In June, I was spammed with a Qwest Dex yellow pages I had previously unsubscribed from. In July, I was spammed with a Yellowbook I had previously unsubscribed from.
Old news, I know.
But here’s something to think about: Does Qwest Dex’s yellow pages have a 1-year or 1-month shelf life? Clearly, when any yellow pages spammer drops a printed directory on my front steps, they’ve wasted local business’ ad dollars. But what happens at households who actually do use print yellow pages directories in 2009?
Is there brand loyalty in this business? I know there is among employees, but what about consumers?
I imagine that there are many yellow pages using households who swap out their current yellow pages directory with whichever one shows up next on their doorstep. Why? So they always have the most current directory.
Assuming that happens, Qwest’s directories may only have a 1-month shelf life among a portion of people who continue to use print directories in 2009. That’s something for yellow pages advertisers to ponder.
So now we’re between the 2nd and 3rd yellow pages print spam deliveries, which means we still have time to find out how long Yellowbook’s shelf life will be before the Verizon Superpages from Idearc Media litters our doorsteps. Will Yellowbook’s shelf life be just a month as well? If so, perhaps Superpages has an advantage by batting clean-up, thus earning 10-months of shelf life before being replaced by the 2010 Qwest Dex directories.
The BIG Exception
It’s worth noting that there is one big exception to the shelf life rule:
The one place where yellow pages are used all 12 months of the year is at . . . yellow pages sales offices.
If you advertise in any of the three printed books delivered in this market, you can expect to be pestered by sales calls and visits from the other two directory publishers. Round and round they go, using each others books to waste your time soliciting more print advertising spending from you. Print advertising that may only have a shelf life of one month (if the books make it into local homes).