It is both simple to implement and often results in easy money. Yes, it can result in easy money.
A direct sales operation for a Web site means that its staff contacts potential advertisers to persuade them to buy ad campaigns.
- A typical sale may take weeks, months and sometimes even years to develop after:
- Identifying a potential customer
- Contacting that customer
- Convincing the customer to accept a meeting
- Developing and presenting a proposal
- Negotiating specific terms of an agreement including price, impression level, etc.
- Having second and third meetings
- Closing the deal or receiving a rejection
The investment of time is significant. A typical close ratio online ranges from 5 to 10 percent of total contacts. Although the odds of getting a contract are low, the revenue from a closed deal usually makes up for the labor that failed to produce a contract with the 10 to 20 other attempts.
Effective sales promotion can reduce that investment of time and increase the odds of closing a deal.
Quick and Easy Sales Promotion Tactics
A one-page flyer is a simple way to start a sales promotion program. But what matters just as much is what the publisher or salesperson does with that flyer.
The flyer should contain the site logo for the sake of having color and visual interest. It also should explain the available ad sizes, the size and growth rate of the audience, and a quick pitch about the value of advertising on this particular site.
That value could be a highly targeted audience (demographically or geographically), prices below competitor rates, a wide range of ad types, etc.
Putting the flyer on the Web site is the next step. Add a link to it on every page on the site. Prominence always matters online, so placing the link at the top of every page will get more clicks than putting it at the bottom.
Running house ads in unsold inventory is another way to drive viewership of that page.
Put a link to the flyer in email signatures and include a copy of it when contacting a potential client.
In time, that one page can and should grow into multiple pages with more information about audience, creative guidelines, rate cards and other information. In some cases, the site even produces the ability to buy ads right on the site itself, especially for text or classified ads.
The Easy Money Part
Imagine getting an email from someone who says they came to the site, saw the flyer and want to know more about buying an ad campaign.
With minimal effort, a qualified lead has made contact and is asking for more information. The odds of a meeting and a sale have now gone way up. They may not reach 100 percent, but they are much higher than randomly contacting businesses to ask for a meeting.
Experienced salespeople and managers know that it’s entirely possible that an initial contact will result in the business saying they have never heard of you. Such a business is highly likely to say no to a meeting or agreement. A qualified lead from the Web site has no such problem.
Even if that site contact doesn’t result in a sale, it does mean that the contact has potential for a followup call in the months ahead.
Other Sales Promotion Tactics
A site staff can use any of the standard site marketing channels to promote sales and lay the groundwork for more revenue.
Social media accounts are easy to use because the site has total control over their content. Simply post information on them about advertising discounts, special projects, revised rates, etc., on a regular basis.
Announce a new contract with a major advertiser to add credibility. Provide updates about audience growth. Entice a potential advertiser who also is a social media follower of the Web site.
Add the link to any regular email newsletters. Keep in mind that a consumer who subscribes to the newsletter, visits the site or visits the social media accounts is often an employee at a company. That employee may be a marketer or manager who controls the advertising budget or knows the person who does.
If the site produces content videos for YouTube or Vimeo, do a short one about audience and advertising. Embed the video on the site’s advertising page.
Search engine optimization is one method that doesn’t work so well and actually doesn’t require any effort. An analysis of keyword traffic shows that few people specifically search on “Chicago Tribune advertising” or “Fox News advertising”. Even if they did, they would see the page they want in the top position of search results.
In other words, focus online sales promotion on already captive audiences — Web site visitors, social media followers and email contacts.