When you read your Yellow Pages contract you will see initials for various items success as BLN, WBLN, WFL, and ABLN. Most of these items cost between $ 7 and $34. Do you ever ask your sales Rep “what the heck is this?” The reason you don’t ask is because the item only cost $ 30 dollars, and you had it last year, and you don’t want to appear stupid asking questions about $ 30. The problem is that these unidentified items can add thousands of dollars to your advertising bill.
When you read your Yellow Pages contract ask the publisher’s sales Rep what all the initials are and why do you need them. In almost all cases you don’t need them because there is a cheaper or free version available.
White page listing (WBLN) – If you have a business phone you are entitled to a free listing of your business name, address and phone number in the White Pages and the Yellow Pages. You will be told that it’s much easier for your customer to read a bold listing (BLN) and it only cost $31 than the semi bold free listing. Unfortunately it is not $31 but $372. The $31 is for one month but the contract is for a year. It is very clever the way the publishers show all costs on your contract by the month instead of by the year, even though the contract is for a year. Ninety percent of all business name listings in the white pages are the free listings version and their customers seem to be able to find them. People read the white pages alphabetically and the bold print can actually be confusing.
White Feature Listing (WFL) – This is the super big print that you see in the white pages. A bold white page listing (WBLN) cost $31 a month while the super bold (WFL) listings cost $90 a month or $1080 for the year. Can you imagine paying $1080 for something that is free, yet thousands of businesses have WFL’s.
Anchor Bold Listing and Number (ABLN) – If you purchase a display ad you receive a free In-column listing in the same heading the display ad appears. You will be told that it’s much easier for the customer to read your name if it is bold. An anchor listing is the business name, address and phone number and where your ad is located (see our ad on page 456). The price of a bold anchor listing can ranges from $30 to $114 a month or you can get it for free (ARL).
Buy the largest display ad -All advertisers are told that the largest display and will receive the most calls. However research shows that the ad that contains the most pertinent information that the consumer is looking for, in an easy-to-read format, will receive the most calls regardless of size. Spend your money on ad design and copywriting instead of Yellow Pages ad space and you can reduce your advertising costs by 50% or more.
Process color ads – The Yellow Pages sales Rep will bring in a sample ad for your business that looks like it’s straight out of Time magazine. Unfortunately a process color ad adds 40% to the cost over a black and yellow or spot color ad. There is no evidence in any study of Yellow Pages advertising that a process color ad increases customer calls.
Take charge of your yellow page program, and examine every item on your contract. Never let the Yellow Pages publisher design your ad because they design all of your competitor’s ads. The best money you can spend in Yellow Pages advertising is for a professionally designed ad. Remember the best designed ad will get the most calls.
NOTE: Prices listed in this article are for example only. The prices vary from city to city.