Assessing business directories (and email marketing)

How do you know which directories, are worth the candle?

We get approached several times a week (always via email) by directories, asking us to list with them. We pretty much ignore them all. Is that the smart thing to do? Having been listed on several in the past. (e.g. Design Business Agency, various UK and international chambers of commerce, the main European Commission directory), I don’t think we got anything out of any of them, so we stopped. Perhaps we should have given them money for greater prominence.

That said, we have just agreed to list with Design Rush. Why? Well, they were both persistent and insistent that listing with them will help us, despite it being highly US-oriented. This is thus perhaps more a tale of email marketing than anything else: we’ve agreed because they kept pushing and the cost (time taken to create our listing) was (quite) small. Will it work? We’re not holding our breath but, as ever, we’re hopeful.

PS: Ask Chat GPT about the pros and cons of using business directories (we did), and you get what is arguably a list of statements of the obvious (see below). Such things can, though, remind one of things that you know you knew, but forget when the moment comes. Even with filters, we get a ton of spam, so the point about the possibility of increasing that, was welcome.


Increased Visibility: Listing your business on popular directories can increase its online visibility, making it easier for potential customers to find you.

Local SEO Benefits: Many online directories are used by search engines to gather information about local businesses. Having a presence on these directories can improve your local search engine rankings.

Credibility: Being listed on reputable directories can enhance your business’s credibility and trustworthiness.

Cost-Effective Marketing: Many directories offer free listings or affordable premium options, making them a cost-effective marketing tool.

Access to Reviews: Customers can leave reviews on some directories, which can help build your reputation and provide valuable feedback.


Inaccurate Information: Online directories may sometimes contain outdated or inaccurate information about your business. Managing multiple listings can be time-consuming.

Competitive Crowding: Some directories are overcrowded with listings, making it harder for your business to stand out.

Privacy Concerns: Listing your business on certain directories may expose your contact information to unwanted solicitations or spam.

Limited Customization: You might have limited control over the appearance and content of your listing on certain directories.

Subscription Costs: While many directories offer free listings, some charge for premium features or enhanced visibility.

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