The Yellow Pages telephone directory was once the backbone of advertising for Aussie businesses, but we are left wondering what it has left to offer in today’s digital world. Back in the late ’80s and ’90s, the Yellow Pages was a staple in every household and was an advertising tool for businesses across all industries. But what role do the Yellow Pages play in 2022? The truth is, Yellow Pages advertising still exists and can be a worthwhile tool for some businesses, but it definitely does not possess the same power it once did.
Advertising in the Yellow Pages in 2022 can still be effective for reaching mature-aged customers. Household services such as lawn mowing, gardening, and electrical work may still get some work from the Yellow Pages. However, Yellow Pages listings are a very passive form of lead generation and won’t be sufficient to fill your books.
No matter what kind of business you are running, there are plenty of advertising options available today. But depending on what type of business you’re running, don’t rule out the Yellow Pages just yet – it can be one tactic worth including in your lead generation arsenal, particularly as the costs are low.
This article will take you through everything you need to know about advertising in the Yellow Pages, including the pros and cons, the alternatives, and more. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know for your business.
Does the Yellow Pages Still Exist in Australia?
Believe it or not, the Yellow Pages does still exist in Australia. However, the popularity of the Yellow Pages has dwindled so much in recent years it’s now only delivered to households and businesses who opt-in for the service. Gone are the days when every household would receive a new Yellow Pages on their doorstep each year.
This may sadden us who feel nostalgic about receiving the Yellow Pages directory. However, this is ultimately a far better option for the environment, and opting in gives us a clearer idea of who still reads the Yellow Pages in 2022. And while phone books still exist, they are a lot slimmer than they were back in the day. This is because many businesses have opted out of advertising in the Yellow Pages, as they are happy to rely on online advertising.
But despite the decline in its popularity, the Yellow Pages still lives on. They have even taken their business online in a new digital format, making it easy to access and avoiding paper waste. The Yellow Pages have been making phones ring since 1880, and they’re still doing it now. But nowadays, instead of making phones ring, they are more often making inboxes ping.
Is Yellow Pages Advertising Still Worth It?
Whether advertising in the Yellow Pages is still worthwhile for your business will depend entirely on your business and your individual marketing needs. There is still a demographic of people who will use the Yellow Pages to find service-based work or other professional service niches.
You can list your business for free in the Yellow Pages online directory, which many companies still choose to do – what’s the harm in getting free advertising? However, the performance of your listing in search results will depend on paying for a premium listing, from $30 and up.
Actually getting your business included in the printed Yellow Pages phone book does come at a cost, however. The rates will different between locations and industries, as well as listing types: from a simple line entry with your contact details to a premium ‘awareness ad’. These days, you can also submit your business details via the Yellow Pages website, making it easier than ever for Australian businesses to be included in the big yellow book.
However, some business models are simply not suited to the Yellow Pages. If your business is marketed directly towards millennials or the Gen Z population, the Yellow Pages are unlikely to be their point of call. They may not even know what the Yellow Pages are! But since the older generation still finds comfort using the Yellow Pages, getting your business listed there can be an excellent way to make them aware of your service.
The main point is that it can be well worth advertising in the Yellow Pages, but it shouldn’t be the main focus of your lead generation efforts. As we’ve said, it is definitely not the best marketing channel today compared to how effective it was in the past—which is why paying money to get your business listed might not be the best use of your marketing budget.
Should I Still Advertise in the Yellow Pages?
The Yellow Pages still has the potential to generate leads for some businesses, and with free online directory listings available, there is generally no harm in advertising your business on the yellow pages. However, deciding whether to list your service in the physical phone book will depend on your marketing strategy and what the price is for your location and industry.
Many Australians still seek professional help from plumbers, electricians, landscapers and more by looking in the Yellow Pages for their local contractors. If you are an owner of one of these professional service firms, you should definitely take advantage of inexpensive listing options that the Yellow Pages offer.
All businesses can benefit from setting up a free Yellow Pages online directory listing, and whether it’s worth paying for premium options will depend on your business niche. As online directory listings are quite hands-off, they can’t be relied upon for a steady stream of leads, and you may find yourself forced to pay for upgrades to get your listing seen by searching customers.
If you are still unsure if you should advertise your business in the Yellow Pages, here is a list of pros and cons to help you decide.
Pros of Advertising in the Yellow Pages
- Targets specific geographical areas
The Yellow Pages phone book is still compiled by location. This means if your target market is a particular city or town, your business has a better chance of getting discovered by the people in that area. Sometimes your ads can even be localised to a suburban or neighbourhood level.
