Marketing Secret #34 How To Get Results-Driven Advertising Done Cheaply

One of the best kept Secrets in advertising is how to get better rates than what the publications tell you is available!

See, they’ll all quote you the rate card numbers, which are, supposedly, their “regular” rates for advertisers. They’ll tell you how much different size ads cost, sometimes offering you a discount if you agree to do multiple runs of the ad. 

Keep this point in mind: The less you pay for an ad, the better it is!

I know this sounds stupid, but if you save money on ads, you can test more of them and have better overall results.  Sometimes people forget that everything is negotiable.  At least sometimes.

Okay, lets quickly review how to improve your results on getting lower cost advertising:

  1. How to pick a publication? Go to the library, or get a directory of trade, hobby, special interest, etc. publications and organisations. Don’t assume that your “local” paper is the only or even best place to advertise!  Some of these specialised publications can be literal goldmines that no one takes the time or trouble to test!Get every media kit from every publication.

    Forget everything in the media kit except:

    Number of subscribers and newsstand sales

    Rates for different size ads

    Do comparison of the ad size you want, figuring rate divided by number of distribution (e.g. $1,000/20,000 = $50/thousand; $1000/50,000 = $20/thousand). The lower cost per thousand is better (at least to start).  You are looking for the lowest cost of an ad and the largest distribution of readership.

    Begin negotiation

  1. ALWAYS have an “In-House” agency. All you need is a clean master from, your laser printer. Sometimes they’ll typeset the ad and still give you an agency discount. If you are not good at desktop publishing, it may pay for you to spend the extra to have someone else do it for you. You have to see if the cost of typesetting is offset by the agency discount. If you save $10 on an ad and have to spend $20 to get it typeset, then save your time and money and just let the paper do it, skipping the agency discount. Ask if they:
  • Have test ad rates
  • Have mail order rates
  • Have remnant space
  • Have stand-by space
  • Have discounts for cash paid up front
  • Will give you a multiple rate insertion discount for a one-time test
  • Will give you a right-hand page, as far front as possible
  • Will give you credit
  • Will give you two colour for price of black and white
  • Will give you any advertorial space for free
  • Will do any articles or press releases for free
  • Will be sure to leave off the “reader reply number”
  • Have combo rates with sister publications

3. Don’t ask if they will make you put “advertisement” on the ad

4. Be prepared to walk

5. Try sending insertion orders with a cheque for a lower amount and see if they’ll take it

6. Always explain that you are a direct response marketer, and that if they price it right and the ad works, you’ll stay forever.

Don’t get talked into a multiple-run discount if you are required to, in fact, run multiple ads. Only accept the multiple-run rate for a one time ad! If your tests bomb, why would you continue to run?

Keep in mind, many publications will only give you the standard 15% agency discount if you give them a finished ad. They will not deal from their rate card. This is true for publications that are prominent and think you are bound to advertise with them.

That’s why you need to become an expert in finding little-known publications. First, you can sometimes pull way more leads per dollar spend, and second, you can sometimes cut a much better deal.

Yes, some publications will not negotiate. Then you have to decide if you want to run there.

Some will negotiate; some won’t. It never hurts to ask!