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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Yell, Yellow Pages & Yell Mobile (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Potty the Pirate
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I had a very strange call from BT yesterday. They were trying to sign me up to some kind of directory - and kept talking about a new website + domain name they would provide which would be constantly optimised. Trying to find out exactly what they meant was a joke - as neither the telesales operator nor her manager actually knew! They kept insisting that "All you need to know is that the Spiders that Google send out will really like the website we provide you" without explaining what SEO methods would be used for optimisation.
I THINK the bottom line is you're paying (minimum £40 per month, with no upper limit) for a domain name to be registered, and web hosting - as well as inclusion in their online directory. Total cost for 1 year, realistically, should be about £5 for the domain, £10 for the web hosting, and £10 for the directory. So they're charging about 20 times the value of the product! If you want your site optimised, you have to pay more - and you have to build the website yourself (I think). The pitch was so vague, they obviously are trying to rope in anyone who (still) hasn't got their internet presence organised.
It's clear that Yell and BT are still living in the last century when it comes to promotions and advertising.
;)
Red Shadow
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Your right when you say the 'sales reps' don't have a clue about what their product is, and are practically trying to sell you a dead horse as it were.

I also think that Yellow pages make false booking enquiry calls. Meaning one of the sales reps calls you a few days before the sales pitch, pretending to be an actual client and want your services. They say where they got your number from, before saying they will think about it and that's the last you hear from them.
I know you will get this from normal customers, but normal customers don't usually name-drop the yellow pages unless you specifically ask them. That's what makes me think its them doing it, that and the fact that all these name-drop calls happen in the week prior to Yellow pages calling you and them trying to sell you advertising space.

It would be a clever tactic, but honestly, I don't know if there that smart enough to implement it?

Steve
Potty the Pirate
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Steve, you may well be right. They're really clutching at straws. The problem being that historically Yellow Pages could command huge rates, as they had an effective monopoly on local advertising. Now that Google have taken almost the entire international/national and local on-line advertising markets, companies like Yellow Pages and Yell.com need to recognise that they are now simply a very small fish in a very large pond. As long as they cling to the notion that customers will spend hundreds or thousands of pounds for a service which costs a few pounds and ten minutes work to implement, they will only be getting an ever-decreasing share of the market. Advertisers will get very few enquiries, and will then not renew their ads; company owners will become more and more internet-savvy, realising that certain specialist SEO companies can do more for them than any of the directories. Even then, most of the SEO companies demand outrageous fees for what they provide. And in my opinion, many of the "rip-off" SEO companies have little or no understanding of what SEO is all about anyway. My conversation with the BT people yesterday is a case in point.
A local company which specialises in web design and optimisation recently placed an ad offering to link websites with Twitter - at a cost of £200. This is something that anyone managing their own website can do free of charge, in about 10 minutes. So, they're asking for £200 for 10 minutes' work.
Overall, the only real choice today is to manage and build your own website in-house, or to find reputable companies who won't charge ridiculous prices.
The market place is now a minefield, and it's very easy to get badly stung. My advice is NEVER sign up to an SEO company that contacts you directly. If it's a phone call you've had, most of the money you would part with would go to fund the telesales operation, bonuses, etc, and only a tiny amount would be for the actual service you receive.
Potty Smile
TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2010-04-27 13:24, Al Angello wrote:
In the US those books go from the driveway to the trash can without ever making it to the house.

don't you mean the recycle bin????? I hope??
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jimhlou
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WELL, I received my yellow page bill today and it's $134.00 a month. I talked with a nice fellow a couple of months ago and we came up with a small book ad and internet listing for $70.00. Two months later I get a bill for double the amount we agreed upon. What's up with that! Is this the way they do business?

I wrote them a note and asked to please cancel ALL yellow page advertising. We'll see what happens. I never signed any type of contract or anything, it was all verbal over the phone. Is this typical of the way they do business?

Jim
Al Angello
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Frank
You are right the bin, and the can are in the same place, and I call it all the trash. We are so trash concious at our house that my wife washes plastic bottles before she puts them into the recycle bin. I told her that no one throws away clean trash but her, and that clean trash is a sign of a sickness.
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Potty the Pirate
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Quote:
On 2010-07-01 13:36, jimhlou wrote
".....Two months later I get a bill for double the amount we agreed upon. What's up with that! Is this the way they do business?

I wrote them a note and asked to please cancel ALL yellow page advertising. We'll see what happens. I never signed any type of contract or anything, it was all verbal over the phone. Is this typical of the way they do business?"

