Do you think the Yellow Pages are still “The Way” to promote your practice?


Think again.

This photograph was taken this morning in the lobby of our offices. I have literally walked by this stack of Yellow Pages every single day for the past several months.

The building where we work is “home” to several law firms and sole practitioners. Even they do not feel compelled to pick up the copy that was designated for delivery to their office – despite the fact that many of them have paid to be advertised in them.

It is becoming clear that the days of printed phone books are numbered. The Yellow Pages Group recently announced that the residential book is only delivered on request to those who live in major Canadian cities. But did you know that they also have an “opt-out” program for delivery of those printed Yellow Page directories? The questions to consider are:

  • How long until that opt-out program becomes an “opt-in” program similar to the residential book delivery?
  • With their physical distribution numbers trending downwards, are you paying less for that printed advertisement?

Even the Yellow Pages Group have recognized that peoples’ search methods are switching to online/mobile sources. Stop and think about the last time you asked your assistant to source something for the firm. Where did they begin their search? My bet is they started it online with Google, Yahoo or Bing.

So before you sink more of your hard earned money into your printed Yellow Pages advertising, consider these facts:

  • Your target audience may have opted out of receiving a copy of the book, and
  • Your advertisement may stay “trapped” inside a stack of unopened books (like the ones in our lobby).

My advice to you: consider spending your dollars on online advertising and marketing. Create a search engine optimized website. Combine that with an effective online marketing strategy. And don’t listen to your account executive from the Yellow Pages who continues to insist year after year that you still need a full page, full colour print ad in one of their books.

Natalie Waddell

Founder and President at Inc.
Natalie was spirited to start this company after a frustrating and poor personal experience when searching for a lawyer back in the late nineties. “I quickly realized that the tools available to assist someone in finding the right lawyer were grossly inadequate. Not only inadequate for the individual in need of a lawyer, but also inadequate for the lawyers in search of new clients. There had to be a better way to connect clients and lawyers in a more efficient manner – without wasting everybody’s time and effort”, explains Natalie.

Natalie brings a passion to the business that ensures the entire team strives to improve the service for both lawyers and the general public. To that end, she is committed to ongoing communication with our members and welcomes and relies on clients’ input to continually evolve the service to make it better for all.


  1. Jack M. Wolfson says:

    After starting Sept. 15, 2001 I worked until Sept., 08 for Verizon Y.P. Then for Your Community phone book until Sept., 09. I felt uncomfortable taking money from hard working businesses to throw it away on old technology similar to the vinyl record that was good until 1983, or the telegraph that went out 45 years ago!
    No good reason to kill trees for an obsolete media!!

  2. bob says:

    I don’t think Yellow Media is going down anytime soon. They are an invisible local advertising behemoth with 1.5 million business listings under it’s belt that are ready to be serviced for hyper local online advertising. They also have over 2200 media consultants spread out across Canada selling the same online media services that you offer. By this I mean, pure SEO/SEM deals, “groupon type” coupons, website design services and HD video advertising that gets SEO’d across the web. Print is becoming a secondary issue as they morph into what is already Canada’s largest Internet company. Not even Google can field that many expert media consultants. I also find it quite interesting that the Google Maps in Canada would be quite useless without the Yellow Pages feeding them 99% of their listings with the most up to date information on them.

    Take a look at their smartphone apps for Iphone, Blackberry and Android. Most people in Canada with a smart phone now use this free app. The Ipad app is amazing. With one touch you can get all the local advertising that you could want. Apps like POYNT also use Yellows database of information.

    This has become one of my top apps on my iphone and ipad. Cheers!


  3. Natalie Waddell says:

    Bob – Based on your comments, I can only assume you are one of these “media consultants”, because some of what you say sounds verbatim to what some of my clients are told by their Yellow Pages rep.

    I agree partially with your comment about the importance a Yellow Pages listing plays with Google Maps (aka Google Local, and now called Google Places). But I am here to tell anyone and everyone who is reading this these simple facts about Google Places and Yellow Pages:

    1. Don’t be deceived into thinking that the only way into the Google Places is to have a paid Yellow Pages listing. Anyone can register here for FREE:

    2. Amongst other things, yes, having a Yellow Pages listing can enhance your listing and get you higher up the list. But, you DON’T have to have an expensive listing with Yellow Pages to realize the increased ranking. Actually, a FREE Yellow Pages listing will suffice. The key here is to make sure the information on this listing is the same as your Google Places listing, and the same as your website (if you have one). And keep them all up to date with current information.

    And regards to your comment about the smartphone apps, you might want to read my post entitled Mobile Yellow Pages Results Not the Same as Yellow Pages Online ( ). Unless things have changed significantly since my review in July 2010, it is potentially a good service for consumers, but really sucks for the premium advertisers, who actually get their listing lumped in with all the other listings (including the free listings).

  4. Andrew Heft says:

    Do you really want the type of client who would look for a lawyer for an important matter such as representation in a divorce by randomly hitting on an ad in the Yellow Pages? I would much prefer someone who has either been referred to me or has researched my professional profile on my website or Linkedin.

  5. Natalie Waddell says:

    I totally agree with you Andrew. And I believe LinkedIn is one network that is being overlooked by the bulk of the legal industry as a way to reach potential clients.

    According to QuantCast,, nearly 40% of LinkedIn users reportedly have an income of greater than $100K and 75% have graduated from a post-secondary institute.

    My question to the “naysayers” would be, “why wouldn’t you want to target this demographic? Don’t you want to attract high income, educated people as clients?”

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