What is your opinion on how valuable yellow page ads (AT & T phone book) are? Our budget is tight and we are thinking about getting a 1/4 page ad about ($390/mo) but dropping another form of adevertisment like JB dollor Stretcher, Val pak or Reach magazine (if you are familiar with these). Thanks in advance.


I’m going to offer you some advice on this subject. Some may agree with me and some won’t, but this advice is based off first-hand experience:

Yellow page advertising is a thing of the past. Yes, it was great in the 80’s and 90’s before the internet took off, but the value of this advertising has gone way down although the pricing has either increased or remained the same. There are too many places a potential customer can get your phone number with the greatest chance being by way of your internet search engine.

Do I think you should have a listing in the Yellow Pages? Absolutely… but not to the tune of $390/month. I GUARANTEE you will not receive a 4:1 return on that money. Hell, you might not even see a 1:1 return. I spend less than $80/month on yellow page advertising (with 4 coupons in the back) and dread it every time I write a check to pay the bill because I know how fruitless this advertising is. I’m seriously thinking about just going with a bold listing under “Pizza” when I’m due to renew.

Others may chime in with arguments opposing my statements if they’d like. Actually, I’d like to see a couple. However, in my opinion, I only do it to keep up with the Jones’ and I think it’s a total waste of money.



J_r0kk is right on the money there. I was in 3 books with menus when I first open. Now I have a small ad in 1.

Jumping on the bandwagon here… I’m not renewing any yellow page ads this year.

My yellow page ads have the phone number for my 3rd line listed, so it’spretty easy to see how many calls we take per month. And it’s a loss as far as ROI goes. You’re much better off taking that $390 per month and doing a direct mail piece with it, or use it to doorhang, etc.

If you’re in a tourist area it may make sense, but not if you’re primarily residential. I don’t think very many people use the yellow pages to find a pizza place anymore… I’m guessing a lot of the calls we did get from the book were people simply looking for our phone number. In that case, the simple free listing will work just fine.

We just got a new book at our house, and it went straight in the trash. We generally use the Internet to find anything we need.

I am trying something new (for me), with the ATT yellow pgs this time around. $120/mo and it is 1/2 page. No logo, no menu just a text ad w/bold headline (guarantee), and a personal guarantee in the text. No mention of price anywhere…in fact it says not to call us if you are looking for "cheap"pizza. This format has worked well for others so I am going to try it (facing my fears!!)

$120/mo and it is 1/2 page.

…I agree with J_0rkk, yellow pages not what it used to be, with ordering on the internet and Domino’s going to the texting orders.

…but for $120/mo, you may have found a nitch for now that can reap benefits…and there are probably less pizza places advertising there boldly…go for it and good luck…
exception for every rule, you may have found it,


It depends a lot on who you are trying to reach and what other ways they have to find you.

The more you depend on regular, local, customers who live in your area all year, the less you need the yellow pages.

In my market, more than half the customers in any year are not local and have a short list of ways to find me. Yellow pages is one of the better ones… but I wish all but one of them would just go away!

$390/mo = $4680/year for one ad printed one time/year? :cry:
Look for other ways with better ROI to invest your $4680.00

i have tried it both ways too. havin a large ad and having no ad at all. no difference because of it. the sales rep0s try to sell you saying that pizza is one of the most looked up categories, but what they can’t tell you is how many of those people were looking for you anyway.

people’s minds are made up who they are looking up before they ever open the book. that kind of money would be better spent on some other form of advertising, like postcards and direct mail, or buy your next batch of full color door hangers etc.

Hello Chuck, the Yellow pages is ok for one circumstance,if you are located around many hotel/motels or in a resort area.Otherwise it is just a waste of money.Just get your name and phone # in it for just 30-40.00 a month w/ your website attached to it if you have one.


Hey Chuck,

These guys are pretty right about advertising in the yellow pages, don’t do it, even if you are close to a touristy area. Hook up with the concierge or whomever in charge of guests services at all your local hotels/motels/inns and figure out how to take care of them for every tourist they send.

The internet is the way to go. You could get a kickas# website for way less than that a month! Look into and make sure you talk to many before you sign on the dotted line. That is my opinion, Good luck!

If it’s hotels you’re concerned about, take this scenario:

You have 10 hotels in your area. Bribe the manager at each one of the hotels. Tell the manager you’ll give him/her a free pizza a week in exchange for the hotels assistance in passing out fliers. Some managers will even put the fliers in the room for you but most will put them on the front desk. In some hotels, you don’t even need to bribe the manager. They just let you put fliers on the desk as a service to their customers. But let’s say (for scenario purposes) you’re giving each manager at each hotel a pizza a week. How much does this cost you?:

10 hotels x 1 pizza/week x 52 weeks/year = 520 pizzas
520 pizzas x $3 each = $1,560/year
your Yellow Pages advertising quote = $4,680

Looks like it’s no contest, doesn’t it.


I would wager you’d get more response from ONE hotel by buying key cards for them . . . than you would from a yellow pages ad.

Someone just recently posted their cost for this sort of thing, and it seems it was in the $1500 range as well.

Anyone got those numbers handy for printing custom key cards for a hotel?

We opened last year and placed ads in two phone books. EZTOUSEBIGBOOK and YellowPages. We did a small ad before the “Pizza” listings, had half page menu, link to our website, coupons and we listed on their website with directions. It was a big investment for us as our budget was tight as well.

My opinion on the value of having an ad in the phone books ? There is NO value. It was a complete waste of money. They both just recently came in to see if I’d renew. I told both of them that we only wanted a single listing under “Pizza” and that is it.

RedBarnPizza had an idea to go to the hotels and glue his ad to the front of all the phone books in the hotels of his area. I though it was a great idea and I wonder how he made out doing so. I haven’t seen him on the forum for some time now. :cry:

IMO if you’re worried about how easy it is for customers to find your number do a couple of things. Call information and make sure they give the right number for your store. Then google “pizza, and your city”, “pizza delivery, and your city”, “Your store name” and any other thing you can think a potential customer looking for your shop or pizza might google. Once you find the sites that pop up, make sure you’re listed on those sites. On most of them you’re able to fill out all your information,submit it and then they approve it and put it on their site.

The motel I used to work at had specially modified phone books…By that I mean that the “pizza pages” were removed before they were placed in the rooms…The only pizza info we were allowed to give out was from the 1 and only paid advertiser…The owner (several properties) put it out for bid each year and the only payment accepted was cash…

I have too darned many yellow page books in my area. I can’t afford to have a big presence in all of them, so I’m doing one each year, too see which seems to have an impact. First year, I got nearly NOTHING from a book that I used myself…this year it’s the ATT book.
I’m doing everything else to establish a local brand identity, and my YP ad is just there for people who flip open the book to get a number. All I need therefore is a presence - a logo and phone number is mostly what I want to get noticed…no specials, no menu, etc…