BRAD’S RULE #7 Go Standby…(Or Wheel And Deal)

Go Standby OrWheel and Deal


If you’re willing to hang around an airport waiting for a flight, you can travel for less.

By the same token, one way to pay less for your ad is pay standby rates. Most publications have them. If they don’t, persuade them to.

Once Business Ideas’ Editor, Henry Newrick, mailed camera-ready artwork for an ad to all the little small-town weekly newspapers in New Zealand.

Accompanying the ad was a check for about $50 and a letter suggesting they run the ad whenever they had a hole to fill.

Most of them took the money and ran the ad – even if $50 was 20% of their standard ad rates.

There’s nothing a publisher hates more than a “hole” in his newspaper or magazine.

Someone’s booked an ad – the artwork fails to appear on time.

It’s press time – and an article is half-a-page shorter than intended.

What would he rather do: try and write something to fill the space? Run a “house ad” that probably won’t bring in any revenue. Or take your ad out of his file and fill the “hole.”

Fifty dollars is better than nothing.

Advertise with no money down

If your profit per first-time sale is $15, you could tell a publisher you’ll pay him $15 for each new sale you get. Let him run your ad and when he likes, give him $15 for each new sale that comes from his ad

You could even give him a coupon for a $50 meal (good, of course, for any Monday to Thursday night only!) for each new sale – and still come out ahead!

I have done deals like this where I have ended up paying the publisher far more than his full rack rate.  You can bet the publisher wants to run this ad as often as he can!

Go for special deals….

Interestingly, many newspapers and magazines in the USA have a special lower rate for direct- response advertisers.

Why … ?

They know that these advertisers are aware as to whether their ads work or not.

When a magazine ad salesman knocks on a general advertiser’s door, he talks about the magazine’s circulation, the percentage penetration of the advertiser’s assumed market, of the “image” of the magazine – and how the editorial “environment” is “just right for your ad.”

The general advertiser has little or no idea whether his ads make any difference to his sales. (Indeed, research shows that some campaigns actually reduce sales!)

The general advertiser has simply decided he’ll budget X-thousand dollars for ads this year. He has no scientific way of answering the question of where he should spend this money. Pseudo-statistics like “penetration,” “circulation” and “editorial environment” make him think he’s made a rational decision.

He never knows how many people actually read his ad – let alone how many of them buy his product as a result.

The magazine ad salesman is not selling ad space. He’s simply going for the biggest chunk of the general advertiser’s budget he can get.

If a publication you’d like to advertise in doesn’t offer a lower rate for direct-response advertisers, convince the publisher it should. (At least, for you)

“I’ve advertised in your publication a couple of times. Here are the results.

“As you can see, I only get 75% of my money back. [Note: you don’t have to tell him about the profits you make from new customers who become regulars. Tell the truth, but you don’t have to tell him the whole truth.]

“So I’m not willing to advertise at your standard rate.

“However, if you give me a 50% discount, (be willing to be talked into 40% or 35%) I’11 advertise every week.”

“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours … ”

Give the publisher $250 worth of free meals for a $200 ad.  You get $200 for an out-of-pocket cost of $50. He gets to spend $250 instead of $200. That’s a win-win, right… ?

Be creative- Wheel and deal. Negotiate! And once you build relationships and start negotiating, you’ll probably find that publishers and ad salesmen start coming to you with new ideas.

Once you’ve gotten attention, how do you keep it … ?

You make your ad easy to read.

Up to now, most of what I’ve discussed has been ways (which I’ve called “rules”) to get more for less, or to take advantage of people’s behavior as they read a newspaper or magazine.

Now, we can apply the same attitude to the actual look of your ad, applying research into typography, and how people read, to give them as few reasons as possible to stop reading your ad; and as many design and typographic “hooks” as possible to involve them.

– Brad Sugars –

Get your brochures & ads designed in the most effective way (ActionCOACH Fast Track program) … for price & detail information call now 021 2567 5775

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