Q: How can we increase our advertising sales revenues?
Answer: Its easier by far to sell more ads to your existing
clients than to find new ones. But to grow ad revenues, you need
a plan for both. Here are some suggestions:
Sell more to existing advertisers
Step one: interview existing advertisers to get a current understand
of their preferences. For example, do they favor online advertising
more than print? By listening closely to your current customers, you
want to discover why they're not already spending more with you, and
what opportunities may be open.
Next, based on what you learn from them, create new products to boost
their spending, such as: extra issues (like an annual report or directory),
conferences (both in person and online), email newsletter sponsorships,
and/or more robust online advertising options.
Always consider raising or restructuring your ad prices. Many
publishers need to revamp their prices as their business grows
-- so that you are properly rewarding your best customers with
significant discounts, for example. I created a simple advertising
rate card worksheet to help develop new prices or refine an
existing rate card.
Finally, consider beefing up or re-energizing your sales team. Tease out their
new ideas and enthusiasm by modifying your commission structure to reward successfully
upgrading current accounts.
Finding New advertisers
First, make sure every potential advertiser has a chance to learn about you
by posting your media kit on your website, and listing your publication in
the widely used ad reference directories from SRDS.
A listing with SRDS is free.
Next, Study your competitors to see if you have overlooked any prospective
advertisers. And don't forget to look at web publicaitons as well as printed
Finally, consider adding new ad opportunities for smaller advertisers, particularly
classifieds or keyword advertisers. Many companies that never advertised before
have started spending money on keyword ads or small classifieds (both in print
and online). And nearly every niche publication or website should experiment
with these kinds of ads.
I recommend my how-to business book for publishers, Starting
and Running a Successful Newsletter or Magazine. It covers key
business decisions that have enormous impact on your publishing
success. My second book,
Nonprofit's Guide to Publishing (co-authored with Lucia Hwang)
covers editorial, production and budgeting decisions
in even greater detail. Look for both in your local library, well-stocked
now from Amazon.com.