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Welcome to the new weekly Niched Out - Serious revenue strategies ahead!

Why Print Advertising Still Matters

By: Nancy O'Brien

It’s funny how time changes everything. If you’ve been selling advertising for a while you remember when we gave banner ads on our websites as value add to a print program. This was when digital advertising was in its infancy.

Digital advertising distribution channels continue to evolve.

Early on publishers liked digital ads with their low overhead and high margins, we just weren’t sure how we were going to make up the big revenue that print ads generate.

Then came Native Advertising, video, podcasts, webinars, higher traffic and impressions. Suddenly we were seeing the money start to approach that of print.

Now I’m finding low or no digital inventory available on my site or newsletters during peak periods. I marvel at how that tide has turned. I recently got a signed contract for over $250,000 that included only four print ads. That’s a big digital buy!

With the move toward more digital advertising, what’s happening to our magazines?

Print ads are down, folio sizes are smaller and suddenly many magazines appear to be more of a pamphlet than a publication. I know you’ve noticed it, maybe even with your own titles. It costs real money to design, print and mail a magazine.

Consequently, publishers are tempted to ride the digital tide and let the print product fall where it may. That is a big mistake.

Why selling print advertising still matters.

Our print magazines are our brand. They come to life in the hands of our readers, pages turning, articles read, ads seen. They end up on desks, in lobbies and on coffee tables for all eyes to see. Our print publications were our first relationship with our audience and what developed their loyalty with our brand. Even if some of our readers prefer our digital offerings, we can’t let our magazines die.

I recommend turning the tables and offering free print advertisements with a substantial digital buy. It keeps the print product healthy and rewards the advertiser who has a tangible value add. Of course, the best course is to show clients the benefits of a fully integrated ad campaign.

But adding value with print ads is a unique and visible perk. It just might help you win business from the competitor who wouldn’t consider such a bold incentive.

Think inside the box, your magazine and your brand. Then make an offer they can’t refuse.

The Good, The Bad, The Beautiful

Sales tips to max your print ad revenue!
The Good:
Make the print sale by providing reader stats to prove your audience will engage with the issue, and see your advertiser's campaign. Work with your marketing peeps to get real data on pass along rate, most popular topics, and renewal rates. Tell your print story!

The Bad:
For clients who "only do digital", print is a tough sell. Incorporate lower cost or "trial" print pages in with a digital buy, and then make sure your client designs ads with engagement tracking. Think a specific promo code on the page, QR code, or phone number to ensure they see print action!

The Beautiful:
Once your client is locked in for print, build annual contracts so their campaign is in EVERY issue. Be consultative to tie their campaign to your editorial calendar, seasonal offers, or special sections that can really drive results. Their success = your revenue!

The Best New (Old) Way to Grow Your Client Roster

By: Carl Landau

Management wants you to grow your client base, and they want it done yesterday. Did you know there's a super-effective way available to you right now to grow your business? (It's not what you think.) I'm talking about picking up the phone and actually making cold calls. As a side benefit, you'll totally impress your sales manager.

Cold calling isn't what it used to be.

We've all received those business emails and unsolicited texts that are really cold calls in disguise. And even though the dictionary still defines "cold-calling" as "high pressure sales," I totally disagree! A cold call in the digital age is now the counter-intuitive sales approach. Plus it's a much more personal way to reach out for that new business.

That first call, however, is not about making a sale, it's about making a connection.

No pitching allowed. Focus instead on finding some initial common ground. Since cold-calling has become a lost art, here are some simple guidelines to remind you why cold-calling can be so effective:

  1. Research the client. Time to be a detective. Research their target audience, their presence online, who their competition is.

  2. Practice before the call. This sounds corny but it works.  It's just role-playing. Think of possible objections and get ready for them.

  3. Gatekeepers are your friends. Keep in mind that although the first contact may not be the decision-maker, treating that person well can make a difference on whether you progress to the next level.

  4. Inquire about new products. If there's time, ask the new prospect about what they have in development, what their future goals are.

  5. Ask them about pain points. Clients love to talk about what they don't like. Look at it as a way to offer solutions in future phone calls.

  6. Make your calls when prospects are most likely to pick up. Studies show early a.m. or late afternoon are best. I personally think that Friday afternoons are a gold mine of opportunity and I've had great success with it.

Think about it-- you have to make tons of calls every day to manage ongoing business. Why not think of cold-calling as the fun, new frontier for you to discover and master? Maybe your best-ever clients are out there, just waiting for you to call.

In Next Week's Niched Out... Digital Ad Sales Tactics, Digital ROI, & Paid Audience

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