New Advertising Sales Ideas for Internet Publications
By Cheryl Woodard, Posted April 2006 [PRINT
According to Internet Advertising
Bureau, 98% of all online advertising revenue in 2006 will
go to 50 websites with the highest traffic volumes. Think AOL,
CNN, and ESPN. But much smaller websites are also sharing in
the nearly $6 billion advertisers spent in the first half of
2005. Here’s how:
Search Ads: Search ads account for 40% of advertising sales on
the Internet. Google AdSense is the leading provider in this category,
but Yahoo and MSN are planning comparable services. After being accepted
by Google, you paste a block of HTML to the pages of your website where
you want ads to run. Google charges advertisers a cost-per-click fee
for matching their ads to keywords appearing on your site and handles
all the cash dealings with advertisers. You will get about a 50% share
of the revenue generated at your site. There are no minimum traffic levels
for AdSense, and even sites with only a few dozen visitors per day can
generate $100 per month in AdSense revenue. Google also offers the option
of putting a search box on your site and selling ads on the results page.
And recently, Google added a service for selling cost-per-click ads into
your RSS feeds. Learn more at www.google.com/adsense.
Display Ads (Banners and Buttons): 20% of online ad spending goes
to banners, buttons and other forms of display advertising. There are
several networks that, like Google, will handle the whole process for
you in exchange for a share of the revenues. Display ads are sold on
a cost per thousand impressions basis or CPM, with prices ranging from
a low of $4 to about $40 for highly targeted sites. DoubleClick and other
very large networks focus exclusively on sites that reach at least 2
million page views or impressions per month, but other networks handle ‘specialty’ sites
that see only 5,000 impressions per month or less. Generally, the networks
pay 60% to 75% of revenues to publishers. Here are some networks worth
Classifieds: About 18% of online ad revenue in 2005
went to publishers of classified ads. Classifieds are sold by
the amount of time they appear on your site, days, weeks, months,
etc. Some of the same networks that handle display ads (listed
above) will also handle classifieds for a share of the revenues.
And you can also install software to handle this function on
your own. Here are some software vendors to consider: USANetCreations.com,
E-Classifieds.net, and GeoClassifieds from GeoDesicSolutions.com.
Commissions: Growing to 6% of all online ad spending in 2005,
pay-per-performance ads give you a share of the revenue generated
when someone buys a product through an ad on your site. Sometimes
called ‘affiliate’ programs, you can set up these ads
yourself – through your favorite online retailers – or
you can join a network that handles the affiliation agreements for
you. CommissionJunction.com is
one example. Performics.com is
another. Typically, commission range from 5% to 10% of sales.
Sponsorships: Capturing 5% of online ad spending last year,
sponsorships are usually negotiated directly between you and your key
advertisers. Many times, the sponsor is also advertising in your print
magazine or newsletters and pays an annual or monthly fee to sponsor
selected content at your site.
Email Ads: Accounting for 2% of online ad revenues in 2005,
email ads are typically limited to a 55-character headline, 50 words
of text, and a linked URL, although some newsletters can also accept
banner-sized GIF files or even animated GIF files. Email ads are sold
either per thousand recipients (CPM) or per clicks (CPC).
Even websites with relatively small traffic numbers can find a way
to capture some ad dollars by exploring these new options.
I recommend my book
for first-time publishers. It will help you understand
the key questions like: how much should you charge for your
ads? What kind of advertisers
should you approach? What kind
of information must you provide to them? Those key decisions have enormous
impact on your sales success. My second book, Every
Nonprofit's Guide to Publishing (co-authored with Lucia
Hwang) covers web publishing in even greater detail. Look for
both in your local library, well-stocked bookstores, or buy
them right now from Amazon.com.
My consulting group helps publishers launch, run and grow newsletters
and magazines. If you have questions about selling ads, or if
you're having trouble selling enough of them, e-mail
us. Tell us about your situation and we'll give you a proposal
showing exactly how we can help you.