A Free Listing vs. Advertising – which is the best option?

With the Hangklip-Kleinmond Book delivered to local residents for the past 17 years, locals are used to receiving their copy in the post and start to look forward to it as December approaches.  Most business owners already know that it pays to list their businesses in the book and that a free listing can be beneficial in some cases.

So how do you know if a free listing is right for you or if you need to allocate a portion of your budget to include taking out an annual advertisement?

A free listing is a good fit for some businesses

Advertising your products or services is an essential part of most businesses.  After all, it is really hard to get new customers if people do not know about you or what you can offer them. But not everyone needs local support or rely on residents to tell their friends about their businesses.  If, for example, you have a manufacturing business that provides wholesale products to a market generally located outside the Hangklip-Kleinmond area, you can still benefit from a free listing even if local residents are not your intended customers. 

Maybe you have a business so unique that you have no local competition or that the name of your business is so well known that people immediately think of you when they are in need of a service and only need to consult the book to look up your number.

If that sounds like your business, then a free listing is probably just what you need.

But let’s face it: Very few people read the telephone book from top to bottom like a novel, making it highly unlikely that a new potential customer will accidentally scroll past your business name

Advertise to get bang for your buck

The Business Index – where new customers come from

Knowing the type of service you need is usually not rocket science – a blocked drain requires a plumber and unruly hair needs a hairdresser.  So who do you call if you don’t have one on speed dial? – You consult the business index. This is where you will find all the advertisers in an alphabetical list according to business category with a page reference to the advertisers’ listing details which usually appears on the same page as the advert. 

A bonus feature of the business index is that advertisers are not limited to 1 business category and can appear in a variety of places.   If you advertise, you can, for instance, be listed under ‘Painters’ ‘Home Services/Handyman’, ‘Waterproofing’, and ‘Rubble Removal’ without paying any extra money if all those categories apply to your business.

Advertise to create visual appeal

A free listing does not provide you with any space or any visual impact. Even the smallest advertisement provides a display area where you can embellish a bit and give people more information about your business.  The high print quality makes for crystal clear images to showcase your products with large resolution images that do justice to your products.

Stand out from the crowd

A free listing is just black and white words in a sea of text.  Advertisers’ listing information is printed in boldface type which automatically makes the listing jump out of the page and it will stand out from the regular listings displayed around it.

Your advert will have a long shelf life

The Hangklip-Kleinmond Book is officially valid for a year but as much as people love receiving the new book in the post, they struggle to throw away last year’s trusty companion.  Outdated copies may lose their prominent space on the desk, but they remain useful.  People use the books daily and each time they do they can potentially see your advert which drives brand recognition.

A free listing or an advertisement: which option is right for you?

The Hangklip-Kleinmond Book is a well-established publication with thousands of users and with the availability of a free listing, all business owners should make sure to provide up to date listing details in order for their existing customers to reach them.

But let’s face it: Very few people read the telephone book from top to bottom like a novel, making it highly unlikely that a new potential customer will accidentally scroll past your business name and with advertising rates starting from as little as R450 per year even the smallest businesses can afford to include the Hangklip-Kleinmond Book to their advertising budget.