Boost Calls from Yellow Pages AdsStep up close because we’re about to tell you the single biggest way to boost calls from your ad in a yellow pages print directory. Here it is: List multiple local phone numbers. That’s the finding from a study of yellow page ads by respected industry consultancy CRM Associates. Consumers told researchers that multiple local phone lines mean that the business is in the neighborhood and “more likely to care about me.”

Yes, it turns out it’s not enough just to throw down your digits at the bottom of your local directory ad — there’s an art and a science to display of phone numbers to persuade people to actually dial them. And it’s also vital to track your calls so you know where the customers are coming from and how to allocate your marketing budget.

We’ve gathered other top tips using phone numbers the right way right here:

1. Pair numbers with neighborhood names (even if you’re a service business serving a wide area)

Yellow pages users prefer doing business with local merchants and are detail-oriented so they’re more likely to dial if the ad shows specific areas served; two or three times more likely, according to the CRM study.

2. Display more than one local number but less than five

The study found that a second line boosted calls by 44% over a single line, a third line by 35% and a fourth line by 29%. After that, the effect of adding more lines evens out.

3. If you use an 800 number, display it with a local number

The CRM study found that the best way to kill the appeal of an ad was to replace a local number with an 800 number—consumers believe they’ll be tossed into a bureaucracy. On the other hand, they see an 800 number paired with a local number as a value-add, for instance, as a 24-hour number.

4. Don’t use a vanity number

Yellow pages users are already at the phone and they don’t need to remember your number. So why slow them down by making them hunt for the letters?

5. List phone numbers in large type at the bottom of a yellow pages ad

Place the phone number at the bottom so readers see your pitch before they reach it — and make it large so they don’t miss it!