IPIX To Release Yellow Pages Ad Tool

On- and offline classifieds player IPIX AdMission is expected to roll out a tool on Tuesday that will enable local businesses to create and place rich media ads on online yellow pages and directories.

AdMission Directories is a template-based tool that makes it easy to create graphics- and photo-enhanced ads. These listings appear at the top of the search results page with a shaded background. The listings have tabs for contact information, coupons and general information about the business.

Local small businesses (SMEs) can create and place their own ads using an online self-service module. Sarah Pate, general manager of IPIX’s AdMission business unit, said yellow pages ad salespeople would work with the SMEs to create the ads.

“Our premise is that these result in more relevant searches for consumers and more qualified leads for advertisers,” said Pate. She added that in focus groups, SMEs pointed out that for them, unqualified leads are worse than no leads at all. “If you’re a florist with four employees and don’t do weddings, and one employee is tied up on the phone explaining that, it’s costing you money,” Pate said.

The program officially launches Tuesday. AdMission Directories hasn’t officially signed up any clients yet, said Pate.

The fee model for AdMission Directories is either a subscription base or pay-per-click (PPC), according to Pate. The company charges an annual licensing fee for both the subscription and PPC approach. AdMission Directories is sold to yellow pages and directory companies, which can then use the product to up-sell their clients.

AdMission Directories is a tool based on the AdMission platform, which also runs AdMission Classifieds, a tool for online classified ads. That tool launched in June.

“I definitely think it’s a good product,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst with the Kelsey Group, of AdMission Directories. “The display ads give a lot more information than most display ads online. In some directory ads you get a print ad that’s been reproduced online. But the AdMission technology is essentially like a mini-Web site. It’s a much richer display ad than anything else that’s out there.”

Online entities such as yellow pages are in a prime position to take advantage of the lucrative local search market, predicted to reach $2.5 billion in the U.S. by 2008. According to Pate, her product should make it easier for SMEs to advertise online.

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