yellow pages are a bad investmentSo what does Bernie Madoff have in common with the yellow pages?  They both represent VERY bad investments.  That may sound harsh, but follow me here and I will show you why.  The yellow pages sales tactics have adapted to include some fairly modern buzzwords like SEO, landing pages, etc.  Do not be fooled. Yellow pages exist for one reason – to make money selling real estate in a big fat book that nobody looks at anymore.  And just as an unscrupulous investor can dupe trusting individuals into investing in something that doesn’t exist – yellow pages take small business’ hard earned marketing budget every day, with the promise of big returns that they have no ability to deliver.

What The Yellow Pages Companies Don’t Want You To Know

It’s no secret that most in the modern-day marketing industry have little love for the once-ubiquitous thick yellow book of business listings.  Truthfully, these things used to be useful.  When you needed to look up the phone number for the pizza delivery place, or find a plumber – you went to the Yellow Pages.  Ask yourself though, what do you do now when you need to find out this information?  If you are at work, you most likely pull it up in google.  If you are out and about, you probably just pull out your iPhone or Droid and do a quick search.  At home – you grab the iPad or other tablet.  The device isn’t important though – the key fact here is that we just do not use the yellow pages anymore. So what does this have to do with taking people’s money?

If consumers aren’t using the yellowpages, then how are they finding anything?

Glad you asked that question. If you want to know more about how savvy businesses are attracting customers in the digital marketplace, check out this eBook. Using gravity as an illustration, we explain the changes that have taken place, and how to reach these consumers through inbound marketing

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Let Your Fingers Do The Walking (On Your Smartphone)

Remember that old ad slogan from the 80s?  Here is the basic message of the Yellow Pages marketing reps.  “Hey – our book goes out to 150,000 homes each year. If you want to be found, you HAVE to be in this book”.  I won’t argue that the book gets “delivered” to these homes – but if people really thought about how many of these immediately hit the recycle bin, or worse – the trash can, you would realize two things. 1) very few actually see/use this book and 2) they are filling up our landfills and taking our money to do it!

Yellow Pages = Bad Investment

Most would be shocked to find the vast amounts of money businesses still spend on yellow page ads. They are not cheap. In fact, many of the quarter to half page ads cost hundreds of dollars a month – and that is in a small market.  The full page ads? The ones all the attorneys and air conditioning repair companies buy up? Those can easily run into the thousands.

Be Strong – Don’t Take The Bait!

Rest assured, the yellow page companies know that their days are over.  However, to keep sales up, they mix enough “digital” into the discussion to make themselves seem relevant.  For instance, if you buy this yellow page ad – they will throw in a free website, or SEO services.  Don’t take the bait – in the end, all they care about is selling the ad.  The website they build is going to be amateurish at best, and nothing is free – they are taking a lot of your money each month to pay for all this nonsense.

So, in the end, be informed and realize that yellow pages aren’t worth the price of the paper they are printed on.  The don’t work anymore, and as much as they hate to admit it, even THEY know this is true.  So no matter how they try to sweeten the pot, tell them to take someone else’s money.  Otherwise the only people getting rich off of your advertisement investment are the CEOs of the yellow page firms!

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