For many millennials, the term ‘White Pages’ would seem very foreign. For those who have lived long enough to know, would remember distinctly those thick physical directories that used to get delivered once every year.
This article will explore what White Pages were and are, and topics that relate to them. It will explore the advantages and disadvantages of White Pages, how they have evolved in the digital age and what they represent today.
It will also highlight a distinct service and tool that stands out to lead the way in which the concept of White Pages has been revolutionized in our times today.
What Are White Pages?
White pages directory is a print directory that provides an alphabetical listing of businesses within a specific geographical area. Traditionally these directories have been published by the local phone company.
In modern times, white pages often function as a digital phone book containing the contact information of people.
You can locate someone’s name and address to contact them. This is beneficial when you want to connect with someone, but don’t have any of their contact information.
Although traditionally, they used to exist in massive directory books, they now mostly exist as online databases.
History of White Pages
When people did not have access to the Internet, they usually had to get a hold of the phone book to locate a person’s number or address.
Long before the rise of the internet, people used to find numbers using a phone book. Back then, there were two types of phone books – white pages and yellow pages.
Yellow pages consisted of contact information of businesses and white pages consisted of contact information of individuals.
These books are still printed and distributed in many parts of the world. However, in most places, they are now only available upon requests made to the telephone line companies.
Apart from being heavy, these books used to become outdated quite fast. This used to mean that new updated versions of these massive phone directories would be released by telephone companies every year.
Many times, a person’s phone number might not be included in the updated version of the phone directory because a person could have called his telephone provider and asked them to disconnect him just after the updated phone directory is printed and distributed.
Thanks to technology, this is no longer a problem with online white pages directories – given that they are updated frequently enough.
How Are They Different From Yellow Pages
Yellow pages list companies and organizations grouped by categories.
Lawyers, for instance, will be grouped as lawyers. Massage therapists, on the other hand, will be categorized as Massage Therapists. Restaurants are grouped by their respective cuisine.
Businesses advertise on yellow pages with pictures and brief blurbs describing their company.
White Pages are different in the sense that they would only contain the contact information (usually phone numbers) of individuals. Depending on when and where, some white pages directories used to contain placeholders for businesses to advertise their services as well.
The Importance of the White Pages
White Pages offer businesses great opportunities to reach out to potential clients.
By incorporating a strong White Pages program into your marketing strategy, you can tap into certain client bases which you simply cannot otherwise through other forms of marketing.
The White Pages have always served as a valuable tool for businesses to reach out to potential clients.
Online Directories vs. Print Directories
While printed white pages directories only include contact information such as a telephone number, online white pages directories provide all the information you need about a person.
You can find people easily through online directories. Just type their name and click the submit button. It will then appear on the screen similar to the Google map.
There are almost always duplicate names of the person you are trying to reach. This means you’ll end up having to narrow down your search by city or other variables.
These days, many online white pages directories not only give you the contact details of a person, but the Google map features in them give you a general idea of the neighborhood and their surroundings as well.
Getting this information could be handy if you need to locate a friend you’ve been in touch with but do not know well. Not only did you get their phone number, but you also got their address.
For businesses, this means being able to target clients in the geographical area they are located in.
Do White Pages work?
Traditionally white pages give businesses the ability to reach out to cold prospects/customers without having to spend a penny on marketing. This form of cold communication happened through the phone.
Since telephones used to be the primary way to communicate, these physical directories would give people access to people’s phone numbers.
White pages in the contemporary sense involve a digital approach. These days, a lot of communication simply happens online. Hence, we have seen a lot of white page directories spring up that are online and primarily focus on providing people’s emails.
There are some obvious benefits of White Pages having evolved into digital spaces on the internet.
Track down that annoying stalker
These days, you can utilize the “White Pages Reverse Phone Lookup” feature to track any individual who is calling you. This can be handy when you receive prank calls or any other types of calls that are scammy or malicious.
Save The Trees
An impressive advantage of the online white pages directory is that it preserves the natural environment! The traditional telephone directory had to cut down tens of thousands of trees, contributing to the worsening of the environmental impact of calamities, global warming, and climate change.
Furthermore, traditional telephone directories are too heavy to carry around, while with an online white pages directory, you can move freely while searching as long as you have a computer unit or laptop with an internet connection.
Multiple People With The Same Name?
As mentioned earlier, sometimes there could be multiple people with the same name. How do you then find the person you’re looking for?
This is when knowing other information about the person can be of great help. Especially if there is a database that can take those variables into account.
For professionally oriented listings, a person’s title and company can be of great value when looking them up. This can help you find the exact person you are looking for.
GetEmail.io offers exactly that to businesses looking to find the email addresses of almost anybody from any company.
How The Concept Of White Pages Has Evolved In Recent Times
With advancements in technology, the concept of white pages has certainly evolved. B2B lead prospecting rarely involved cold calling a person. Rather that initial piece of communication has now evolved into reaching out via email.
The traditional concept of white pages providing the phone number of an individual does still exist. But most of them now operate digitally, involving the seeker to look up the name of the individual they wish to reach out to, online.
Where traditionally, white pages provided phone numbers of individuals, there are ‘digital’ variations of the white pages concept that allows small businesses to access the email address of any lead they want to reach out to.
One such service that stands out among the pack is GetEmail.io. Used by big companies like Microsoft, Oracle, Shopify, IBM and Google, this tool is quickly gaining popularity in the industry of providing accurate emails of almost anybody in any organization.
Those giant directories that used to get delivered to homes every year were free of charge. Their online counterparts in recent years are generally based on a paid subscription model.