Jim

In a word - "yes". You should have no problem cancelling the "new" arrangement, but they've probably got a recording of your discussion, and will hold you to your original agreement. YP are desperate, sadly they've failed to come up to the mark. Probably because they still employ large numbers of sales people who haven't moved with the times.
When you agree to a Yell.com ad, you should realise that Yell.com only get a TINY percentage of searches, and of course, that is becoming ever smaller. YP simply can't compete in the modern market place, and they refuse to give up their notion that they have this fantastic "name" which attracts the majority of folks looking for services.
There are still some industries which can do well with YP. Builders, and other businesses which may be less internet-savvy, can probably get a good return for their investment.
Several years ago, my YP ad would attract about ten callers a week. Conversion rates were high, and average cost per booking was around £5. (I spent £1000, and got 200 bookings). Not great, but OK. The last year I spent money with YP, my cost per booking was £44. (I spent £220, and got 5 bookings in the year from YP). In a previous year, when I paid for a full color box ad, the cost per booking was over £60.
By contrast, my websites, domains, and SEO cost a total of £300 a year, and bring in about 200 bookings. That's just £1.50 per booking. AND, it means I have a great website (as well as many "satellite sites"), which I can direct customers to, who have been recommended to call me. My website converts pretty much 100% of clients, so it's a very strong advertising tool.
I strongly recommend having a website with video - especially in my area, where there are now HUNDREDS of "entertainers". If your clients can SEE what they will get, they are much more likely to book, and the more websites that have video, the more likely it will be that clients will EXPECT to see a performer working, than to trust the "hype" that's written there.
Potty Smile
Al Angello
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Potty
The Yellow pages have failed not because of their staff, but because they are no longer relevant. The drug store in my neighborhood used to sell several hundred Sunday news papers every weekend. They now sell about 10 a weekend, all print media is dieing.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Potty the Pirate
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Quote:
On 2010-07-01 14:30, Al Angello wrote:
Potty
The Yellow pages have failed not because of their staff, but because they are no longer relevant. The drug store in my neighborhood used to sell several hundred Sunday news papers every weekend. They now sell about 10 a weekend, all print media is dieing.

...and if the staff of yell.com were aware of this, they should have made sure that they met their customers' needs - which they have not.
;)
Al Angello
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If no one reads their book the staff of the yellow pages has nothing to do with the death of the yellow pages. It is simply an idea who's time has passed.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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jimhlou
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You may be right - print media is dying a slow death. Unfortunately, the generations following us will not be able to read or write. I cringe every time I get on the internet and see how the "bloggers" butcher the English language.

Jim
Al Angello
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Jim
I see that you don't have a web site listed. Did you ever think that if you spent your yellow pages money on a great web site you would get more bang for your buck.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Red Shadow
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Well I left the yellow pages and yell. The cost was far, far too high.

As soon as I did so, I got more calls from supposably clients who were interested in hiring me. The first thing they said is that they found my number in the yellow pages. Now I've mentioned this before, but a real client isn't interested in telling you where they found you - all they really want to know is your price and availability.
You have to ask them for that information at the end of the call. It gave them away as being yellow page stooges.

Also, none of those enquiries turned into bookings. None. It either means they were all yellow pages reps pretending to be clients, or actual clients who were simply looking for the cheapest and couldn't afford me. Either way, advertising in the book and site is a waste of time, and money.
Potty the Pirate
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If YP had called me and offered me a better deal, I might have been persuaded to keep with them a while longer. But they weren't interested in my business, so they lost it. I never had calls from YP "stooges", in my area I simply don't think they have sufficient drive to bother chasing business.
I have had calls from yell.com, who are so outrageously overpriced, it makes my eyes water!
While checking the results of internet searches (on Google), I have NEVER seen a yell.com ad come up. Perhaps the folks at Google see YP as competition, and make sure yell.com stays way down the listings. I don't know, but it seems the only way to find yell.com (and therefore those who advertise there) is to search for it specifically. Last I heard, yell.com manage about 5% of searches, but I suspect that number is "statistically enhanced". I have never used yell.com, and I'm not aware of anyone that does.
Again, these guys simply will not listen to their customers. They will keep selling to an ever-decreasing number of clients until their business becomes unviable. Watch Yellow Pages and yell.com go bust very shortly, if they don't start to wake up to modern advertising.
Doug
Al Angello
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Here Doug perhaps this link will be of some service to you.

http://www.yellowpages.com/?from=Brandin......odPVI7yA
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Potty the Pirate
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Thanks Al, I won't be signing up with YP again, unless they can somehow get a significant percentage of searches. Alas, I think they are flogging a dead horse!
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