Judging by the size of Yellow Pages they are still able to offer ROI – if not how do they sell – APLINK tends to think that like alot of activity I undertake in Social Media – some may look at the Yellow Pages as a meer Signpost to their door – that they choose to pay for, to some it is even irrelevant whether the ad results in any sales at all.
I (APLINK) sometimes forget that even though myself and people I know are very internet SAVVY – there remains a HUGE part of the global population that are not. I believe for the short to medium term this community needs to have traditional methods of living. In Australia some years ago BANKS tried to force everyone to use Internet Banking – was that realistic – no it was not then and is still not today.
But this post by UnMarketing is a worthy read – excerpt below
1. You’re aiming at the bottom of the barrel: No, I’m not saying people who use them are the lowest of the low, it’s that they’ve gone through every other resource that influences them to potentially buy before pulling out the directory. Have a look:
This is the Hierarchy of Buying I came up with 5 years ago after surveying a thousand or so people on how they hired a service provider. So your potential customer doesn’t already have a provider, doesn’t know anyone who could perform the service, doesn’t know anyone who knows anyone and hasn’t even heard of anyone in the field. So no relationships, no word-of-mouth. Nothing. (I should really make a new one, since Google would rank above Yellow Pages.)
2. Paper spam: Email spam works on the premise that if you blast it to a million people, a fraction of a fraction may be in the market for the product and a fraction of that may even click. Phone directories work on this same premise. 1.6 billion pounds of paper per year are used to produce the 500 million directories that go out in the United States every year in the hopes that you may be in the market for one of the 2,000 categories of businesses that are listed. It’s spam at its finest. You didn’t opt-in, the majority of people don’t use it, many not even taking it out of the plastic. Instead it ends up in landfill, might get recycled or thrown at random phone company trucks that drop them off. Sadly I don’t see them ever going opt-in, since like most things in the print industry, they charge due to bloated “circulation” numbers and I estimate the number of people who would actually ask for it at 14, give or take 12. Makes you want to go out and hug a tree and then go here to opt-out of them!