Still not convinced your insurance agency should cease advertising in the Yellow Pages, YellowPages.com, and other paper directories? As we travel and speak with agents around the country, I still hear that many continue to cling to Yellow Pages advertising. Recent moves by former Yellow Pages giant AT&T should convince remaining skeptics who still buy Yellow Pages directory ads.
According to an USA Today article, nearly 32% of U.S. households are wireless only, according to CTIA-The Wireless Association, up from 10.5% in 2006. The article also stated, “First it was street corner phone booths and home delivery of telephone books. Now, landlines are on their way to becoming part of American telecommunications history.”
AT&T agreed to sell a majority stake of YellowPages.com to a private equity firm. Revenue from the Yellow Pages unit has shrunk 30% in two years, as consumers continue to shun phone books in favor of the Web. Verizon also spun off its directory business to shareholders in 2006, only to see it file for bankruptcy three years later.
There are a few remaining pockets of Yellow Pages usage, e.g., the elderly and certain rural areas. Deals can be had if you decide to continue advertising in the Yellow Pages. But if you do, make sure you create a way to track business that comes to your agency via this channel.