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Red Shadow
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Yell, Yellow Pages & Yell Mobile

Its that time again when the 'buy advertising with us' calls come in every day. We all get them from telephone directories, search engines, search optimization people, call centres, wall-planners, diaries, brochures, takeout menus and many, many more who are all after our money.

I've raised the issue on Yellow Pages before, and I think we all agreed that the book has not been productive in bringing in the work as of late. But, they have made some changes that are worthy of starting this new thread.

1) The book is now A5 size, which means it will fit on the bookshelf. An important issue for people who now have a place to put it.

2) They have moved all free line entries into their own compartment at the back of the book, with no information regarding category. So only paid adverts will get attention from a passing reader.

3) Many companies have gone under the last few years, and other have stopped advertising with them. This can means you get more attention as their is less competition in your same adverting category.

But, it still has its problems. Most notably:

1) There are still 2 categories that people look for us under, which would require double the fees for our needs. These are 'Entertainers' and 'Children's Entertainer'. Other categories can include DJ's and Inflatable hire making the cost even higher.

2) The books for Manchester are split into 3. This means I have to pay 3 times the same as other people, just to cover my working area. This is the same for several other cities.

3) Yell.com is still separate from Yellow Pages the book, and has no promotional offers that utilize both services.

4) People still use google more than Yell, and Yell isn't even optimised enough to be on the first page of any search engine as of yet (as far as I can tell).

5) Yell.com has just forced all paid advertisers to accept a new telephone number that Yell can control. The reason for this is because they want to monitor the number of call-throughs they get, which is ridiculous as there are several other methods to achieve this same goal. Since most of our businesses are represented by our name and number, I personally do not want to associate myself with a brand new telephone number, especially one which I will lose as soon as I stop adverting with them.


I have just been given a quote. To advertise in the 3 books that cover my area, and on Yell.com with the same coverage area. In one category with a simply box advert with no images and just 2 lines of text. It would cost me £1170

What are your thoughts on this?
kimmo
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That sounds like crazy money to me. I've noticed no difference since dropping the advert. It would take a lot to get me back in there.
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Al Angello
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In the US those books go from the driveway to the trash can without ever making it to the house.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Daveandrews
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I invested a bunch of money last year, but I wont be bothering this year.
They rang, the gent asked if I remembered him, I said yes, but I'm not renewing in any form.

When I said 'no' last year we 'did a deal' - this year he was nowhere near as pushy. I think 'they' know it's a case of 'last legs'.

I'll be investing my advertising budgety in other ways this year.

Dave
http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk

Winner of KIDabra International's 'People's Choice Award'
Winner IBM British Ring Dittia Shield for manipulation
keeblem
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I've pretty much made up my mind not to re-new my advert. At a guess about 95% (or even higher) of my work comes through the internet, previous bookings or recommendations.

Mark
gman
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Lancaster, pa
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As a person who works for a company that makes the phone books...I can certainly attest to the drop in volume in books over the last few years. I always look at the magicians and children entertainers when we are doing the books and it is amazing that in some areas only Phillip and Henery are the advertisers under magicians!

Most people at work don't even use the phone books they use google or yahoo to look up businesses. With the cell phones getting smarter one guy says he dosen't have to even touch the screen he just states the city and type of business and his phone looks it up for him.

And yet there are some people who complain that the books are getting smaller or not being around. In my opinion it is a 50/50 shot at getting someone who will find you in the phone book.

George
ColinDymond
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I wasn't going to advertise with them but I did a bit of a deal and it's still just about paid for its self. There still seems to be enough people who are still in the habbit of useing the phone book. Maybe if I wasn't in there they would still find me. I'll see how this year goes.
JimbosMagic
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I have done my usual adverts as I must admit I do get a lot of enquiries from yellow pages.
I started to ask where they got my info from and quite a lot say the internet or your web site. Then I asked how they found the web site and probably a quarter said they got the web site from seeing my yellow pages ad.
JIMMY CARLO. KIDabra International Family Entertainer of the Year 2009.
IBM Triple Award Winner. Uk Champion of Comedy Magic.
Represented the UK in the United Slapstick Awards on German TV.
European Children's Entertainer of the year 2007/8
Red Shadow
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I still can't get over the fact that Yell force all their advertisers to take on a new telephone number just so they can try to track the number of leads they provide.
Your telephone number is part of your corporate identity. Some people spend a lot of money on a fancy, rhyming number. While others have bought a free-phone number.

The fact that they force you to take on a new number negates this. It also confuses the client as they have no idea which number to call (if they see a different one on your website), and they will probably never remember your number as there are too many to think about.

Also, you lose that number as soon as you stop advertising with them, so any clients that have written down this new number will no-longer be able to reach you.

