The More the Merrier – The Benefits of Multiple Local Numbers in Ads

The More the Merrier – The Benefits of Multiple Local Numbers in Ads
Friday, August 31, 2012
Amy Rybczynski

A couple months ago DAC Group Senior Research Manager Lynn Duffy wrote a blog post about the benefit of having a local number in a print Yellow Pages ad. She discussed the success of some current testing by one of our clients that had added local numbers to ads that traditionally featured a single toll-free number. We discovered that more than two-thirds of all calls to the ads were placed to the local numbers, illustrating the importance of a “local” presence.

A recent study by CRM Associates takes that finding one step further, reporting that having multiple local numbers in ads draws significantly more calls than ads with only a single local number. Studies have shown that local numbers give the consumer confidence that they are dealing with a local business, rather than risking ending up in an endless loop of call center operators, as happens so often with toll-free numbers. In addition, having a variety of numbers specific to certain local areas strengthens that feeling even more, as the consumer has confidence that they are dealing with a business that is close to them and connected to their local community.

Across all studied Yellow Pages ad types (and even into Internet Yellow Pages placements), ads with multiple lines receive significantly more calls than those with a single line. Multi-line display ads for national advertisers receive nearly three times more calls than those with a single line. The findings were almost identical for in-column (space and trademark) ads. The increase for online placements was less (41%), but still significant.

Cost-per-call figures were also significantly lower for the multi-line ads, meaning that even when additional lines increased the ad cost, the extra leads the lines generated more than made up for it. The study mentions that ads with more numbers are generally larger than those with only one, but by taking that out of the equation and looking at the number of calls for each quarter column of ad size, the ads with multiple numbers still drew twice the calls per quarter column of ad space.

The study also found that there was an increase in calls for every additional line in an ad, but that the increase became less significant with each additional line. For example, in a national display ad, adding a second line provided a 60% increase in calls, a third line added a 32% increase, and a fourth line increased calls by 22%, and so on down the line. But an increase is still an increase, and the more numbers you can provide, the more likely that one of those areas will resonate with the consumer.

We’ve touted the benefits of testing on this blog before, and this scenario is no exception. This study is based on thousands of call tracking studies conducted over the last two years, and gives very clear conclusions on the benefits of having multiple local numbers in an ad. The study concludes by saying, “[Using] multiple lines is the most consistent driver of additional calls to ads.” So, if you’re looking to draw more calls to your business and you notice your ads are lacking a distinct local presence, this is perfect advice to follow. Simply put, multiple local numbers in Yellow Pages ads draw more calls. Thousands of studies can’t be wrong!