Ask for a larger ad at the same rate as the current one; ask for free ads in the same heading if there are a lot of ads in that book. Statistics show that a second ad farther back in the heading delivers excellent returns.
Another suggestion: Ask for free color and/or a white knockout to make the ad “pop.” You will likely be much more successful today than you would have been 10 years ago negotiating for free color for your ad. Statistics show that color ads do get more phone calls than those in black and yellow. On the other hand, the price of color is so high that you could end up with more calls yet a lower return due to the highly increased cost.
During this strapped economic dip, you would be surprised at how much more quickly publishers will offer free color enhancements if you maintain current advertising. Here is something else that can boost call volume: Ask for a “print-Internet” bundle. Some publishers will give you a free dollar-for-dollar print match when you buy their Internet Yellow Pages program. A number of your customers are using the Internet to search for storage. All of the Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) sites partner with major search engines, so you may get double exposure–whether your customer is searching through an IYP site or a search engine.
Don’t Come to a Halt
Studies conducted by the American Association of Advertising Agencies have tracked advertising spending during every recession and tallied the results. “Those who reduce spending usually lose market share and sales. Furthermore, they then take longer to recuperate than those who maintained their level of spending,” studies conclude. “The bottom line? The advertiser who does not cut back can move ahead during the recession and afterward, capturing share from those who, hesitant and unsure, do cut back.”
Needless to say, you don’t want to bring your advertising to a complete halt. Moreover, rather than sitting back and complaining about the economy, the savvy storage owner will look for opportunities to outdo the competition. It may mean working a little harder to find those opportunities, but working smarter is really the key to thriving during downtimes.
Sue Weinman is vice president, Yellow Page Services, of Michaels Wilder Inc., an advertising agency specializing in Yellow Pages, Internet marketing and talent recruitment for the self-storage industry since 1989. For more information, visit www.michaelswilder.com.