AT&T Rolls Out Free Directory Assistance Service across Nine States
AT&T 1-800-YellowPages Gives Callers Free Access to Nationwide Information and Provides Businesses the Opportunity to Reach Customers at Critical Moments
San Antonio, Texas.-AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has announced the launch of a new directory assistance service available immediately across nine Southeastern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The service, AT&T 1-800-YellowPages, gives consumers free access to business listings while providing advertisers the opportunity to reach buyers at a critical moment in their purchasing decisions.
The new service, which was first launched in California in July, enables callers who dial 1-800-YellowPages (1-800-935-5697) from area codes within the states where the service is offered to receive a listing for a specific business — or listings for a type or category of business — at no cost. Callers will hear short audio ads before receiving the number or, when available, before being connected directly to the business that they select. The service is accessible from landline and wireless phones of any type.
“AT&T 1-800-YellowPages works like an audio Yellow Pages to give callers free access to local and nationwide business listing information from any phone, 24/7,” said David S. Huntley, senior vice president of AT&T Customer Information Services. “After our successful deployment of 1-800-YellowPages in California earlier this year, we are excited about expanding this service to residents in these nine additional states. For area businesses, we’re helping them reach potential customers who are in need of a service and are ready to make a purchasing decision.”
The launch of AT&T 1-800-YellowPages throughout California in July followed a successful three-city trial in Bakersfield, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio; and Oklahoma City, Okla. During the trial, caller response was overwhelmingly favorable, and one focus group study participant expressed his desire to e-mail the free number to 125 of his co-workers. The participant stated that the reliability of AT&T was a key reason.
The service gives local and national advertisers several options for reaching consumers:
* Category Ad. When a caller asks for a specific category (type of business), such as “florist,” up to three ads are played that advertise businesses in that category. The benefit of a Category Ad is advertisers have the opportunity to convince a caller, who does not have a specific merchant in mind, to select their business.
* Requested Listing Ad. When a caller requests a listing for a specific business, an ad for that business is played before the number is given. This provides businesses an opportunity to promote specific offers and services.
* Redirect Ad. When a caller requests a listing for the name of a business that has no associated Requested Listing Ad and is similar in type (category) to another business that has an active Redirect Ad, the Redirect Ad will play first. The caller will be asked if he or she would like the number of the advertised business before the number of the requested listing is provided. The Redirect Ad is designed to encourage the caller to select the advertiser’s company instead of the originally requested listing. The benefit is that businesses can distinguish their product or service at the exact time that someone is looking for a specific business with the same type or category.
* Sponsorship Ad. This feature announces to the caller that the advertiser’s company is sponsoring the call and plays an ad that promotes the advertiser’s products or services. Advertisers may use this type of ad to encourage a call to their own business at a later time.
AT&T 1-800-YellowPages bolsters AT&T’s industry-leading portfolio of services that provide local and nationwide business information to consumers and advertising solutions to national and small businesses. In addition to offering a premier, caller-paid directory assistance service, AT&T owns the world’s largest print Yellow Pages publisher in terms of revenue and publishes more than 1,250 Yellow Pages books, which are referenced more than 4 billion times annually. Additionally, AT&T’s YELLOWPAGES.COM Network received more than 1 billion local searches in 2006.
Local and national businesses interested in advertising can call 800-411-9675. Additional information is available at http://www.att.com/1800yellowpages.
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