We left off our discussion by listing some of the benefits found in traditional yellow pages directory listings. These include the ability to find directory assistance just about anywhere these days, the index and product headings systems are easy to understand and to use, and as each directory is new for at least a year, each listing or ad receives huge exposure and long-term frequency.
But there are times when a window coverings retailer might need more than a standard listing or a larger advertisement than the average business-card size display ad in a directory. Making that decision could depend on what your competition is doing. How do you decide? Here is some help.
If your business relies on telephone calls coming in from prospective customers, if your direct competition runs display ads or boldface listings, then maybe you need larger ads to meet competition and give prospects more information about your services. Here are some general guidelines.
You need only a basic normal listing if:
•Your products or services are purchased on impulse and are generally low-priced.
•Your prospects do not require added information.
You need a larger listing if:
•Your competitors use special listings or display ads. No reason to spend money for either of the above if your competitors don't. That is probably an indication that prospects don't use directories to find your kinds of products or services. So, depend on your regular listing to reach any stray prospects.
•Your prospects prefer a reputable source and look for more specific services.
•Your prices run higher and customers want more assistance before investing.
•You depend on the phone for orders. (You probably will need an ad as large, and as convincing, as those of your competitors).
If your regular business falls in between these categories, you might need only an attention-getting boldface listing, or an accent border on your ad. You also can buy extra lines in your regular listing to briefly describe your special services.
If you find your directory advertising is
of real marketing value for your business,
there are ways to make them better and
TIPS TO IMPROVE RESULTS
If you find your directory advertising is of real marketing value for your business, here are some added ideas to use them better and more effectively.
List your Web site address in your display ad or listings; also on your BuyWindow Coverings.com site.
Many window coverings specialty and design firms have achieved excellent long-range benefits from extra investments in directory ads. Because of intensive competitive ads, they use proven eye-catching concepts. They hire an advertising agency or free-lancers to add such elements as:
•A second color, usually red or blue, to help increase responses.
•Their directory ads tie-in with the logo and type used in other ads and print designs familiar to customers.
•They come up with good headlines, the most important element to catch readers. They use other items, such as bullets and accent arrows to direct readers' eyes to major benefits.
•They include all necessary information, depending on space, that might be of assistance to prospects. A final purchase decision may depend on a specific, unusual benefit you offer.
•They use basic words in their copy; no cute unclear words or too much punctuation. They know that readers will not take time to figure out an obscure message.
Much more information about the value and power of directories could be written. But space is limited and you're out of time. I hope you found some interest in this discussion about directory advertising, a unique marketing aid.
John J. Lichty is a consultant and senior editor for Draperies & Window Coverings magazine. He has more than 30 years experience in the planning and administration of various consumer, trade and retail advertising programs.