- Establishes your presence in your industry niche
Yellow Pages advertising can provide built-in targeting depending on the nature of your business and the industry you are in. When potential customers know what services or products they are looking for, they will simply search the Yellow Pages for that category. Combining the geographic zones and categories will give your business a higher chance of attracting your target customers.
- The audience is actively looking to buy
Most of the people searching the Yellow Pages for a product or service are customers who are ready to spend. Because they already know what they are looking for, then chances are they have already decided to spend on a product or service—all they need next are local companies who can offer them exactly what they are looking for.
- Online directory listings are easy to track
Advertising on the Yellow Pages is easy to track. You simply need to add a coupon, and if it comes back to you, you can track how many customers you have converted. By calculating your ROI based on how much you spent, you can decide if it’s worth paying for another 6 months.
You can also place a QR code or URL in your Yellow Pages ad that will direct them to a specific landing, giving you an approximate number of people who actually discovered your business that way. However, many of the elderly customers using the phone book will not be adept with using this technology.
- Yellow Pages online directory
The best thing about posting ads on the Yellow Pages nowadays is that they didn’t stop doing what they do best – getting your business discovered and on the map, just in a new format. In addition, online directory listings are a good way to drive people to your website and provide a backlink for SEO purposes.
Cons of Advertising in the Yellow Pages
- The competition is heavy
The Yellow Pages is not the only directory to list your business in, and the only way to maximise your reach through this platform is to pay for ad space in multiple of them. By the time you splash out on a premium ad to get the edge over competitors, this advertising strategy can quickly get pricey.
Plus, your ad will most likely be in the category where all your competitors are found, making it more challenging for your business to get discovered. If you’re going to run a premium Yellow Pages ad, make sure it stands out by hiring a good designer and copywriter.
- It is old-fashioned marketing
Phonebooks have plummeted in popularity over the past few decades, and Yellow Pages advertising is old news to many people. So the value of spending money on Yellow Pages advertising heavily depends on your target market and the nature of your business.
- Difficult to update
Unlike online ads, you cannot simply update ads in the Yellow Pages with a few clicks. For example, if you change your location or address, you cannot change it in the phone book for a year, making it hard for customers to reach you. And even if you change the information online, some customers who are just about to discover your business through the Yellow Pages will not be informed.
- Competition from digital alternatives
The biggest competition for the Yellow Pages is other digital directories, especially in this digital age. Google Ads and GoogleMyBusiness are some of the major sources of online leads, and the Yellow Pages these days are just not equipped to beat out the popularity of Google. Many other online platforms are definitely superior sources of leads, so the competition is tough for Yellow Pages ads.
- People must search the Yellow Pages to find your business
Unlike online ads designed to match customers’ interests and searches, Yellow Pages advertisements are for people looking for a specific product or service. People rarely browse the Yellow Pages without knowing exactly what they want. They usually flip through the phone book to seek the product or service they already have in mind, meaning you’re not connecting with leads until very late in the customer journey.
How Much Does It Cost To Advertise in the Yellow Pages in 2022?
The Yellow Pages offers a few different advertising services that differ in cost. Yellow Pages online listings have a different pricing structure to the Yellow Pages printed phone book, so to get your business included in both places, you’ll have to pay for two different subscriptions.
Yellow Pages Phone Book Listing Costs
It is not free to advertise in the printed Yellow Pages in Australia – even a simple line entry comes at a cost. The prices will depend on your business’ location, industry and niche, so you’ll need to contact Yellow Pages to inquire about specific pricing.
The Yellow Pages advertising options available in 2022 include:
- Line entries
A simple Yellow Pages listing with your contact details, with the option of a bold highlight colour.
- In-column ad
A small in-line ad to emphasise your business, with colour and style options.
- Display ads
Your choice of full-colour ad, from the size of a business card through to full page ads, with cost depending on size and industry.
- Awareness ads
The ultra-premium option displaying your business on the front or back of the Yellow Pages.
Yellow Pages Online Directory Costs
To simply get your business listed in the Yellow Pages online directory with no additional information is still free. However, you can choose to upgrade to different advertising plans to jazz up your business listing.
Here are their pricing plans and what they include:
Getting your business listed in the Yellow Pages is free. A free ad will include your business details, contact details, business address, website URL and a few notes regarding your services and operating hours.