GetEmail.io allows businesses to get anybody’s email in just seconds.
Using Big Data and Machine Learning Algorithms,
The tool can find the email address of any professional in any company in less than a few seconds.
Giving you the ability to search through the right parameters and variables, the tool can find you the contact information of literally anyone who has a first name, last name and the domain name of his or her company.
We at GetEmail.io have scanned a lot of websites to find the general email format of millions of companies.
Then, we recreated the professional email address of the prospect you would like to get in touch with. Allowing for a method that is extremely simple and one that saves you a ton of time.
If it took you five minutes to find one correct email of a professional, you save two hours when looking up 20 email addresses.
Advantages of Using White Pages For Business
The obvious benefit of the traditional white pages is the fact that you can look up anybody’s phone number given that you know their full name. This was extremely helpful during the pre-social media era where there weren’t online platforms that allowed people to connect socially nor professionally.
The benefit of digital white pages over conventional books is its ability to be accessed from anywhere in the world.
Traditionally, reading through multiple books to get someone’s details takes a lot of time. An online platform makes it very convenient and quick to find someone’s contact information. Hence, for businesses that do a lot of B2B selling, a heavy subscription plan of some sort is an absolute necessity.
These online versions of white pages allow businesses to contact their prospects remotely. Despite being a cold interaction, it’s an excellent way to connect with your potential clients without spending anything on marketing. Therefore, tools like GetEmail.io present must-have subscriptions for any company implementing a robust lead-generation strategy into their CRM.
Are White Pages The Perfect Opportunity For Scam?
The traditional form of white pages where you had a physically directory delivered right to your door left you vulnerable to spam. Anybody can look up your name, find your phone number and start to call you with spam or even harass you for the most absurd reason.
In a digital age, the same level of vulnerability is very unlikely due to several reasons. First of all, more often than not, only businesses would sign up to services such at GetEmail.io. They would use such tools to incorporate them into their lead generation to some extent. This means it’s rarely a random individual getting hold of your email address.
Secondly, tools like GetEmail.io are used by B2B companies to get in touch with a small group of highly-targeted B2B leads. These are not your average end-to-end consumer emails.
Having said all of that, there is always that slight chance of a business reaching out to a cold prospect in a pushy way. Causing them to have a bad afterthought about the company or the service used to get their email – if they know which tool or service was used to begin with that is.
Are White Pages Here To Really Stay?
For some people, phone books that automatically appear on the doorstep or in the mailbox are relics of the past.
With the advent of smartphones and the Internet, it may seem obsolete to look up someone’s phone number through the white pages, especially to digital-savvy generations.
Don’t expect the phone books to disappear quite yet, especially in small towns and rural areas. Some phone companies say they will continue to distribute them because their customers want them as a community resource.
Despite this, since more people are turning to mobile phones alone and ditching their landline phones, the white pages will likely disappear eventually.
Environmental groups in various countries have pushed for opt-in laws due to the large amount of waste the phone books create. Only a small fraction of these massive directories distributed end up being recycled. That poses a serious problem for municipalities that are now trying to become greener.
Additionally, Whitepages, which operates the website Whitepages.com, has pushed for opt-in laws and launched a ‘Ban the Phone Book’ campaign a few years ago.
“Quite often, when they were distributed, they would just go straight into the recycling bin,” said Alex Algard, CEO and founder of Whitepages.
Algard said the distribution of phone books is tied to “legacy regulation,” but its survey found that most people didn’t want them. Instead, they found creative uses for the books, including child booster seats or door stops.
“For all practical purposes, they have disappeared already,” he said. “They certainly have disappeared from consumers’ usage, from their habits and I think just from general collective market awareness.”
However, some telephone companies say they will continue to publish and distribute the white pages, at least for now.
Eventually there may come a point, probably within the next 10 years, when it’s not worth it to publish and distribute the directories.
White pages may seem like a thing of the past for some, for others they remain a useful tool to gather contact information. Perhaps they will become extinct in the future, but for now, they are certainly here to stay.
Social Media Platforms – A Possible Replacement For White Pages?
Facebook: With 2.8 billion monthly active users across the world, Facebook is a giant that simply cannot be ignored. Just like White Pages, you can look up a person with their first and last name and even put in parameters such as city and country.
However, you also have the same problem like traditional White Pages where there is bound to be multiple people (sometimes in the tens) who share the same.
Also, although Facebook advertising is huge, Facebook has not seen much traction for B2B lead generation. That is especially true in the sense that you don’t exactly see businesses looking people up using their name and targeting them with their cold pitches.
What we do see however, is a robust advertising system within the platform itself. A platform that can retarget audiences based on how they have interacted with the cold ads for a business.
LinkedIn: When it comes to B2B lead generation, LinkedIn definitely takes the cake. But that is only true in the context of Social Media. LinkedIn is a content deficient platform that is only just recently picking up steam. Initially only used to make professional connections, it is quickly turning into a content machine.
However when we compare it with tools like GetEmail.io, we are really comparing apples with oranges. The two are distinctly different and do not compete with each other in any way.
Although the traditional form of White Pages are quickly becoming extinct, the concept is ever so present with evolving methods in a digital age.
The concept of White Pages are here to stay. The dynamics and the specifics are what has changed and will continue to change with technological advancements.
B2B lead generation tools and techniques have only gotten better and more efficient. That trend is unlikely to slow down anytime soon.
Tools like GetEmail.io are leading the change with a robust way of finding anybody’s email in any organization around the world.