Opt-In Phone Book Delivery in Action

Dex Plus Phone Books at Cub

The exit to the Cub grocery store on Lake & Hiawatha in Minneapolis has a good example of opt-in phone book delivery in practice. Notice the neatly stacked books on the bottom shelf of this display. Thousands of people use this grocery store every day and can easily toss one of those books into their cart on the way out to their car if they so choose.

Creating similar distribution partnerships with other grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. would virtually guarantee that every consumer interested in receiving a phone book could conveniently pick one up during a regular trip to the store.

Opt-in distribution in this form seems to work well for many other types of media, such as classifieds magazines, real estate mags, and alt-weekly newspapers. Surely, it could be used by phone book companies as well.

Imagine how much money phone book companies would save just in distribution costs by focusing on high-traffic locations rather than going door to door?

5 thoughts on “Opt-In Phone Book Delivery in Action”

  1. I love the idea.

    I currently had 2 phone books sitting outside my front door with a note that said ‘take me’ on it. Then I get home the other day and there is another one. What’s a matter with these people? This is madness!

  2. Are people still using phonebooks? We use them by tearing out pages and using them to light the charcoal chimney on the Weber grill. Though, not as fun as dowsing the charcoal with 1/4 gallon of lighter fuel.

  3. @Rob, that sounds like a good way to dispose of a phone book. One page at a time.

    Many people still do you phone books, but that’s a really really poor justification for carpet bombing every household with multiple books every year.

  4. Opt-in is the future of YP (if there is a future at all…oh wait, need it for that basement plumbing problem I’m gonna have someday).

    The future could be now, but YP is busy hanging onto the past. They are the leech-healers of today, the dentistry-with-whiskey-and-pliers types, the milkmen, the ice-block delivery guys…who embrace their tools, like fools.

  5. Ed…. AT&T did the same thing here in Dallas. They went out to local advertisers and touted about the benefits of their additional “secondary” method of distribution. Long story short, after they soon realized that folks didn’t want the books, or it was not as cost effective as saturation people’s homes with unwanted yellow page books, they seem to have stopped the practice. I thought it was a great way to offer the books in a subscription format. Kudos to them for the effort. What was obvious is that people will not use the YP unless they need it. The companies need to send out postcards when printed or have an email address to order a book. That is my opinion.

    By the way, Check out my recent blog post about Duopolies, Crony Capitalism, Back Room Deals, and the Business Practices of Yellow Page Executives.



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