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Area of 250k residents - FREE/PAID or PAID only listings

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by WhoYoDaddy, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. WhoYoDaddy

    WhoYoDaddy Registered Member

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    I am opening a local business directory for a city with 250k residents. I estimate 500-1000+ businesses across a few categories that can be contacted and possibly listed.

    Would you only have paid listings or free / paid combination?
     
  2. Rhazha

    Rhazha Junior Member

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    Occupation:
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    BOTH.

    You advertise the FREE Local Directory everywhere in the region. When visiting the site, let them know the site offers PREMIUM Placements.

    Give them options for location in the page and size of the ad.

    BUT, let them list their business without so much hassle. Place your ads for "Premium" placements in places they can easily see,
    but without being so "flashy" and annoying. You want them to sign for something, because you want to collect as many emails
    you can so you can keep in touch with them for future offers (e.g. holidays, "x" OFF ).

    Use someone you know who owns a business in the area (if it's your area), place them somewhere and collect some kind of "Testimonials" about the increase in leads.

    Sign up for some local directories (medium-large size) to find new ways to market INSIDE the website the way THEY DO. Use some "BluePrints."

    Best of Luck with your business. ;)

    P.S. My Point about emails: Yes, you can collect the emails of everyone by scraping yourself or outsourcing. But, if they haven't signed up to the directory yet, the open rate of your email campaign may suffer.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 28, 2010
  3. three3s

    three3s Regular Member

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    Exactly what Rhazha said.

    ALWAYS allow businesses to sign up for free because the money you will make from having them willingly sign up and be on your email list will FAR outweigh your revenue from them paying for premium ad spots, as long as you manage the list properly of course.
     
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  4. THUNDERELVI

    THUNDERELVI Elite Member

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    If you do paid listings, how the hell are they going to benefit from this?
    I guess you won't take the website to the 1st page of Google for keywords related to those businesses, or will you? After paying for a while, they will see they have no benefit and drop you right? Am I missing something here?
     
  5. WhoYoDaddy

    WhoYoDaddy Registered Member

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    I am looking at it from a different perspective. Instead of FREE listing I will have a BASIC listing which will not display all the information that a PREMIUM listing would have. Instead of having 20 FREE listings in a category it would be better to have 5 BASIC all while keeping the number of PREMIUM listings the same.

    You are in the business of selling advertising, not giving it away. FREE customers are harder to turn into PAID in some perspectives when it comes to small local directories. When you have small amount of listings per category (~10 or less) there is not much incentive for some business owners from going from a FREE listing to a PAID listing when there is only a few other listings.
     
  6. WhoYoDaddy

    WhoYoDaddy Registered Member

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    Listings that will be in the directory will get local clients who will find the directory in Google and other search engines. I will work on optimizing for all the good keywords (ie. City + accountant, plumber, dentist, etc). If they dont pay for a listing, they wont appear ;) The benefit to premium listing is being included in a exclusive directory that only has premium positions and less competiting listings allows higher ROI for premium customers.
     
  7. three3s

    three3s Regular Member

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    Just make sure that it's worth while for the business to actually still sign up for free. If you make this "basic" entry too limited the business owners won't bother signing up at all, not what you want.

    Just concentrate on getting as many businesses as you can to sign up for free. Once they are on your list, that's when you can start selling them premium listings. If it were me I wouldn't even care if all my premium spots weren't filled to be honest.

    A list of a few thousand opt-in businesses can make you a killing promoting high end products and services as opposed to a meager monthly subscription to the directory.
     
  8. NotTheDude

    NotTheDude Regular Member

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    Occupation:
    Fill In The Blank
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    Wherever I lay my hat is my home.
    Even(Especially?) for it's simplicity, this statement is SO Money.

    Anyone that frequents these forums should be able to extrapolize from this statement to potentially millions of dollars in profits(ideas to such anyway).

    Props for this wisdom in such a small package(always the best way for a true life-lesson).

    EDIT: If you take the amazing thread from

    grafxextreme here:

    Code:
    http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/offline-marketing/50997-noobs-get-paid-50-hr-ez-offline-marketing.html
    Add the hot college girl factor(most small businessmen are males) and try to sell the listings as grafxextreme explains in his OP, then you add the back-up of the girl, stating that she likes the owner and thinks the directory will benefit just by having his biz listed in it, she will give him a FREE LISTING(one of the FEW decisions she feels so empowered to be able to make herself every month being a struggling young hottie) so she can feel good about working her ass off as a single mother with 2 kids, and a baby daddy that doesn't care/is in police custody/on the run, not wanting to go back to stripping...OK, this fantasy has gone on long enough to make the point.

    She has limited power, she is struggling to make it for her babies...etc...$$$(it would not be hard to hire girls that would not have to lie here!)

    AND...the little power she has, she is willing to use that power to get you, her potential "knight in shining armor/local biz owner" listed for free because you deserve it, she thinks you are cool, and she KNOWS that the biz-directory would be so much better off if his biz is listed - even if she HAS to make it happen for FREE with his blessing of course (this is a limited opportunity with call backs for paid upgrade from said hot girl)herself on every month.

    $$$ cha-fucking-ching $$$!
     
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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  9. rocket

    rocket Regular Member

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    In my competitor's mind
    Allow all business to sign up free. Then, sell them upgraded packages, such as a link to their site, their logo, etc.. Then sell them ad spots on the site, and the content will attract other businesses as well. However, i've launched these types of sites and they take a while to get going because you have to do a lot of offline marketing.
    Joomla is great for this type of site. Check out SOBI directory. Joomla has a ton of extensions to run this type of site, and some good seo extensions as well.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Rhazha

    Rhazha Junior Member

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    Based on the width of your body page you will position the premium ads in a horizontal line. These ads Will be images NOT TEXT.That's what makes the real difference. You can rotate these ads with a script that also captures who is checking the page. With IP and cookies you can "secure" the owners will "always" see their ads. For others, they see all premium ads rotating.
    For the FREE listings, they have text with the business information. I can ALMOST guarantee that many will ask how they can have their LOGO there, which you will kindly remind them of your premium ads. BEFORE you are hit with the question "what is the point of having my ads(text)?"
    You NEED to write in your website (also talk to them) the importance to have their businesses information listed in local directories for search engines proposes to prove they are LEGIT businesses (this will be good for the ones who own websites). Once they see a competitor using IMAGE on the top position and not simple text, many will be inclined to do the same. THAT'S WHY I suggested in my previous post to use a friend of yours to place his on top.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  11. ReggieS

    ReggieS Newbie

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    What software are you using to create your directory? I'm thinking of doing the same thing, but have not found a good software yet.

    Thanks.
     
  12. WhoYoDaddy

    WhoYoDaddy Registered Member

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    I looked at Sobi2 & Jreviews for Joomla and many other scripts. I went with www.salephpscripts___com over other scripts such as Meeplace, PHPMyDirectory, Esyndicat, Nicecoder, Edirectory and many others that I dont remember now.

    Script I picked has most of the features I was looking for without doing a custom script. I did find a find a flaw that developer says he will fix in the next update. Currently the script doesnt support recurring Paypal subscriptions, only manual transactions by the business owner. Developer did 6 versions this year so far and I hope the next update is released soon.