Many small businesses rely heavily on the love of local customers, and the Internet continues to make reaching them easier and cheaper than ever.
For entrepreneurs who would rather not shell out–or simply can’t afford–as much as $1,000 for an old-fashioned ad in the Yellow Pages, there are now a host of alternatives for wrangling the locals (and even calculating the return on those marketing efforts).
This is the first of a seven part series I will be writing about.
Each day you will receive one, in detail, explanation of how to connect with your customers inexpensively and efficiently.
How it works: Instead if paying $1.50 to a mobile service provider for each directory-assistance call, customers dial 1-800-Free411 (1-800-373-3411) and connect directly to the business of their choice.
Callers can specify the name of a business or just canvass a category in that location (say, “Melanie’s Chocolate Shop in Manhattan,” or just “candy store, Manhattan”).
The catch: Customers must endure a brief advertisement for a 1-800-Free411 advertiser in the chosen category and location.
What it costs: The model–common among the new crop of local ad providers–is performance-based: Businesses join the database free of charge but pay for each call received through the service. Each lead generated by that opening ad costs the participating company between $2 and $7 per call, depending on the type of business.
Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow.w.