Stores" + Scottsdale, Arizona).
Does your business show up? How many of your competitors are on that list? How many are ahead of you? That list is what your "missing customers" are likely to see when they're ready to spend their money. Does that experience motivate you to make a better Local Search showing?
Next, check out whether your business appears in various Internet Yellow Pages (IYP). Work your way down the list:
Start noticing how visible you are to customers researching their local options online. You really can't afford to miss the boat.
Dr. Lynella Grant Author, Yellow Page Smarts: Make more money from your directory ad in tandem with your website http://www.yellowpagesage.com
Smarter ways to attract more YP customers. Local Search resources Off the Page Press (719) 395-9450
Constructing Business Advertisements
What many may consider the most important part of advertising is writing an effective ad. The information provided in a classified ad may be the deciding factor if it is successful or a, "bomb". In addition, there are three important angles to consider when writing business advertisements.
Custom T-shirts -- Put Your Company Logo on Cotton!
An effective way to gain company recognition is to order custom t-shirts with your company name, logo, phone number, and other important information on them. You can use customized apparel to outfit your employees as well as to contribute a sense of professionalism and reliability to your company. In addition to outfitting your company with the custom apparel, you can market your brand by distributing the custom designed clothing to your customers and potential clients.
Why Would Anyone Want Your Business Card?
Do you remember how proud you were the first time you saw your name in print?
Your Eye Catching Publicity Flyer
Your website is done, your business cards have been delivered, and your brochure has received accolades. In the promoting department you have everything you need, right? Well, there is one item you lack and by having this item in your arsenal it can be a dealmaker for you.
Change, or Reinforce?
Do you know about the distinction - and it's a useful one - between communication that tries to reinforce and communication that tries to get change?
The Principle Of Advertising Online
Advertising online is very similar to advertising in any environment. You really are trying to get your message or your product out there by the most cost effective means possible.
How to Create Ads that Sell with Little Effort
One of the main problems people find with marketing, is the actual selling. How can you create ads which sell?
What Happened? Troubleshooting Poor Response from Ad Campaigns
Too many small business owners today run ad campaigns that get little to no results, and they have no idea why. When you have the knowledge to troubleshoot the poor responses, you also have the knowledge to make the needed changes so that - next time - your sales improve! Let's take a look at the breakdown of an ad campaign, and how to determine what went wrong.
Media Savvy ? Media Skills For Rural Women
The ability to lead, persuade and influence are integral skills for effective leaders. The capability of telling a story that inspires, motivates and informs is an essential part of this process. In an age of convergence in the media and increased scepticism over traditional communication methods, a new breed of leader is emerging that sees the media as an opportunity and not a threat. They use the media in a pro-active way to build their community or organisation's image, reputation and identity.
A correspondent to AdBriefing, my monthly newsletter, has posed a very sticky question. How, she asks, can you tell whether a headline you have written is a good one?or not? What she means by this, I imagine, is whether the headline will actually help to make sales, rather than just act as a passing amusement to its readers.
How To Write Really Good Ads
All sales begin with some form of advertising. To build sales, this advertising must be seen or heard by potential buyers, and cause them to react to the advertising in some way. The credit for the success, or the blame for the failure of almost all ads, reverts back to the ad itself.
Create Your Dynamic Elevator Speech
So, what's an elevator speech, and how do you get one?
Create Your Own Business Cards, Part 2
This is the second part of creating your own business card. If you missed the first one, let me know: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
The Importance of Your Business Card
What are you trying to say with you business card?
3 Inside Secrets To Making You Richer Using Direct Mail!
Making money using direct mail isn't easy. And anyone who tells you it is, is lying.
11 Ways To Make Your Business Cards Work For You
1. Spend money on decent quality business cards. Home made cards just don't compare to the quality of professionally printed cards. Your cards reflect your business - do you really want your cards screaming cheap!
The Internet and Beyond - 12 Tips on Writing Better Brochures
Every year thousands of online businesses fail. None of them begin with the idea they'll fail, in fact they have high hopes of success, but they fail all the same. One of the main reasons for the high failure rate is an over reliance on one marketing channel?the Internet.
Why Your Ad Failed
So you spent good money on an ad, put it in a magazine or newspaper, and waited patiently for phone calls that didn't materialize. You're upset: you feel that you've wasted money and time, and now you're convinced that advertising doesn't work.
How Well Do Postcards Work?
How Well Do Postcards Work?Before we get into the "how well" part of this question, let's look at how to measure the success of a postcard mailing. APPROACH #1: Revenue Return RateIf you use this approach, you decide that each dollar spent on your campaign should bring back, say, $10. Or $100. The amount is up to you. APPROACH #2: Cost as a Percentage of Sales With this approach, you benchmark the cost of your campaign as a percentage of sales generated. In other words, if you think that your campaign cost should be 5% of sales and your campaign cost is $500, then your campaign should produce $10,000 in sales. Your cards will work well if they meet or exceed the standards you have set, whether it's Approach #1 or Approach #2.
Direct Mail Rules of Thumb
First and foremost - You should identify your target market. Target your direct marketing lists. Identify who you are selling to, and why they should buy from you instead of your competition. Keep in mind that placing your offer in front of 100 targeted response leads that have shown an interest or have a history of using your product or service can be much more effective than marketing to 1000 non pre-qualified leads.
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