The Bronze or Foundation Plan
For $30 a month, you can sign up for the Yellow Pages bronze or foundation plan. Compared to the free plan, this option gives you more space to explain your business and what it does. As well as everything available in a free ad, this plan will also include:
- Space for your business logo slogan and services
- Option to personalise your ad
- Option to include customer ratings
- Alternative ways to contact your business
- A location and operating hours
The Silver or Advantage Plan
For $59 a month, you can upgrade to the Yellow Pages silver or advantage plan. This plan features more visible content that aims to attract more customers.
In addition to the above, it also includes:
- An image and video gallery
- 3 x FAQs
- A promo title for new offers
Gold or Professional Plan
For $144 a month, your business can get the gold or professional Yellow Pages plan. This plan is significantly more expensive as it provides space for more valuable content aimed at securing leads.
In addition to the above, this plan includes:
- Exclusive quote requests
- 10 x FAQs
- Accreditation to support your ad
- The option to appear on multiple postcodes
The Platinum or Professional Plus Plan
This plan is designed for professional entrepreneurs who want to go to the next level and allows you to manage every detail and fine-tune your Yellow Pages ad.
In addition to the above, this plan includes:
- The Yellow Pages team fully manages your page
- Animated videos and images to help your ad stand out
- Option to add brand colours
- Call to action buttons that redirect customers to your website
How Can I Tell if My Yellow Pages Ad is Working?
If you decide to advertise your business in the Yellow Pages, you will probably want to know how effective your ads are. The easiest way to find out if your Yellow Pages ads are leading to conversions is to add a link or QR code to your ad.
This link should take your customers to a page that can only be reached through your Yellow Pages ad. This will allow you to track the number of customers who have actually found and read your Yellow Pages ad and followed its directions. However, since your contact details will also be displayed on the ad, the effectiveness and ROI of Yellow Pages advertising can be very difficult to track accurately.
Another option for your business is to survey customers and ask how they found your services. This allows you to gauge approximately what proportion of your customers respond via your Yellow Pages ad. This is not the most accurate method, but it may work for a small business.
How Does Yellow Pages Advertising Compare to Other Marketing Methods?
The Yellow Pages may have been the most effective marketing method available forty years ago, but it now faces heavy online competition. This means it is definitely not as effective as it once was.
To help you figure out if your business should still bother with Yellow Pages advertising, we have compared it with today’s top digital marketing platforms to see how they compare.
Yellow Pages vs Google Ads
It would be silly to deny that almost any business would have a better chance of generating leads and being discovered through Google ads than the Yellow Pages. In the digital world we currently live in, Google ads can easily reach people as we are always on the internet. They also have a lot more flexibility and freedom in terms of design.
Google ads also can show up for potential clients at the perfect moment. The clever technologies involved in Google ads allow it to target your business’s desired audience and show up in their daily internet use.
There is no denying that this is a lot more effective and convenient in the digital era. However, this does not mean the Yellow Pages can’t still play a role for some businesses. But it is fair to admit that its reach and effectiveness can’t compare to Google ads.
Yellow Pages vs Lead Generation Sites
Other lead generation platforms are excellent for getting potential customers to discover your business, but having an ad listed in the Yellow Pages is more viable for passive long-term advertisements. So, make sure you mix and match your marketing strategies and opt for what is best for your business model.
For professional services, older generations tend to search the Yellow Pages. So if you have a business that targets that generation—you should definitely choose to opt for at least a free Yellow Pages ad.
However, for more proactive lead generation, consider using a reliable lead generation site like Bizza. Powered by Australia’s very own Jim’s Group, Bizza offers high-quality leads to independent Aussie businesses.
Like the Yellow Pages, Jim’s Group is a trusted name in most households, and plenty of customers will directly call Jim’s when they need a service. Where there isn’t a local Jim’s Group franchisee available, small businesses can pick up these high-quality leads at a great price.
If you’re looking to get more leads in 2022, listing in the Yellow Pages can be useful, but it shouldn’t be your only marketing strategy. Be sure to balance passive promotional efforts with proactive lead generation tactics that give you more control over the number and value of leads you receive.
What is the Difference Between Yellow Pages and White Pages?
Besides the actual colours of the pages, the Yellow Pages and White Pages actually contain different information. The Yellow Pages lists the phone numbers and addresses of businesses grouped by category. The White Pages instead list the numbers and addresses of individuals and is ordered alphabetically.