Greatest Call Count Research Statistics on YellowPages Ever…

June 12, 2011

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Imagine if I could use the power of this blog, with all the wonderful targeted keywords that it ranks for, to produce the greatest collection of yellow pages call tracking and call count results ever?

According to Gregg Stewart with TMP Directional Marketing:

Telephone tracking can be accomplished by setting up a dedicated call-tracking line, whereby a unique phone number (local or toll-free) is placed on a Web site or local search advertisement. The ad is suppressed from directory assistance databases, as well as other advertising sources such as Yellow Pages and White Pages. This enables the marketer to cleanly track the exact calls coming from the specific ad campaign.

To gather and then share great stats I would ask for the following data points from over the last decade from small to medium-sized business owners:

Year:
Number of calls per day, week, or month:
Directory:
Monthly Ad Cost:
Estimated Cost Per Lead:

I would then compare the years and see if the cost decreases while print usage gives way to digital local searches.

Can you share some call count information?

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Let’s go Mavs!

With the Dallas Mavericks winning the NBA Championship today, I want to do something extra nice…

How about giving away a FREE Call Tracking service for your print or ppc ad via CenturyInteractive.com and CallMeasurement.com? This is valued at over $1200.00 each! I have got 3 to give. Just give me some great call count data on your print yellowpages or ppc ads!

If you want to be anonymous, just let me know that too!


Who uses the yellow pages?

December 11, 2010

Who uses the yellowpages?

Via Greg Sterling at Screenwerk:

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older folks.

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rural folks.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone say “nobody uses the yellowpages,” I would have been able to retire just 5 years into my near decade long career of selling and consulting on phone book advertising for Verizon Yellowpages and SuperPages.com.

To those that think people do not use yellowpages, I must disagree. Many people use the yelowpages every single day.

When I sold ads in Dallas, it was a challenge selling ads because in business perception often becomes reality.

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For example, when the United States Department of Transportation created the interstate highway system we ultimately created the suburbs. We killed the traffic going through Route 66 towns, but over the course of the next few years rural towns became almost extinct.  Just think of what the railroad did to towns that didn’t get rail lines a century before. This is apart of our country’s history. Technology and innovation lead to a migration of business growth and opportunity, from one media to another. Radio fueled the end of the Holocaust.

YELLOW PAGES ARE A BIG PART OF AMERICAN HISTORY.

I respect the contribution to local economies by the phone book. It was a catalyst for commerce and the creator of small business entrepreneurs everywhere.

Telecom employee unions also helped create high paying jobs for sales people and sales managers consulting in advertising solutions inside this simple product.

The suburbs are the future death of the yellowpages, because of mobile smart phone technology, saturation distribution, yellowpages industry fragmentation, and years of price-gouging and sleazy sales tactics by industry veterans. The phone book publishers now have a bad reputation amongst consumers and small business owners.

The phonebook has a continued chance of survival in Route 66 towns and most suburbs by catering to older, poorer, and less educated consumers. The age of phone book users are baby boomers with stable jobs and disposable incomes. Most of those that want to make the most educated and social buying decisions in suburban and urban markets won’t use the phone book. No matter how many books, with little incentive to use, you put on their porches, you will never see usage greater than 20% in urban markets.

Do yellow pages companies have a future? Sure. Just not the phone companies who were driven to fail by investors, bankruptcies, and greed.

Decisions by dumb bean counters and marketing reps at Verizon ended the focus in rural markets.

Verizon Telco pulled out of San Angelo Tx and the town hated losing it’s largest employer next to the city. The yellow pages death in San Angelo wasn’t caused by Verizon’s departure, but by the focus on margins and not putting resources or the business community first.

