How To Attract More Visitors With Yellow Pages
By B. Dicker
This chapter can be tremendously valuable to your church—right now! If you are a hard working Pastor or Outreach Director then there’s a very good chance you will benefit by this unique and unusual approach to YP advertising.
Why? Because it can instantly help you improve and tweak your current Yellow Pages (YP) ad and give you cutting edge ideas for new ads without costing a lot of extra dollars, work and headaches.
Churches need to continuously attract NEW visitors to their places of worship and advertising in the YP has never been easier.
Whether you’re a current YP advertiser or not, there’s much to be gained from studying this chapter. YP advertising for churches can be extremely successful and in my opinion advertising in the YP is an absolute must.
One element to always remember about YP is; It is the most competitive advertising approach in the field of marketing and promotions!
With that in mind, let me mention that you should always start your Yellow Pages ad with a
Benefit-Driven, Attention-Compelling Headline. You may be asking, “Why”? Listed below are several reasons.
1. Although, on an average, 29-40% of the population in America attends, or has affiliation with, a church, 65-75% of all those who look in the YP have no particular church in mind, allowing them to be totally open. What they really want is to be sold on why they should attend your church. A powerful effective headline is a tool that will help sell them.
2. Even with the church-going crowd, when they look in the YP, it is estimated that one-eighth of the 25-35% could predictably be swayed from the church they are presently attending.
3. Whereas your church name, your logo, your picture, a cute slogan, is very easily
recognized and noticed by your own church members. These things do persuade others to attend your services. Since space is what they charge you for in a YP ad, this can be a costly mistake.
4. In addition, don’t make the mistake of creating an oversized business card when designing your YP ad. What you do want to do is create an ad that stands out from all the rest of the church ads and draws attention to what it is that is special about your church.
70% of all advertising is won or lost with the headline. When you start your YP ad with a good headline (benefit-driven, attention-compelling), you immediately capitalize on the fact that 90% of all church YP ads don’t have a headline. This gives Your Church a competitive advantage over almost all other advertisers in the church category. Most churches, instead of a good headline, have all sorts of other things in their ad. They start their ad with a church name, a logo, a cross-street location, a cute slogan, a picture of the building or Pastor, etc.
When designing a YP ad, ask yourself the same question most people looking through the YP for a church, are asking themselves: “How will this benefit me? What’s in it for me? How will I be better off if I answer this ad?”
Here are four important copy factors that provide most of the people looking through the YP with important information about your church:
1) Reliability! This includes such information as the number of years in business, the size of your church building, extra rooms, etc.
2) Location! Potential members are influenced by location for they tend to look for convenience or nearby sources for their needs. Specifics such as maps (across from city hall, on the corner of 5th & Main St., etc) help the person looking for a church to discover your church.
3) Special services, benefits and features. This is your opportunity to promote a competitive difference and to show the potential church member what distinguishes you from all the other churches out there.
4) Completeness! These factors have to do with business hours, days of your church services and what type of beneficial ministries your church has available.
Size of the Yellow Page Ad
Let’s talk about the size of the YP ad. YP advertising is distinctly different to any other media out there. For one thing anybody that advertises in the YP is limited to the exact, identical, biggest size ad that everyone else is. What that means is, no matter how big of an ad or how gaudy one gets, your largest rival, your biggest competitor, the big church across town, can only buy a full page ad at a time.
I like this.
What it does is put the same limitations on everyone. Anybody advertising in the YP has to play by essentially the same rules when it comes to size.
According to recent business statistics, when you actually go about doubling the size of your YP ad, the response rate in most cases doubles and triples. However, the biggest ad will only work for you if you have a strong benefit driven message for the individual that is searching for a church. Your church does not necessarily need the biggest ad to come out ahead here, So, therefore, biggest is not always best. I cannot stress this enough. What is really important is your message. It is the message you want to communicate (help to the hurting, deliverance to the addict, healing for the sick, hope to the discouraged, etc.) that is absolutely the foremost, powerful issue on hand. No one else knows and understands your message better than you. For this reason it is of utmost importance you (the Pastor, the Outreach Director, etc.) be involved in the creative process of putting together a good YP ad.
You must ask yourself, what can we as a church afford to spend on advertising? Combine the right message with the right size and you will have a very effective YP ad. A YP ad that is sure to be successful.
To Copycat or Not To Copycat?
Let us take a look at why you should never attempt to copy someone else’s YP ad and also, why you really do not want to blindly listen to the YP Sales Reps. (Copy the general idea of an ad only if it is a Direct Response-type ad)
When it comes to dealing with YP Sales Rep’s, remember, their objective is NOT the same as yours.
YP Sales Rep’s Objective:
Get customer to spend as much money as possible on the YP ad. Hopefully, it is your objective to have people stop, look, read and respond to the YP ad by picking up the phone and calling you promptly.
I have dealt with the YP Sales Reps quite often and usually they will recommend you copy what everyone else is doing in that particular category. If you care to go that route, down the path of mediocrity lane, I can almost guarantee all it produces is unimpressive, unexceptional, below-average results.
So don’t merely copycat everyone else’s YP ad. Be creative. Have a brain-storming session with a group of people from your church. After all, it is the Pastor, the Outreach Director and the members of your local assembly that know what is best for your church. I am assuming they would know more about the operation of things than a YP Rep.
In this closing paragraph I want to again draw your attention to the effectiveness of yellow page ads. Some churches get new visitors from their ads and others get no calls at all. The main reason is the overall construction of the ad. If you follow the examples and pay heed to the other advice given in this section, you will be ahead of most of the other churches in town. A final suggestion when deciding to run a yellow page ad is to carefully consider where your visitors look for information about churches in general.
“How To Attract More Visitors With Yellow Pages”. By B. Dicker.