During the heyday of the Yellow Pages—from the 1950s to the 1980s—it was common practice for businesses to buy quarter-page, half-page or full-page ads, and allow these ads to be designed by their sales rep. Today, there's no excuse for offloading the design of your ad, since even a simple word-processing program contains all the graphic tools you need to prepare your own PDF document and present your law practice in a unique, compelling way.
Why Should You Design Your Own Yellow Pages Ad?
Given the small return you're likely to get on your Yellow Pages ad—after all, a substantial proportion of people born after the year 1980 have never even seen a phone book—why should you invest the time to design your own display? Here are some reasons:
- It's your money, and the ad should look the way you want it to. Why invest your marketing dollars in a “cookie-cutter” ad that's indistinguishable from that of every other law firm in your town?
- Your ad rep probably won't do a great job. The person who sold you the ad has already made his money; there's not much incentive for him to go the extra distance and make your Yellow Pages display truly stand out.
- The software is easy to use. Thirty years ago, you had to be a master of Quark Xpress to design your own layout. Today, this process is completely intuitive; your eight-year-old can probably do it, and better than a sales rep can!
- You know your practice better than anyone else. A Yellow Pages ad rep will be dealing with literally hundreds of law firms, and is unlikely to distinguish one from the next. You know what makes your firm special and what your “unique selling proposition” is.
How to Get Better ROI on a Yellow Page Ad
A yellow page ad won't work for everyone. Attorneys targeting young or technologically adept customers won't get much from a yellow page placement. Those customers are getting contact information from the internet, for them yellow pages are ancient history. However, there are customer groups that do use the yellow pages. Attorneys that practice elder law can still get a good return-on-investment with yellow page ads. If your target customer is a yellow page user, here are some tips for creating a yellow page ad.
- Write a great headline. Headlines like "free consultation" or "call now" are terrible options. If you want examples of good headlines, look at the website BuzzFeed. Their headlines are attention grabbing and interesting. That kind of headline is what you want for you advertisement.
- Create a clear call-to-action. The biggest issue we see with attorney ads is they try to do too much. Set a goal for your yellow page ad and focus on that one goal. If you want people to call your law firm, don't just place your number there. Tell them they will get something if they call, like a free report or a book about their case.
- Track your yellow page ad. Purchase a number that is "yellow page only" and track how many calls come from it. Or, purchase a simple domain name and track visitors to your website. This data will help you refine your yellow page ad and improve your ROI.