Marketing Your Ad Space: How to Create Your Own Direct Advertising Sales Package

2007/04/28 |

This is the fourth post in a series of articles on developing Direct Ad Sales as an alternative revenue source to make money online. You can find the first article and an introduction to the series here.

In the previous articles in this series on Direct Advertising Sales for Beginners, we’ve examined how to create an advertising page on your page, the types of advertising options available as well as various methods you can use to set your own ad rates.

Having gone through all that, we will now focus on ways to market your ad space. This post examines the preparations needed before you start to contact potential advertisers directly to promote your ad space.

This preparatory process involves developing a direct ad marketing package that can be easily sent via email to businesses and webmasters.

How to Create your Direct Advertising Package

One needs to assume that the advertiser you approach knows absolutely nothing about your website. Therefore, he or she is also unaware of your site’s strengths (or weaknesses) and is basically very susceptible to first impressions.

The objective of your Direct Ad Package is three-fold:

* To begin a relationship by introducing yourself and your website.

* To sell the benefits of advertising on your website to the advertiser.

* To inform the recipient that there is a variety of advertising options and rates available for your website.

There are two main elements that need to be included in your Direct Advertiser package: The first one is the basic email cover letter, which introduces your site and yourself.

The second is the all-important Ad rate card, which lists all the advertising options available on your site along with the pricing for each ad type. I’ve made a list of the key details you need to include for both items.

1. Writing an Effective Email Cover Letter

Start up drafting up a email cover letter, which is simply a pre-written cover letter which asks if the advertiser would be interested in purchasing ad space on your site.

Using a pre-written cover letter will save you a lot of time because you will may need to contact a large number of businesses and webmasters.

This letter usually consists of a brief introduction to your website, along with a note on the benefits of advertising on it. This should also include a glimpse at your site’s visitor traffic stats and advertising options.

Most importantly, remember to leave your contact information so advertisers can get back to you if they are interested.

Some key characteristics of an effective email cover letter:

* Profile Your Website. Let the advertiser know what your site is all about in a few lines. If your site covers a variety of topics, try to place your site in a niche as relevant to the advertiser as possible.

* List the Strengths of your Website. Write a short note about the traffic statistics for your site and include any mentions of awards that you have won.

* Suggest Benefits of Advertising on your website. Here is the part where you need to customize the letter. Include any thoughts on how your site is a good fit with the advertiser’s business. Emphasis on audience relevancy and demographic will also be useful here.

* Offer other alternative contact details. I usually leave my IM details and phone number to speed things up but giving your email alone would be fine as well. The key is to allow advertisers to contact you as easily as possible.

* Call for a Response. Suggest that you will be able to send more details on advertising on your site and that you would be interested in communicating further if the advertiser has any interest in pursuing an arrangement.

* Keep it short and simple. This cover letter should be a maximum of three paragraphs long and should not exceed more than 300 words. Aim to keep it concise and direct so the advertiser will not lose interest in it or feel overwhelmed by your sales pitch.

2. Making Your Ad Rate Card

In my first article on creating an advertiser sell page, I suggested that you should not openly display your ad rates in order to allow for variable pricing and flexible ad rate setting.

However when it comes to approaching advertisers directly, you should provide a list of ad rates because you already have knowledge about the specific advertiser’s website and thus should have set your rates beforehand accordingly.

The Ad Rate card simply consists of two things: the types of advertising options available and the rates for each option. Your Ad Rate card should be separate from the cover letter and should preferably be in the form of a PDF document.

To create the PDF file, I use Cute PDF, a free lightweight program which allows you to create PDF files from Window applications like Word or Excel.

There are two options when it comes to using the Ad Rate Card: You can send it along as an attachment to your cover letter during a unsolicited email to a potential advertiser.

Alternatively, you can choose to send the ad card alone after receiving a favorable response. If I am certain that the specific business is advertising aggressively, I would send both the ad card and cover letter together.

On the other hand, If I am unsure of how the advertiser would respond to my offer, I’ll usually just send the cover letter alone to get some feedback before sending the ad rate card.

Some elements you can include in the rate card to make your site more attractive:

* Audience Demographic Profile.

Who are the people who visit your website? Age, Gender and location are the three main factors that interest most advertisers. You can use most stats programs to get details on visitor locations but age/gender will require visitor participation in surveys.

In most cases, this information might only be necessary if you are appealing to niche advertisers who need to target audiences of a specific age/gender profile.

* Site Traffic Information.

It is very important to include a brief note on monthly site traffic details. I would suggest including screen shots of your basic statistics programs. AW Stats or Google Analytics allows you to come up with some very useful charts and graphs for marketing purposes.

* Ad Types/Rates Table.

This would include a detailed list of ad options with ad prices for each. This can be done in the form of a simple table using Excel, which helps to keep your rate card neat and readable.

* Ad Placement Screenshot.

It will be also useful to provide a screenshot of your website in order in order to show where the sponsored ads or links will be placed.

This provides advertisers with a visual reference for the ad options available and has worked very well for me indeed.

And this wraps up my post on creating your own direct ad marketing package. The next post in the series will examine the various methods that will allow you to successfully find potential advertisers for your website.

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