Yellow Pages Advertising: To Use or Not to Use?

a man scanning through the yellow pages print edition.

The Answers to Your Questions About Yellow Pages Advertising

Before the dawn of the internet, many individuals and businesses relied heavily on the Yellow Pages to find products and services they needed. This printed telephone directory was the book many would turn to when searching for a service provider that offered a skill or service they wanted.

Tips and Insights for Yellow Pages Advertising

But does Yellow Pages still exist? How does advertising in this telephone directory work, and what are the pros and cons of using it to promote your business? Let’s explore a bit deeper into what Yellow Pages is, how it works, and how you can use this phone directory for marketing your business.

Remember the Yellow Pages?

Do you remember the Yellow Pages? If not, try and recall if you’ve ever seen a thick yellow phone book filled with business listings arranged according to the category of good or service. Yellow Pages was once the primary source of information on businesses and services offered within a locality. This phone book directory is published each year by different printers and availed to the audience’s doorstep for free.

The Yellow Pages ranks as one of the oldest business directories. Its name and “walking fingers” logo were instituted by AT&T in the 1970s. AT&T did not, however, register these two properties as trademarks, and thus they were adopted freely by other companies offering business directories.

Is the Yellow Pages Dead?

Yellow Pages isn’t entirely dead, but you could say it’s in its final years. Not many use this yellow telephone book anymore to search for service providers. The people who use it are mostly the older generations or those operating their businesses in rural areas.

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Chances of finding newer generations such as Generation Y and Z using it are close to nil.

Most companies that printed Yellow Pages transitioned to online business directories. However, some have continued to brand their online directories as the online version receives traffic but not as much as their competitors, such as Yelp, and Google Business Profile.

Death of the Phone Book

What could have caused the death of the Yellow Pages phone book? Well, the internet, of course. With the rise of the internet came new online and more efficient directories like Yelp. They contain more features and functionality than the phone book and are easier to access and search.

Another advantage of online directories is they don’t limit you to services in a specific town or city.

Some companies that printed Yellow Pages, for example, Yell in the UK, officially stopped publishing this phone book in 2019. However, the Yellow Pages are still in circulation in a few areas in the US, particularly in rural areas.

Yellow Pages Advertising Effectiveness

In this day and age, advertising via Yellow Pages would only be effective if you target the older generation or an audience in rural areas. As mentioned above, there aren’t many people that turn to this phone book. Therefore, the ROI (Return on Investment) may not be as high as before. Besides the drop in traffic, you may also face stiff competition from other listed businesses offering the same product or service.

Yellow Pages lists service providers as per the category where they fall. So, for example, entities that offer legal services will appear in the same section as other law firms. This makes it hard for a business to stand out, especially if the competitor offers more compelling goods or services.

Yellow Pages Versus Google Ads

Between the Yellow Pages and Google Ads, where should you commit your advertising dollars? Well, Google receives a lot more traffic than Yellow Pages. Therefore, if you want your ad to reach more people, you are better off working with Google Ads.

The only times you may consider choosing Yellow Pages is if your product or service is highly localized and you are targeting an older generation. Even so, it’s better to use rather than the printed phone book. The Yellow Pages phone book won’t help much with getting more customers.

Pros and Cons of Yellow Pages Advertising

Let’s look at some pros and cons of advertising via the Yellow Pages.


  • Listing by Category

One advantage of Yellow Pages advertising is that listings are done by category. Although it creates some sense of competition, listing by category helps your audience easily find you. Potential customers simply flip to the section highlighting businesses in your service category.

  • Promotes Local Reach

Yellow Pages targets a highly local audience. This telephone book is ideal for a business whose customers are the local people within the town.

  • Reaching a Receptive Audience

When someone searches for a service provider on the Yellow Pages, they are, in most cases, ready to buy. People who search on Yellow Pages already know what they want. They are simply searching for the right business within reach and will deliver as per their expectations.


  • Old-fashioned

Yellow Pages is considered a more old-fashioned directory than newer and more effective online directories. This perception makes it less attractive.

  • Competition From Online Directories

Yellow Pages used to be the go-to reference book when searching for services within your location. Now, this phone book receives a lot of competition from online directories. In addition, younger generations prefer searching for what they want over the internet rather than on the Yellow Pages.

  • Hard to Stay Up to Date

The Yellow Pages phone book is published annually, meaning your ad will run for a whole year. You don’t have the option to change or update the ad once the book gets published unless you use

Tips for Advertising on Yellow Pages

  • Design the Perfect Ad

If your ad is for the Yellow Pages phone book, you need to take the time to design an ad that stands the test of time. Remember that your ad will run for the whole year. So design an ad that addresses your customers’ problems and persuades them to buy from you. Keep the ad short and informative, and ensure that you counter-check for any grammatical errors.

  • Use Images and Videos

The great thing about is that it has more features than the Yellow Pages phone book. For example, you don’t have to use your business name and contact information only. Instead, try capturing your audience’s attention with images and videos. They have a longer-lasting impression and are excellent elements for persuading the potential customer to choose you.

