One of our customers had some questions for us about how to start selling ad space in their fast up-and-coming email newsletter.
Their newsletter delivers all of the need-to-know news from in and around their city straight to readers’ inboxes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. But, while their publication has gathered good momentum in a short space of time to make it sustainable, they needed some advice from us on how to monetize it further.
As part of Letterhead’s new office hours series, we spoke to them about how their business is doing right now and gave him seven top tips to help it boom.
Think About Who You Want to Promote.
As with many newsletters in their early stages, everything they do right now is bootstrapped. So, they wanted to know how to make a start on outbound selling.
For starters, anyone in this position must think about exactly which advertisers they want to promote. You can do this by asking questions that will help build a strategy, such as: what do your readers care about, and are there any particular niches they gravitate to?
You probably already think about these things to an extent because you always want to understand your audience. So, use that audience awareness to decide what brands and messaging you’d like to include in your newsletter and go from there.
Do Your Math.
Doing your math can help to set your expectations for outbound selling. All it means is working out things like:
- How many phone calls and follow-ups you expect to make?
- How many meetings do you want to book based on those calls?
- How much you want to make from each sale?
- How long it will take you to reach out and move prospects through the funnel?
Once you’ve done your math, you can set aside specific blocks of time to decide what prospects to contact, make notes for your pitches, and go in with a game plan.
Go After Big Spenders.
It can be tempting to go after new brands that aren’t currently advertising so that you can be first in. But, it’s unlikely they’ll have a big enough budget to make it worth your while.
When you’re making your list of potential advertisers, look to those already spending money in your niche. For a grassroots publication like theirs, it’s also a good idea to look out for those big spenders in the local community.
Just be aware that the advertisers you do go after will likely be slammed by competitors. It’s up to you to do your homework and deliver a standout pitch.
Don’t Go in With An Agenda.
Remember that you won’t be the only person calling up a business and asking them to advertise. So, when making a cold call (or writing a cold email), always make sure you go in with a solution rather than an agenda.
Make the call about them by identifying an issue or pain point and explaining how advertising might help solve it. People will be far more willing to do business with you if you do.
Sell Your Prospects a Concept.
As well as a solution, it would be best if you also went into pitches with a concept. Your prospects will listen more closely if you can give them a clear idea of how they’d fit into your newsletter or benefit from connecting with your readers.
Try reaching out to your audience and asking them what they want to know about different industries and areas. Then, turn the information you gather into concepts that are likely to pique advertisers’ interest. You can offer your prospects far more if you know that, for example, an educational series on a topic they specialize in would appeal to your readers.
Keep Advertisers Engaged
When you pitch a well-thought-out concept to a potential advertiser, it’s easier to turn that pitch into repeatable revenue. Just make sure to sniff out a brand’s budget and get a sense of whether it will be a three-month or a six-month pitch first.
A concept will keep advertisers engaged for longer, and not just because you’ll be working together to create an ongoing series of ads. With concept advertising, brands are also far more likely to appeal to your readers.
Think of it this way: when was the last time you made a purchase on the first thing you saw advertised in a newsletter? It very rarely happens. But, if your advertisers can tell a story over time, they have an opportunity to show readers why their offer is right for them.
Learn to Deal With Rejection.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re well-established or, like this customer, new to the game. When you’re trying to attract advertisers, you have to learn to deal with rejection. Your prospects likely deal with generic cold calls all day, so you can’t take any rebuffs personally.
However, a better way of managing rejection is by learning to avoid it. Do this by grabbing your prospect’s attention straightway and taking your opportunity to connect and make the listener understand what you’re doing for them.