I witnessed this business model shift while just 19 years old working in the TCC Call Center in 2001 as a media consultant. ( First rep to never miss quota for 26 conscutive pay periods, I later received 3 President’s Awards at Texas Division Sales. ) First was ending the agreement to publish for CenturyTel, AllTel, and other independent telcos. Sprint took advantage of this. The rise of YellowBook as a serious competitor to the telco monopolies of the yellow pages industry. No longer where independent publishers not privy to the service order records for B1 and Residential phones lines. Independent publishers began publishing cheaper and more localized phonebooks. The creation of the independant publishers association began.

As a Board of Directors Member of the Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association, the first and largest search marketing group in the country, I am proud to be apart of the history in small business local search commerce.

I appreciate the role of yellow pages.

Just 7 years ago over 78% of Americans used the Yellow Pages print. Today that number represents less than 20%, contrary to what publishers try to tell you.

A old saying is “58% of all commercial statistics are false.” This is defined by industry research paid for by industry companies to the same researchers and analysts.

The future of the yellow pages will be in subscription-based magazines or hyper-local publishers.

Can the yellow pages successfully integrate content, group buying, and value to consumers leveraging the future technology of paper and tablets? We will see. I believe in the value of display advertising. Let’s hope phonebook companies recognize that display ads are in its future, or the reason for its death, like Route 66.

I have to admit, I love the small towns. I am from Rouse City Tx and my Grandma owned a Feed Store.

Can Yellowpage companies create small business advertising consultants offering a large bag of solutions incorporating content and transparency? Will the entire phonebook become call tracking lines for ROI measurement like we offer with internet marketing services?

The future will tell.

-posted from my DroidX


The Fate of Yellow Page Company Business Models…

August 23, 2010

What an interesting topic? Almost as interesting as discussing the weather on June 3rd, 1963.

Well, I had an interesting call with Yext folks once again. Paying up to $25.00 per call for quality leads is not asking for too much, unless you can get them for less by a qualified local search engine marketing firm. A client has a Yext account. Why you ask? Because sometimes SEO agencies don’t or are not capbable of serving “bold listing” and “HS ad” type budgets. This is why YEXT is such a good offer. They gamble on the search marketer skills in-house by providing result within a margin and aggregate traffic amongst all the different listing sites, such as SuperPages.com, Yp.com, CitySearch, AllTheWeb, Local.com, etc.  Most small search marketing agencies focus on Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, and Bing.  Sometimes, especially in rural markets, the value of local directories with older and less experienced computer users, the directory sites can provide a greater value. Competitive markets that have populations over 200k drive up cost by aggressive advertisers and amount of advertising competiton as well as standard bid minimums and less volume to justify monthly media service fees.

So…. what is the fate? Better focus on driving quality traffic to you directory. I think print will still be fragmented with competition and .com will be all about customer traffic, managing traffic, and cost per aquisition or lead.

Your thoughts?

That is why going from 20 million UVs (unique visitors) to 8 million is such a big deal!

If you think a sales model is the future of the internet you are DUMB or a liar.  Traffic driving lead aggregators, search engines, local search companies will saturate the local smb market. The company that wins adapts a service oriented holistic approach.

Bet!

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Idearc Media phone number list source and deregulation cause FairPoint phone book to have missing numbers and errors

November 12, 2009

UnionLeader.com – New Hampshire news, business and sports – More FairPoint woes: Phone book lost numbers – Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009

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If you can’t seem to get the phone book to be any more accurate than the internet…. why bother printing it? Seems as though the companies need to get it right if they are going to attempt to state that they are the “best yellow pages” out there. If you saturate my house with phone books… atleast make sure the information is accurate. It isn’t enough that the yellow pages industry saturate our Dallas area homes, they also don’t seem to be that interested in making sure the information is accurate! Take some accountability and fix the problem… might go along way to creating the subscription based business model consumers deserve!

Meanwhile folks in New Hampshire are going to really not suffer as much as regulators might think. Take a look at the recent comments from local consumers regarding FairPoint’s phone book mistakes and Idearc’s errors when the the local phone book was published.  See, it wasn’t a big deal after all. AT&T also has announced recently that it intends to stop printing as many White Pages directories.