Be on the lookout for online directory order forms from companies with the name yellow pages arriving in the mail, if you send them back, it could cost you.
Having worked in the yellow pages industry for over 10 years and also owning a couple of small businesses I have encountered a ton of advertising solicitations come and go. Business owners are bombarded with phone calls, emails and postal mail solicitations day in and day out. Most of these are coming from companies attempting to gain your business by providing you with a service of some sort to aid you in your advertising strategy. Some work better then others, and its up to the business owner to decide if they would like to work with one of these companies or not.
In the past, there were a few main sources of advertising, these were pretty much the mainstays of getting your company in front of people who were looking for them. One of these mainstays was Yellow Page Advertising. 15 years ago, if you weren’t found in the yellow pages, you were not a real business. It was a must, at the very least, you needed to have your name listed in that book, so it was very important to make sure your name was listed correctly under the proper headings and so forth. If there were competitive yellow page directories, you did the same. No big deal.
This is where the problems began. Unfortunately, sometimes you would get a solicitation from Books or directories that looked like your local yellow page company. It has the walking fingers logo (the original three fingers walking fingers logo was never copyrighted or trademarked), and the “bill” or “directory listing order” looks like its from your local directory only to find out later that if you update your listing or confirm your listing with this company, you will receive a bill from a company that has nothing to do with the local yellow page directory that you assumed you were dealing with. This was a very, very common occurrence.
Nowadays, the print yellow pages are not considered by many as the mainstay in many business owners minds, with the internet being more and more prevalent, yellow page companies and business owners are turning their attention to online advertising with search engine marketing, social marketing, and also internet yellow page directories. As far as usage and statistics, we will save that for another day. But the “other” Yellow page companies are following suit. So yes, you are now getting online business solicitations from them also.Now, here is my advice. If your receive a Directory listing letter or online directory listing letter, and you are concerned that if you don’t return it you may not be listed online anymore. READ the fine print. Make sure it is actually from a yellow page company that you are familiar with and you make the decision on if you want to work with them. If you are not currently advertising with them, you don’t have to return it. If you chose to work with them, by all means, go ahead. Just as long as you are aware that you are working with so and so yellow page company and not your local telephone directories yellow page directory.
Be aware also that on some of these notices, just returning the letter “which is actually an offer” is considered acceptance of the offer and you will be billed. Also be aware that if your name is listed incorrectly and you reply to them with a correction, guess what, it could also be considered acceptance of the offer.
I’m not going to pass judgment on any of these solicitations or companies that use them, this is all based on my opinion. Whenever you decide on going ahead with any kind of solicitation, of course read the fine print and no longer assume anything. And then base your decision on that.