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Yellow pages - is it worth paying more?

Posted by haandre (haandre), 13 October 2003

Im looking for some advise on yellow pages advertising, I had a visit from one of the sales reps trying to get me to take a £1100 sized advert (a three eighths col with white background).  I was originally going to go for a small 3cm box for £200.
Has anyone been able to get the prices reduced with discounts ? if so how?
Does spending more really get you more calls?
Its hard to know what was true facts or sales talk!

Thanks  Undecided
Posted by stevegunn (Steve Gunn), 13 October 2003
Personally the yellow pages did not work for me.Sunderland yellow pages £149 for the year †Newcastle yellow pages £790 due to bigger circulation.The sales patter is all well and good but i surveyed my customers when the ad was due for renewal and found only two people out of 50 had used the yellow pages ad.Also people perceive that if you are in the yp you are not a cowboy.One other thing to consider it is quite alot of money to pay out and if it doesn't work it money wasted.
Posted by woodman (woodman), 13 October 2003
Oh Dear

Yellow pages  salesmen/women still at it are they.

My advice, don't sign up for it yet.

Find out when the last date is for final print run and take them right up to the limit,then offer £200 for a larger ad' if they won't do it then tell them to naff off.

Yellow pages is very hit and miss one job might cover your £200 then again you may not get a single call all year apart from the want something for nothing brigade or competitors trying to find out your prices.For this reason don't let them bully you into an ad' you neither want or need. Wink
Posted by DP (DP), 13 October 2003
I have spent significant amounts with them over the years with varying results.

It seems regions, number of entries and size all have an effect. I spent 3k with them once on one add on one page. Never got a  thing, oddly enough not until the following year when I got 6 calls in 4months.

I then spent the same budget 3 years later but on 5 smaller adds across 5 categories. Results were much better about 20 calls through the current year, however many were the wrong type.

I then ran a company in Fulham for two partners for 6 months where they had a full page spread in the "A's" in 3 books which generated approx 10-15 calls a day.

It was never viable for me but most certainly was for the Fulham based company.

The key is to get your name under as many noses as you can as many times as you can. Therefore consider your budget in respect of the local rag.

You may well get a great deal advertising in there every week of the year which could bread familiarity and confidence. This would also fit the good advertising methods.

The ideal is of course both, but who can afford that.

Remember there is 139 ways of advertising a cleaning company (so Iím told) guess there is a lot more options to play with yet. † Grin

Posted by Fox (Fox), 14 October 2003
Hi all
I have found advertising in general does not work for the contract cleaning industry, however does for domestic cleaning.  If you are doing office cleaning firms will go on word of mouth, reputation and telesales rather than any ad placed so why waste money.  However the average housewife looking for a cleaning will refer to the yellow pages or the local rag.  Think about who you want to target carefully before spending your budget.
Posted by heritagecleaning (heritagecleaning), 14 October 2003
I too am due for renewal in the YP but not too sure. I have found direct mail works well, and you can do a fair bit of it for the same price as a YP advert.

Posted by DP (DP), 15 October 2003
One quick question on leaflet drops. The National average for response is apparently only 0.05 % thatís like only 2.5 enquiries in a 5000 drop.

In your experience would that be correct and how would that stack up in respect to YP or Thompson or local rag costs per enquiry?
Posted by heritagecleaning (heritagecleaning), 15 October 2003
Stamped and posted direct mail is far more effective than leaflets. Get contact names if possible rather than just using 'The Manager'. is a good place to buy a mailing list for your area.

Posted by Fox (Fox), 15 October 2003
Owens right the only way is by direct mailing.  I use tele sales people are more likely to take the time to look at your info if you have already had direct contact.
I use the Thompsons disc to choose my 'target group' as this tells you how large each company is.  This way I get to quote for approx 1 in 5 of the mail sent out.
Posted by wreelyclean_servic (Wreelyclean Services), 2 November 2003
Grin  It all depends on what you are doing and where you want to do it....oooerrr.. Wink

I don`t want to teach the egg sucking lesson but I have done all the ways mentioned for advertising but at the end of the day good old fashioned door knocking paid off for me...I have increased my client base by 250% in the last year have to have the stomach for the knock backs but even with them you can always leave a leaflet in their hand and quite a few of them eventually make some sort of enquiry...also if you go on the knocker you can condense your area...less travelling time more cleaning time more profit... Grin..Have Fun Locko
Posted by Aaron (Aaron), 4 November 2003
Hi there mate, I am new to the cleaning industry so not sure if my experiences are valid. I placed an advert in the YP that was printed three weeks ago and the phone has not stopped. If i retain the customers I have got in the last three weeks for another month, I would have paid the add off... Your company will also be listed on As FOX said though it may now work as well for commercial as it dose domestic?
Posted by highstandard (Peterdirector), 5 November 2003
I've found people  looking through the yellow pages tend to go for the smaller add because they think you are cheaper than the people that are placing the  bigger adds. The reason being is that if the company is place a big add then they would have to charge more to cover the cost. stay with a small add.
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 9 November 2003
We have used the Yellow Pages on a number of occasions but the response was not great Embarassed Direct mail seems to work much better as does tele sales Cheesy

Steve Lowe
Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 9 November 2003
I think that it all depends on your area , I spent £200 on a YP add and it has paid for itself . If I am  looking for a service I allways  check the YP for my area ,you go for a local one . Cool
Posted by carpet_bright (carpet_bright), 10 November 2003

I must agree with Majestic.
I get a lot of business as I advertise as an honest local technician with no gimmicks or special offers. Of course lots of people like a bargain but others like to hear that I'm very busy and don't do freebies etc. And of course I'm good  Wink
My word of mouth business is the best and rapidly increasing. If I have a quiet spell ( some time ago) I do leaflet drops to houses and usually get about a 1% success rate. This is good if you do the right areas £££  Grin


Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 11 November 2003
What kind of response has any of you had from Thompsons Huh

Steve Lowe
Posted by petra (petra), 11 November 2003
i find thompson is good for domestic, but since august had 2 commercial calls.
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 12 November 2003
Thanks Petra,
                    I tried Thompsons some years ago but all i got was domestic jobs Roll Eyes Maybe it might be worth another go Huh


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