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Buying Ads From A Phone Book Company?

At Ad House Advertising, we’re about results-based advertising. Whether you use our company or another, we want business owners to spend ad dollars that truly generate results.

That’s why we offer free seminars about online marketing, social media for business, the importance of web videos and so on.

So imagine our reaction at some of the pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns we see area businesses buy from the giant “Phone-Company-Turned-Digital-Specialist-Because-No-One-Uses-The-Phone-Book-Anymore”.

Phone Book Company PPC Ads

Here’s a real-life example (we’ve changed the companies' personal info, nothing else):

Note that the top 2 ads have the same headline. (Now that’s just lazy, phone company employee!) Both are not fully utilizing the available space on each line, so less information is being given out. The ad for 123DriversEd.net (which does not go to their own website, only to a phone-company-owned page that doesn’t have tracking cookies) uses the valuable second line of ad text for their phone number (unneeded, especially with the Extension below already including it), so that line is completely wasted.

Consider these additional facts: 123 Drivers Ed and ABC Driving School are on opposite sides of the Metro area. Parents are NOT going to drive 30 miles when there’s an option around the corner. These ads should be zip-code constrained, otherwise the clicks will be heavily wasted. And if your budget is small, every click has to perform even more efficiently.

123 Drivers Ed has a specific student in mind: one who’s involved in school activities. Their driving school schedules around the students’ schedules—an important factor for students and parents! And not specifying anything about this in the ads, means many clicks will deduct from the phone company’s monthly allotment—resulting in less visibility to those who ARE prospects.

And here’s a good one: the phone-company-package doesn’t include mobile ads. What percentage of prospective students use their Smartphone more than a desktop PC? (Answer: practically all.) So, most of these ads will only target parents looking for driving schools, and certainly not the teens themselves.

Now granted, the phone company’s “one size fits all” package is about $400/month. Cheap. But as you see here, you’ll get practically NO customization for your company’s benefits, your own phone number will not be included, the clicks will not go to the website you own, they won’t be constrained to your best zip codes or times of day, they won’t be mobile.

At Ad House, yes, we will charge more. First, because we know that with $400, we can’t predict that you’ll have positive results from such a small pool of prospects, and we won’t take your ad dollars if we don’t think it’ll work. Frankly, we think social media marketing is a MUCH better fit in this drivers ed category than Search advertising. Call us to find out why.

When we do work with a client to develop their custom online campaign, we will:

  • Use the online source that’s your best fit (Google, Bing, Facebook, Linked In, etc)
  • Customize the Search ad text to use the 25 characters in the headline and 35 characters in the next 2 lines to sell YOUR benefits
  • Constrain the campaign to target your BEST prospects (from the geography, gender, age, interests, etc)
  • Include Mobile ads when they’re needed, and build your ads/offers specifically for that separate market
  • Send the clicks to YOUR website, and help you set up remarketing to those visitors

Online marketing can be a very, very complicated endeavor. That’s why many business owners look into it and decide to have someone else do it! But please, if you’re considering a contract for a phone company’s digital package, consider that it’ll probably be a very different outcome than working with a Google Partner. Call us with questions—we want your ad dollars to be their most productive.

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