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The Six Key Elements
of High-Performance Yellow Page Ad Design.

Yellow Page Advertising > Key Elements >
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Yellow Page Ad Design Element #2

Create a laser-sharp focus by speaking powerfully to a target audience.

Contrary to what you might think, a willingness to ignore most readers is the most powerful way to engage a large audience.

Consider the way you might tell a story to your wife or husband. Now imagine how you might tell the same story to a friend. Make that friend the opposite sex and you get yet another story. We all tailor our message to our audience everyday. Why wouldn't you do that in you Yellow Page ad?

Even if you only choose to target women or men, this distinction could allow you to capture 50% of the entire call volume in any given section. In a heading like Dental and Plumbing, where 75% of the total calls are from women, it's a wonder why Yellow page advertisers try to speak to men at all.

Still, the majority of Yellow Page advertisers try to cast a wide net, and in doing so speak powerfully to nobody. The problem is that what motivates me, might not motivate you. Even worse, what motivates you might send me running.

This happens weekly, when my wife and I check the movie times for our Saturday matinee. He guys, let's go see that new romantic comedy. Or how about that new action movie?

Many of things that motivate women send men away and vise-versa. So why fight it? Find your target audience and speak to them, speak in their language and you will literally be forcing them to call.

Think of it this way—if every other Yellow Page advertiser has some wishy-washy, non-compelling, no clear message Yellow Page ad, and you have an ad that understands exactly what "John Smith" wants, speaks directly to "John Smith" in the language "John Smith" understands, why would "John Smith" ever call anyone else?

Once you pick a John (or a Jane) Smith it's like a free lunch. The Smiths don't spend all day shopping around in the Yellow Pages because it's fun. They are looking for the right connection that meets their specific need. Give them what they want and your phone will ring off the hook.

So put some thought into it. If your target audience is still men and women between 8-105 who use the Yellow Pages, you might want to narrow it down a bit. There is a very, very (very) narrow slice of the population that likes everything equally. Don't make them your target market.

Now that we've got a target audience we are dying to please, let's find some artwork that captivates them.

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Target your Audience
Targeted Yellow Page Ad Design

Target your Audience

We have a saying in marketing...

"If you want to know what John Smith buys, you have to see the world through John Smith's eyes."

This is equally true for "Jane Smith". Often what appeals to Jane makes John feel pretty apathetic. Make John happy and Jane is apathetic. Worst of all is when you make John, Jane, Ed, Sam and Sally all completely indifferent because you didn't try to speak powerfully to any of them.

Let's try a different approach. Let's forget about making everyone happy and focus on something we can actually do. Let's just focus on Women? What would an ad like that look like?

Here are some gender guidelines to think about from Kerry Randall's comprehensive book, Effective Yellow Pages Advertising. Focus on a specific audience and worlds of Yellow Pages opportunities open up.

Female readers will be more persuaded by:
customer service
strong relationships
safety, security, honest, integrity
simplicity, ease of use
alternatives to traditionally male-dominated solutions
quotes, referrals, testimonials
soft layouts, cute images
doing business with other women

Male readers will be more persuaded by:
the size of the business
breadth of the selection
status serving features
statistics, facts, rankings
excitement, new, state-of-the-art
masculine layouts, hard edged, geometric shapes

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