And why? So that they can track the number of leads? Why not just have the telephone number concealed by a drop-down box or reveal box, which monitors the number of times its clicked? This will save you a small fortune as telephone numbers are quite expensive and its just a tiny bit of code on the site that won't cost you a thing!
It will also solve all those problems on having multiple numbers etc.

In the end, this was the deal breaker for me. Up until that point, I was tempted to advertise again simple because it was a tax write-off and didn't really cost me. But giving me a new telephone number that they control - no way. The fact that they aren't smart enough to even think of drop-down boxes as a way of achieving the goal - that just shows their stupidity and doesn't help their sales pitch. I might be technically minded, but they have paid web-designers on staff who supposedly run Yell.com. If they make a mistake like this, I can't trust them with my advertising money either.

They have lost my support.
kimmo
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Hi this is Carolyne - John's partner - I do all the telephone/email bookings and I ask where they have seen us advertised. Over the past 18 months I can truly say we have had 2 bookings and just a handful of enquiries. Most of our bookings are from recommendation, re-bookers, business cards and seen before. So the yellow pages is a defo NO NO. John was a bit unsure whether to take the risk but I said NO! Yellow Pages woman kept saying "deals" but I said they can put it in for free if they wanted to - just my business side coming over but what works for different people in different parts of the country - it didn't work for us
Carolyne
Booking Coordinator Smile
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Daveandrews
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Wish I had a 'Booking Coordinator' - you go girl!

Dave
http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk

Winner of KIDabra International's 'People's Choice Award'
Winner IBM British Ring Dittia Shield for manipulation
garydunn
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Yellow Pages and yell.com cost me over £1000.00 last year in Glasgow. I had only a handful of enquiries and maybe a couple of bookings..... I'll not be taking any more ads. I don't know anyone who still picks up a book to look for ANY kind of tradesmen, so why should magicians be any different. Also, the last time I looked, yell.com isn't even of the first page of a google search for "magician", or "children's entertainer" so why bother with that either? Kimmo's "Booking Coordinator" is spot on with her comments!
Jeff Haas
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Also, I'd think the generations that grew up using the phone book as their main resource are getting older...and probably don't have young kids with birthday parties. Instead, the younger generations all have migrated over to using the internet (and now smartphones) to look things up.
keeblem
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Quote:
On 2010-05-05 19:21, Jeff Haas wrote:
Also, I'd think the generations that grew up using the phone book as their main resource are getting older...and probably don't have young kids with birthday parties. Instead, the younger generations all have migrated over to using the internet (and now smartphones) to look things up.


That is a very good point. I've had the YP rep on the phone yesterday and he almost persuaded me to take a smaller advert (after I told him I wasn't going to renew). Just looking over the above comments I've now made up my mind not to renew.

Mark
ColinDymond
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You don't have to change your number, I haven't. My main beef with yell.com is that if you search for a magician you get anyone who is listed in the entertainers section including bouncy castles cark racing etc!

One thing to check now is how your website looks on a smart phone. If you have a great looking web site that is done in flash, it wont work on an iphone!
Red Shadow
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I've officially backed out of the book and Yell. I was tempted for some time as it was a Tax write-off, but the whole change of telephone fiasco that Yell imposed on you is a serious deal-breaker for me and I couldn't bring myself to give them any sum of money.

They refused to lower the costs from £1170 which is ridiculous and so I have left the book.
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
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OMG that's $1,730 a year
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
magic.ian
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I am beginning to think that hiring a booker / telephone sales rep might be the best intvestment beyong a great show that provides referals and a good web site. Beyond referals and repeat clients I get most of my new business from targeted web/email campaigns that I do. If I paid someone to do that leg work I could increase bookings. Yellow pages has not helped me for a couple of years.
keeblem
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Quote:
On 2010-05-09 10:02, Al Angello wrote:
OMG that's $1,730 a year


I think YP have been greedy and not very helpful and I believe they are going to regret that attitude over the next couple of years. I'm keen to see the size of the new book because I'm guessing that's it going to be a lot smaller in size.

I believe that the YP will cease to exist (certainly in it's current format) in the next few years.

Also, if anyone is still in any doubt have a look at this article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-......net.html

Mark
Potty the Pirate
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The sad thing is that YP are resting on their worn-very-thin laurels. With their name and reputation, they could have made a reasonable challenge to Google. But they're used to getting thousands of pounds per page of advertising, with almost NO significant sales abilities. YP reps used to earn substantial salaries, with big bonuses, and a very easy product to sell. Now it's clear that their sales people really don't have a clue, in fact, they're quite happily allowing YP to die a rapid death.
I've been fascinated by the fact that they don't bother to pursue dissatisfied customers, they just let them go. Nor do they listen to what customers say - I've been telling them every year that the prices at Yell.com are totally unrealistic.
:)
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