My next series of blog posts are intended specifically for personal injury lawyers. If you are a personal injury lawyer, read this information carefully. You might just knock five or ten years off your learning curve in one shot.
I will teach you how to use your Yellow Pages ad to catch the big cases you’ve been seeking for years. You are about to learn about an elusive type of ad you have long suspected must exist, but never knew where to look for it.
Pull out your current Yellow Pages ad and keep it in front of you as you read this post. By the time you’re finished, you’ll start to see it with new eyes. You won’t believe you could have been so blind.
And you will know what you have to do.
Let’s Get Down To The Business of Response Dominance
So, what’s involved in a great Yellow Pages ad?
It’s not what you think. It’s NOT the ad which everyone agrees “looks great!” A great ad helps your prospect to say, “That’s it! I’ve heard enough. I’m going to call this firm now!”
I’m willing to bet folding money that there isn’t a single ad like that in the category you advertise in—and perhaps your whole directory. The reason I’m so confident is that I have owned hundreds of directories in my lifetime. I’ve examined the lawyer category in Yellow Pages from California to Alaska to Dublin, Ireland. And it’s amazing how everyone follows the herd, even though the ones they are following often don’t know what they are doing.
Earl Nightingale Told the Story of the Circle of Caterpillars.
(Thanks to Janet McDonald from Dynamind)
Processionary caterpillars travel in long, undulating lines, one creature behind the other. Jean Hanri Fabre, the French entomologist, once led a group of these caterpillars onto the rim of a large flowerpot so that the leader of the procession found himself nose to tail with the last caterpillar in the procession, forming a circle without end or beginning.
Through sheer force of habit and, of course, instinct, the ring of caterpillars circled the flowerpot for seven days and seven nights, until they died from exhaustion and starvation. An ample supply of food was close at hand and plainly visible, but it was outside the range of the circle, so the caterpillars continued along the beaten path.
Sounds like a bunch of Yellow Pages advertisers.
Whose Lies Are You Going To Believe?
In the absence of a great ad, people will flip through the whole lawyer heading, starting from the back or from the front, and seeing nothing great, start a short list. Or, they will hold their nose and select the best of the worst. Or—and this happens a lot more than you think—they will close the book and look for another way to connect with a supplier.
The reason most Yellow Pages ads are so bad is the publishers’ reps have been selling silly lies — written out in 3 ring binders with color charts — for decades. Before you get mad at your directory rep, it’s not their fault. They really believe what they were taught.
What the directory agents didn’t tell you is that they have no knowledge of direct response advertising. They wouldn’t be able to create an effective print ad that could stand on its own two feet in the real world if they had a gun to their head. The only thing that saves them is that so many people come to the Yellow Pages looking for your services. The reps can afford to be mediocre in their advice to you. In fact, it’s in their interest to be so. It allows you and your competitors split all the responders more or less equally.
What the Bleep Does Your Directory Rep Know?
If adding red to your ad increases response 25%, then what about adding strategy? These reps traditionally were compensated according to whether they could bump you up or “upsell” you to a bigger commitment this year. They were not in any way offering strategies to help one or two of their customers reign over all the others.
In my next post, I will arm you with a devastating weapon: KNOWLEDGE of direct response principles and very specific knowledge about Yellow Pages response.
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