I have been quoted recently saying that "Yellow Pages are so 1993". While it is true that even Grandma uses the internet to find things today, you cannot afford to completely ignore yellow Pages.
Plan your Yellow Page ad strategically. First, don't waste your time or money on the Yellow Page books nobody uses. They may be cheaper, but there is a reason. There are a lot of companies out there selling ad space, but only a few of them are worth the investment. Stick to the book that most of your customers grab first.
The first step in ad design is to take a look at everyone else?s ad in your category to see what size and features they are using to attract customers? attention. If no competitor in your area is using display ads, you can get away without one as well (or you can put in a small ad that will get everyone?s attention). If everybody and their brother is going with a display ad, you will need one too (in order to compete). You don?t always need to have the largest ad, but you really do want to look like you are in the race.
Ads are arranged by most Yellow Page publishers by some basic rules. The first ad of any size ends up being the top one in that size, for example. If ten companies buy quarter-page ads, then the first one to buy that size gets to be on the top. These same rules often apply to color and other features.
Make sure your ad tells all of the reasons why a customer should call you. If you are Certified, accept credit cards, have a special price point or service, give free estimates, belong to PWNA, or anything else that distinguishes you from your competitors, this is a good time to let your customer know that.
You might give your ideas to the Yellow Page rep and let them design the ad for you. This is usually a free service, and they will make a lot of suggestions that you might not otherwise consider. In the end, however, never forget that they are trained to sell you stuff - whether or not you really need it. YOU must be satisfied with the ad because you have to pay for it and your business survival may depend on it. Don?t ever be afraid to critique your ad and send it back to them for re-work.