The Kiss of Death in Yellow Pages and Local Online Advertising

My wife and I were having a late afternoon snack in a grand, historic San Francisco restaurant perched on a cliff suspended over the crashing waves of the blue Pacific. As she sipped her wine and I drank my beer, an uninvited guest joined us at the table.

A paperclip-sized cockroach scurried from behind the cut glass candleholder, stepped gingerly over the placem and stopped, Kafkaesque, in front of the drink specials as if pondering the selection.

My wife barely controlled her natural instinct to run screaming from the establishment.

I convinced her to stay just long enough for me to chug the rest of my beer. Luckily, I can drain a full Sammy in 8 seconds flat.

In the restaurant marketing business , cockroaches are the Kiss of Death. When la cucaracha made his presence known, the restaurant lost our patronage forever.

Did you know there is a similar Kiss of Death in Yellow Pages advertising?

It's true. If you do this one thing, your ad is actually guaranteed to fail. This mistake is so destructive that it will be nearly impossible for the ad to generate enough calls to pay for itself.

The kiss of death in a Yellow Pages ad is

"Only Having a Toll Free Telephone Number and NOT having a Local Number."

Research on over 77,000 Yellow Pages ads shows that a toll free number signals to the shopper that the call will be routed to a distant call center and will probably be handled by an anonymous operator who has no knowledge of the local market.

Yellow Pages users overwhelmingly want to work with LOCAL companies.

To correct this devastating error, include a local number as the primary number in your ad.

A local number is one critically important step towards building a successful Yellow Pages ad.

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