6 Keys to Online Sales Success
Using this approach takes the mystery out of it for both ad rep and advertiser/agency … and any sales rep worth their salt can sell it.
2. Don’t underprice your inventory.
This is perhaps the biggest mistake I see publishers make online: We don’t value our online audience the same way that we value our print audience. We go out into the market with our hat in our hand, saying, “I have a couple hundred-thousand impressions available on my Web site. Would you like to buy a few? Oh, and you’ll be one of 12 advertisers on the page.” No wonder our clients don’t value our online inventory.
Truly successful publishers and sales teams have realized that they must eliminate the perception of unlimited inventory online, deliver good value to their advertisers, and sell the qualified audience they deliver via Web and e-mail for what they’re really worth.
Manage your inventory: Reduce the number of ad positions you have in your newsletter and on your Web site to increase the share-of-voice of each position. Make the positions larger so they have more impact. Reduce the number of advertisers who can run in a given position so that each advertiser has enough volume of impressions to make it worthwhile.
Then, price your inventory properly. For example, surely an exclusive sponsor of a 20,000-circ e-mail newsletter—if the sponsorship is properly designed—has the same value as a full-page, four-color ad in a 20,000-circ print magazine, where it’s one of 20 advertisers. And, by reducing the number of positions available, we can increase urgency on the part of the advertiser. If, for example, there are only 50 opportunities for someone to reach my audience via my e-mail newsletter this year, there is much more urgency for a customer to move now or lose the opportunity.
Eric Shanfelt is the founding partner of Nearview Media, a consulting firm that helps publishers with their digital revenue, audience and platform development. Eric is a 25-year digital media veteran and has been the Chief Digital Officer for several large publishing companies. You can reach Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org.