Although the iconic Yellow Pages has been around for decades and was once the one highly-sought after platform for advertising, a lot has changed in how businesses market themselves these days.  Today most businesses turn to the Internet to advertise their products and services. While the Yellow Pages continue to be that familiar old friend for many people who don’t access technology, this platform should not be your first priority for advertising.  Here’s why:

Print may not be dead, but it’s definitely circling the drain. The advent of the Internet as a sole provider of information and entertainment is signaling the death knell for both newspaper and Yellow Pages advertising across the country. The ease of researching a business or service online means the people who once looked forward to the delivery of the phone books are now taking the bag right to the recycling bin. No one wants to store that big yellow book, much less flip through the newsprint and get ink on their fingers. Other than having a line ad with your name, phone number, and address for those traditionalists, your advertising dollars are much better spent elsewhere.

True enough, in some markets the Yellow Pages do offer a link to a business’s website. However, Google searches for the term “Yellow Pages” are dropping  significantly each year, which indicates fewer and fewer people are going to the Yellow Pages website.

What’s the Return on Investment?

The best way to consider if a Yellow Pages ad is worth the cost is to determine the yearly return on investment. You have to consider it on a yearly basis because that’s how long your Yellow Pages commitment runs. If you invest $4,000 in a nice looking ad and you place the value of one new client at $50, you need 80 new clients just to break even. You do the math, and decide if it’s worth the investment.

What’s Your Demographic?

If your typical customer is a senior citizen, there’s a possibility that Yellow Pages is still a good investment. Seniors are typically slow to change their habits and continue to use old fashioned print media over new age computer technology. However, most baby boomers have been around computers long enough to feel comfortable using them. Even as they move into their golden years, a point and click provides a much simpler, easier way to find a local massage therapist.

Some Alternatives

It’s true that the best website in the world is not effective if no one ever sees it. Companies like Yelp and Citysearch provide reviews from customers, a description about your business, and a link to your website. Ads on Google, Bing, and Yahoo! also prove effective in placing rich content in front of more customers.

Guerrilla Internet Marketing

If marketing funds are limited, use your creativity and persistence to develop an effective guerrilla marketing campaign. Use every available option to bring attention to your business, including creating a customer follow-up list, using email campaigns and press releases to announce special promotions, and even creating a YouTube channel to discuss massage techniques and benefits. There are many books available on guerrilla marketing, but the key is to be creative and never pass up a chance to promote your business.

Put Yourself In Front of Your Community

A small investment in a pop-up tent, some signage, and a massage chair will go a long way towards driving business to your practice. Fairs and farmers markets are great ways to get the word out about your business while interacting with the locals in your area. Offer a free 5-minute chair massage to set the bait, and allow them to experience how great a professional massage from you can be. Afterwards, reel them in with a discount coupon for the first in-house massage!

While the Yellow Pages may be effective in certain areas and for specific clientele, be sure to consider all the wonderful opportunities right at your fingertips! A few extra clicks around the Internet could lead to a wealth of new business!