Advertising in the Yellow Pages

Winters Yellow Pages

A lot of upholsterers don't advertise in the yellow pages, but only have a one line listing. I can certainly relate to having struggles with advertising in the phone books. However, I've changed the way that I do my advertising with them. I give the phone directory companies my ads laid out exactly as I want them. Since some of my "hobbies" are desktop publishing (and I've also done a little typesetting), photography, and art, for the last few years I've been designing my own yellow pages ads.


Self-Designed Yellow Pages Display Ads

Winters Yellow PagesI design the ads and give a print out of exactly how I want it done. First, I usually review what I said in last year's ad, and make any changes. Beside editing the text, we all went down to the portrait studio for pictures, we all wore white so that the text would show up against our clothes. They took a number of pictures and we picked out which one we liked best. Then, after I got the picture, I scanned it into our computer, worked with it to make it acceptable for the ad. Since the picture the portrait that we liked best was a close up with almost no background, I greatly enlarged the tiny plain light background so the the background would cover the entire area of the ad. Because shadows of the picture, and my daughter's long hair, would make the overlaying text hard to read, I lightened all those areas on the picture. when I was finished with the alterations to the picture, then I sent this digital picture to Transwestern, along with a page of layout instructions, shown here: [Our Layout Instructions| trade/Regional ad 2004-2005- Last sample.pdf]

Two Telephone Directories:

I deal with two telephone companies, Qwest Dex (now just DEX) and Transwestern Publishing (which puts out the Regional phone Book.)

  1. Qwest: I enjoy dealing with Qwest, they act very professional, such as returning my phone calls, giving me proofs well in time to make corrections. My one dissappointment is that they are so spendy (now close to $140 per month for a 1/16 page display ad).
  2. Transwestern: On the other hand, with Transwestern, I've not had as good of interactions; we've had lots of frustrations with them every year. I won't go into the details, but, even with our challenges with them, we decided to go ahead and to continue advertising with them because; The recipients of the telephone books don't see our frustrations, they only see the finished telephone directory. They are using it to find a desired service or product. We decide that it would probably hurt us if we were not in it. Transwestern is the "new guy in town"(been town only about 5 or 6 years now). Consequently, their display ads are a larger size, and yet cost only a little over half of what Qwest DEX charges. Since each of the two phone books come out at different times of the year, we figured that when each phone book comes out, many of the people may throw away "the old phone book", even though it is the other company's phone book. Then the client would have thrown away the telephone directory containing our ad. The challenge of seeing the results of the ad copy that I give them causes me to be more specific and detailed, showing exactly how I want the ad to look. An example of this can be found at the hyperlink at the end of paragraph 2.) above, and, happily the resulting add can be seen using the hyperlink at the end of paragraph 4. a.) below.
  3. A Surprise: Now, a delightful surprise for us. As I was writing out this message, I looked for an online version of our ad and found that a copy of our add, that will be in the new Regional telephone directory, is online (for which we had not received a proof). Actually, I think that this time our ad turned out pretty good.  We usually get fairly good results with the yellow pages. This is the first year that it will have a website address (since this is the first year we had a website.)

Advertising Helps: At the time this article was written, we'd only been in Salem about 10 years, the first two or three years we were doing mostly just work for decorators. Those were a couple of very financially tight years; we didn't get enough work from decorators to really support us, but it was enough to just scrape by. We finally decided to advertise in the local newspaper (it comes out once a month with a distribution of about 10,000 to our section of town) We put a display ad, similar to the above on the yellow pages link. We also decided to advertise in the yellow pages. Since we have been advertising regularly we have found that it makes a definite difference in the amount of business that we get. So, consequenty, I'm in favor of advertising in the yellow pages. It works for us.