  • Include All Ways for a Customer to Contact You

If you advertise via, make it easy for your potential customer to reach you. Include multiple contact options, for example, phone, direct message, and a link to your website. Also, don’t forget to write other important information such as work hours, location and a brief description of your business. These details will help you stand out and allow the potential customer to make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You now know how to advertise on the Yellow Pages and whether this telephone directory offers value for the money or not. Here are a few frequently asked questions about Yellow Pages.

1. Are people still using the Yellow Pages?

Yes, people still use the Yellow Pages. Although, most go to rather than the printed phone books. The online directory offers more features than the book version that lists only the business name and telephone number.

2. Is Yellow Pages advertising worth it?

Advertising on the Yellow Pages is not as worth it as it used to be. This directory faces stiff competition from search engines and other online directories, such as Google Business Profile and Yelp.

3. Why is it so expensive to advertise in the Yellow Pages?

Advertising on the Yellow Pages is more expensive than many other online marketing techniques. This could be because of the costs associated with producing the phone book and that it gets published only once a year. Therefore, if you want to buy a Yellow Pages ad, you may have to pay for a whole year.

4. Why should a business not buy a YP ad?

There are many reasons why you may want to spend your money on other marketing approaches rather than the Yellow Pages. The first reason is that not many people use the Yellow Pages anymore. It’s easier for many to search for services they want over the internet.

Secondly, the cost of advertising on the Yellow Pages is higher than in other online directories. And lastly, many businesses operate globally. As a result, you don’t have to limit yourself to customers in your town or city. The Yellow Pages, in most cases, reach service providers close to you.

5. What if I can’t pay my Yellow Page ad bill?

Let’s face it, the cost associated with advertising on the Yellow Pages is high. It can quickly run to the thousands each year since the price ranges between $250 and $400 per month. Therefore, finding cheaper yet better marketing alternatives is viable if you cannot pay your Yellow Pages Ad bill.

In terms of payments, if you have a print ad and a contract, you’ll need to contact a Yellow pages representative to discuss your options. Unfortunately, the ad can’t be canceled because it’s in print and distributed in the book. As for online advertising, cancel your ad campaign if you can’t pay your bill.

6. How can I advertise on the Yellow Pages for free?

Advertising on the Yellow Pages phone book is free if you want a basic listing. A free listing allows you to advertise your business name and contact information. This listing, however, won’t help your business stand out from the many other listings on the Yellow Pages.

7. How do I get my business listed on the Yellow Pages?

To get a Yellow Pages listing, you can call the national directory number ((888) 573-4011) or check online at You will need to provide your business name, address, contact information, and a summary of your goods or services.


The Yellow Pages was once the top phone book directory for searching for service providers. The internet, however, came and turned the tables. The Yellow Pages is not dead, but not many people use it nowadays. Other online directories offer better value for money than this yellow phone book.

Advertise via Yellow Pages if you are targeting an audience in the older generation or that dwells in rural areas. Yellow pages ads run for a whole year, and thus you need to ensure you design one that stands the test of time. If you are using, ensure you include photos and videos to draw attention to your ad.


Below are a few resources you can use to expand your knowledge of advertising in the Yellow pages.

Yellow Pages Advertising Search Results

Google is my favorite research tool, and it has been for many years. Not only do I use it for research, but I use it for other things such as a spellchecker and pronunciation.

If you have a few minutes, you may want to browse through the newly published documents related to yellow pages advertising. Have a look at the latest google search results.

How Much Does It Cost To Advertise on Yellow Pages?

The cost of your ad will depend on many variables, and unless you define what you want, you won’t be able to get an accurate estimate of the costs. You need to decide if you want Priority Placement, Print Advertising, Featured Bundles, Mobile Priority Placement, etc. Once you have an idea of what you want, you will get an idea of the costs. It would be best to get a free estimate from a YP representative. If you want, you can click here to get the latest Google search results related to yellow pages advertising costs.

Books Related To Yellow Pages Advertising

Books are another great source of information for virtually any topic. You can think of books as reference guides. For example, I rarely read a book from cover to cover. Instead, I flip through the table of contents and dive into the chapter that provides the information I’m looking for. View the most recent Google search results for books related to yellow pages advertising.

Yellow Pages Advertising Courses

If you’re planning on advertising in the Yellow Pages, then why not look at what courses and tutorials are available that can help you streamline the process and get the results you’re looking for? See Google’s search results related to yellow pages advertising courses.

News related to Yellow Pages Advertising

The news is another great source of information. When using a site like Google’s News, you can type in your keyword and get the latest and archived information related to your search query. I like checking for topics in the news because if the media is covering them, there could be something important to explore. See Google’s News Site for results related to yellow page advertising.

YouTube Videos Related to The Yellow Pages

Using YouTube is another site that offers valuable information. One thing worth mentioning is when you type in your keyword, you’ll get a list of related topics, and many of those topics broaden your understanding because you may not have considered them.

With YouTube videos, keep in mind there are often links to the author’s website, leading to more information and resources. See the most recent videos related to yellow page advertising.

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