Rosalind - 11:05 am on Aug 12, 2012 (gmt 0)
And in the UK, apart from Yell and thompsons, do any maintain a successfull marking campaign for direct visitors, there a couple out there that I watch with fascination as they clearly get the traffic but I not sure how
When you say traffic, it's very easy to get a ton of submitting traffic just by being on a few directory submission lists. That kind of traffic is useless for income on a free directory, and useless for value if you're selling listings. You can get a good idea of how much traffic is submitters on a UK directory by looking at the Alexa regional traffic ranks: most submissions come from India.
If that doesn't account for it, consider that some of them advertise in local papers.