I've discussed my thoughts on the wasted money marketing through the Yellow Pages and medical spa advertising before and included these links about wasting money on advertising in phone directories.
Prodocs seems to have come to the same conclusion in discussing how he's tracking his marketing:
First, yes, we track extensively. Every phone call, does it result in a consult, does the consult become a treatment, does the patient become repeat business. Because of our tracking we were big in the yellow pages with several ads, some in color, and about a $3,000 per month bill. But, according to our tracking we were getting about a third of our new business from the yellow pages so it was a great source for new business. I thought.
I created a new tracking form that required the receptionist to ask more detailed questions when the caller said they were "referred" by the yellow pages. The truth finally came out. Many callers just looked up our phone number in the phone book (the actual referral was something else) and other callers just said "yellow pages" without thinking.
I canceled all yellow pages ads except for the free listing that comes with your business phone service. The results? No noticeable decrease in business and the same percent of callers say they saw us in the yellow pages even though we have no ad there! Plus, we save $3,000 per month. If you track, did deep into those yellow page callers.
Having been in this business since the early days and having the added advantage of looking at this from the perspective of and advertising agency as well. It's a situation where you put your own money where your mouth is. I canceled all our yellow page ads almost two years ago and gritted my teeth while until the contracts ran out. We've continued to grow without any noticeable drop in new patient traffic.
Just to make my point perfectly clear: Yellow page advertising may bring in new patients but it's not as effective as spending those same dollars elsewhere. Not even close. The increasing reliance on the internet for information will increasingly work against the Yellow Pages until they fold. They will be unable to offer anything new on the web and Google, MSN, and Yahoo already do search.
What's the best medspa advertising? It's perhaps the most common question since most cosmetic medical practices put attracting new patients as their biggest problem.
I'll post some more on this but I'm interested in hearing what problems you guys have encountered with Yellow Pages or other marketing efforts.
I just had a converstation with a doc in FL who called me not knowing I'd just posted about this. He was asking my opinion on putting two full page, full color ads in a new directory that would cost him just over $20,000 a year. Hmmmm Two full page ads that might be seen... or send 6000 eight page full color newsletters to your exact demographic four times (22,500 newsletters) over that same year.