Is Advertising on Phone Books a Waste For Your Garage door company?

In an ever-changing digital landscape, business owners are often faced with tough decisions regarding advertising. One lingering question that puzzles many, especially those in niche industries like garage door agencies, is: “Is advertising on phone books a waste?” This query has sparked debates, with some entrepreneurs swearing by digital methods alone while others vouch for traditional platforms like phone books.


The initial response to the topic often leans toward skepticism. After all, we’re in an age where most people whip out their smartphones to search for services, bypassing print media like phone books. While it’s tempting to jump on the bandwagon and declare phone book advertising obsolete, dismissing it without any empirical evidence could mean missed opportunities for your garage door agency.


If you’re looking to make an informed decision about including phone books in your advertising strategy, you’re in the right place. This article will dive deep into methods you can employ to track your Return on Investment (ROI) from phone book ads. So before you close the book on this traditional advertising method, stick around; there’s more to explore.


Why The Question Persists?


digital transition

The Digital Transition

It’s no secret that our world is increasingly digital. From shopping to research, we rely on the Internet for almost everything. This shift has led to skepticism about traditional advertising methods like phone books, casting doubt on their relevance and effectiveness.


Generational Gap

Another factor fueling the debate is the generational gap. Older demographics may still turn to phone books when needing services, while younger generations are more likely to go straight to a Google search. The contrast in behavior keeps the question alive: Is advertising in this medium worth it for businesses like garage door agencies?


The Importance of Knowing Your Sources


data driven decisions

Data-Driven Decisions

In any business, the key to success lies in making informed decisions. To do this, you need data, and one of the most crucial pieces of data is understanding where your leads are coming from.


Aligning Budget with Results

Knowing your customer leads’ source allows you to allocate your advertising budget more effectively. This ensures you’re not pouring money into channels that don’t yield an ROI, enabling smarter business operations.



Method 1: The Tracking Phone Number


tracking phone number

Setting It Up

One of the most straightforward ways to track the effectiveness of phone book ads is by using a unique tracking phone number. Every time this number receives a call, it’s logged as a lead generated through the phone book.



  • Accurate tracking
  • Easier ROI calculation



  • Additional cost for a separate line
  • Risk of confusing customers with multiple contact numbers



Method 2: Ask the Customer Directly


customer service representatives

How to Implement

Train your technicians or customer service representatives to ask a simple but crucial question: “Where did you hear about us?” This direct method can yield valuable insights into customer behavior.



  • Direct feedback

  • No additional costs



  • Customers may forget or give inaccurate answers

  • Requires manual data collection and analysis



Running the Numbers: Making Sense of the Data

monitor your data

Key Metrics to Consider

Once you’ve gathered your data, focus on metrics such as Cost-per-Lead (CPL), Cost-per-Conversion, and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) to evaluate your phone book advertising campaign’s performance.


The Reality Check

A cold, hard look at the numbers will tell you whether your investment in phone book advertising is justifiable. If the data shows poor performance, it may be time to shift focus to other channels.





Whether advertising in phone books is a waste cannot be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The efficacy of such an investment depends on many factors, including your target audience, your business model, and the geographical area you serve. While it’s easy to be swayed by the digital wave that heralds online advertising as the only way forward, the decision isn’t that binary.


As outlined in this article, concrete methods exist to measure the ROI of your phone book advertising efforts. Whether it’s through the use of a unique tracking phone number or simply by asking customers how they found your service, you can collect data that is both insightful and actionable. The key is to run the numbers, analyze the metrics, and consider anecdotal evidence before jumping to conclusions.


Start small if you consider including phone books in your advertising strategy. Allocate a portion of your budget to this traditional channel, and use the methods mentioned above to track your results meticulously. With hard data, you’ll be better positioned to make informed decisions that serve your business best.


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