Getting listed in your local acupuncture yellow pages is important, but be smart about how you utilize this form of advertising.
Advertising in the yellow pages can be very expensive.
When I first investigated a yellow pages listing for my acupuncture practice, I wavered when I heard the cost. I wanted one of those big attractive colorful ads.
Then reluctantly concluded, "okay, I need a prominent listing in the yellow pages so I will go ahead and pay the $224." But I thought that was $224 per year. I was wrong. It was $224 per month!
That's $2,688 a year just for ONE acupuncture yellow pages ad, in ONE phone book. Multiply that by the 3 important phone books in my local area and it becomes cost-prohibitive at $8064 per year!
So let's back up and break it down.
Listed below are the costs of an ad in my yellow pages in Vancouver, WA. The exact cost for a listing in your local area may vary so call your yellow pages representative to find out what they charge.
Ask if they have any specials. Sometimes they will give you a better deal if you are a first time listing. It cannot hurt to ask, so go ahead and request a special rate.
Grab your phone book so you can see what ads look like and what your choices are. For instance, you can choose between "Light Type", which just means not bold and "Bold Type".
Line ads, no boxes or color:
I have two listings with my clinic Name, Address, Phone and Business Website URL in Light Type. One listing is in the Acupuncture yellow pages, and the other is in the Holistic Practitioners yellow pages. The cost is $36/month for each totaling $72/month, or $864/year. It stills seems like a lot to me, but I know it is worth it.
|Tip: Do not publish your FAX number in your Acupuncture Yellow Pages Ad. It invites unwanted solicitations from "FAX-Spammers". Any legitimate business who needs your FAX number will call you to get it.|
The cost of Display Ads varies depending on the size and color. The larger the ad and the more colors in it, the more expensive. I have seen several informational websites claiming how important the big colorful ads are and how they increase business. Perhaps this is true for retail business, but most successful acupuncturists agree, these are a waste of money.
Specific information on Display ads is coming soon. Research is not as easy as you think. For some reason, those in charge of selling Yellow Pages ads guard the cost as if the prices are military secrets. Unless they think you are on the verge of writing a check it seems as though they do not want to talk dollars. But I am persistent and I WILL get the information to you. Maybe you'll have enough money in your marketing budget to put a full color ad on the back cover!
Most successful acupuncturists will tell you that although an acupuncture yellow pages listing is important, it is not a great source for bringing in new customers.
Your best source for loyal patients is through word of mouth referrals. These customers have a friend or family member who recommends you and they are therefore "pre-sold" on the value of you and your services.
On the other hand, a person who finds you in the phone book often does not have that first-person recommendation. The good news is, they are looking for a good acupuncturist, and you have the opportunity to win them over with your knowledge, skills, and charm. However, they may be a bit more cautious and likely to shop around if you or the acupuncture experience are not what they expected.
There is nothing wrong with patients looking around to find the acupuncturist who most meets their needs. One way you can help these customers find what they need is provide them with your website address.
Instead of spending money on a large colorful acupuncture yellow pages ad, with all the conditions you treat, the insurance you accept, or a map to your office, it is much more cost-effective leave that stuff out. Remember, you pay by the size or number of lines in your ad.
Instead, simply provide these critical pieces of information:
Use your website to provide quality content about who you are, what services you offer, directions to your clinic, photos of yourself and your office, as well as opportunities to sign up for a free newsletter, attend an informational seminar, download forms and articles, et cetera.
With a website you have virtually unlimited space to convey your acupuncture education, treatment philosophy, and approach. Your customers will appreciate being able to get to know you a bit before they see you.
I often have new patients ask me about the pictures of my dogs on my website, or about where I went to school all because they saw this information on my website.
One last note about the yellow pages. They do make mistakes. If your your clinic information is printed incorrectly, you are stuck with it, and the consequences of that error, for at least an entire year.
Unlike an acupuncture yellow pages ad, you have the ability to correct and add information to your website. Just make sure they print your website address correctly!