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Article by Adam Strange
Advertising Consultant of

How do I come up with a good headline for my Yellow Page ad?

After working with local business owners for the past 20 years, I’ve read a lot of headlines. Most are pretty awful. Unfortunately many local businesses waste the prime real estate at the top of their Yellow Page ads with headlines that say little about their companies.

While I agree that if you are running a plumbing ad in the Yellow Pages it’s a good idea to scream, “This is a plumbing ad!” But the best way to do that is not by simply asking “Need a plumber?” Chances are if I’m in the plumbing section of the local Yellow Pages, I do.

So while I’m a huge fan of having the word “plumbing” or “plumber” or something to that effect in the headline of your “plumbing” ad -- it is a great way for me to spot the ad I’m looking for -- that is not the only goal an attention grabbing headline should strive to achieve.

So when carving out a good headline for your Yellow Pages ad, consider this -- lots of people turn to the Yellow Pages with at least a few questions floating around in their heads.

Yes, they are looking for your goods and services, but in addition to knowing they need an electrician, or a mechanic, or an attorney, you can be sure they have other questions on their minds.

How long is this going to take? How much is it going to cost? Can I get this done before work on Monday? I wonder if they can give me a ride to their shop or office?

Maybe there are even a few specific questions important to your industry? Questions they should be asking but just don’t have enough experience to know they should ask.

These are all good places to start when drafting a headline that is going to win people’s attention. If you’re headline can go as far as answering any important, topical question with a helpful, on-target answer, that headline is as good as money in the bank.

So in addition to screaming your vocation, take a stab at answering one of those questions people are constantly sending your way. Answering one of those frequently asked questions with a straight-forward headline is one of the best ways to insure Yellow Page shoppers read on. And subconsciously they’ll be thinking, “They were already smart enough to answer one of my questions in their ad, just imagine what results I’ll get with a phone call.”

If you take the time to be informative and helpful in your Yellow Pages headline, Yellow Page shoppers will reward you.

So take a swing. Answer something big in a large, bold font right at the top of your Yellow Page ad. Trust me. It’ll work. And both you and your customers will be happy you did.

Chances are you’ve already got a good idea what most people want to know just from answering the phone over the years. But if you still need a little nudge, you can never go wrong talking about time, value, or guarantees.

For most Yellow Page shoppers -- and consumers in general -- time is always an important factor. So if you can give potential customers a good idea of how long a transaction with your company usually takes, you are already on your way to more calls and happier customers.

Value is also important in any sale. While some focus on price, others insist on quality. Value is the mix of price versus quality that your company caters to.

And guarantees are all about reducing risk. Whether we, as potential customers, are conscious of it or not, we are constantly looking for clues on how we can minimize our investment of time and money, so we assume as little risk of making a bad decision as possible. If you can bring your potential customer’s risk close to zero, you will win the lion’s share of the business.

So take your time. Look carefully over all your copy points. Many business owners already have a great headline, it’s just not at the top of their ad. They have it buried in the fine print, or lost in the middle of some lengthy bullet list. Pull it out of there! Push it to the top of your ad. You’ll be happy you did.

Remember -- a good, well thought-out headline is a win-win for both you and your customers. So spend some time on it, and you’ll get it right!

To learn more about Yellow Page ad Headlines here are to articles from our 7 point tutorials on Yellow Page ad design. Both focus exclusively on the importance of a great headline in your Yellow Page ads.


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