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BizReport : Advertising : March 19, 2014


Study: Yellow Pages still working for many consumers, businesses

If you think the yellow pages and other directories are dead, think again. That is the takeaway from new data out from the Association of Direct Publishers; according to their data the ROI of directory ads averages about $24 for every $1 spent on the ad while calls to businesses from directory listings increased nearly one-third over the past three years.

by Kristina Knight

Print and online directories may not be as sexy as a viral video ad, but according to the new ADP Ad Effectiveness Study, directory ads could be more engaging than a clever ad during the Super Bowl, March Madness or even in Election Season.

Some interesting findings include:

• Calls to businesses from print ads increased 28% (2010 - 2013)
• On average, calls to advertisers (per year) reached 197, a cost per call of $15.50
• YP advertisers averaged $81,000 in sales from ad investments of $3,280


"Perceptions regarding the value of Yellow Pages advertising do not accurately reflect the reality, particularly for independent publishers and their advertisers," said Cindi Aldrich, President & CEO, Association of Directory Publishers. "In this study, the first to truly examine the ROI of independent directory advertising, the data clearly point to a healthy medium with strong usage."

"Calls to businesses from Yellow Pages ads have a 50% conversion rate, compared with 3% for online," said Dennis Fromholzer, PhD, President, CRM Associates. "In addition print sales have a higher per-customer value."

Why a higher value? Fromholzer says that is up to 80% of directory headings are service related and for high-value purchases; online and mobile purchases are more likely to be entertainment/retail related, giving them lower values.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ADP, directory advertising, yellow pages, yellow pages advertising










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  • Casey Lewis

    This study is tough to swallow. 24-1 would be some of the best ROI anywhere. With the decline of the Yellow Pages as an overall industry and clients expressing large scale concern over results, how do you present this data. I'm just trying to picture myself in front of one of my larger clients who are all expressing dissatisfaction with YP results and the YP online suite. This study is so good its difficult to imagine I could say to the client that he/she should be getting a 24-1 response!

  • Guest

    skip, don't be such a buzz kill...lol

  • Skip Middleton

    I would be curious to see this statement better defined: "Calls to businesses from print ads increased 28% (2010 - 2013)" - Over 4 year span a 28% increase in call volume from print only? ie those numbers are only in print and not online? and would that be print yellow pages? Assuming so (I am skeptical) what would you attribute that jump to? Less competition due to directory distribution shrinkage? Take NYC for example - how many directories are now being distributed annually from all publishers now vs 4 years ago? How many calls generated over 4 years? How many advertisers being tracked? Same ad, same book over 4 years? I think there's a little marketing spin here - actually a large marketing spin...

  • John R. Champion

    This data is consistent with my clients that sell to residential consumers. Not so much with B to B marketing. I have solid confirmation that plumbers, air conditioning, electricians and the like get their best ROI...by far from strategic print ads.




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