Doc wrote a while back about an effort to make it possible to opt out of physical phone book delivery for those people who no longer use such publications.
Well, according to S Hobbs, who posted to the article, there is already an industry-sponsored Website that allows you to do just that. It's at www.yellowpagesoptout.com. The poster goes on to explain that over 3 million small businesses depend on the Yellow Pages for advertising and driving sales. And that many publishers use recycled paper and have cut total paper usage by 35% since 2007.
And Kaffeguy chimes in that phone directory publishers should contact customers by email first to see if they want to receive the printed book.
Tgsmidt says he hasn't used a phone directory for the past 3 years and that the books, when they do come, go directly into the recycle bin.
So, I guess there is no one answer. Surely many people are beginning to use online directories and services like Yelp to find local businesses, but as long as advertising in printed phone directories works, small businesses will keep doing it. Ultimately, the market will decide, as it often does, on where best to spend your advertising dollars. Doc thinks the days of printed phone directories are limited, but I can't tell you when they will no longer be effective. And certainly neither consumers or publishers want to see printed directories go directly in the trash, so an opt-out program seems advisable. Glad to see the industry doing something to address this problem.