Putting It All Together: Integrated Ad Proposal Perfection


Ad Sales expert Nancy O’Brien gives her insights into the perfect product packaging.

Do you try to sell a little of everything, sometimes wondering if you’ve got the right mix? Do your your prospective clients understand the value of each of your products? We caught up with with Ad Sales superstar Nancy O’Brien to get insight on this ad sales hot topic.

NMHQ: First, how should publishers and their sales teams determine the value of each of their products?

Nancy O: The value for selling advertising should be based on the size and quality of the audience it reaches. If you have an e-newsletter with 10,000 recipients but they have not opted-in to receive it and the open rate is less than 20%, then that would be priced less than one with opt-in subscribers and a higher open rate.

The same goes for website advertising – how many impressions will the ad get each month? The more impressions the higher the value. As for print advertising, we have always looked at CPM as a gauge for determining the value and the price of advertising.

Most importantly, however, is to be in tune with the competitors and their pricing. Sales reps should always be prepared to defend their pricing, and their value, with data.

NMHQ: What are 3 key guidelines for niche publishers to consider when creating a truly integrated ad proposal?

Nancy O: The main guideline in creating an integrated package for advertisers is to ask questions and learn all about their goals and objectives. The value of packages is that we are able to offer several different media to reach their goals and to reach their potential buyers wherever they might be consuming content. If you don’t know what the advertiser is trying to achieve, it is almost impossible to create a package that fits their needs.

Two other guidelines would be to bundle the pricing so that buying the whole package costs less on an item by item basis and finally be prepared to show the advertiser the size of the audience they are reaching by using several media. It is always bigger than just using one or two.

NMHQ: What is one big mistake to avoid with integrated packaging?

Nancy O: Showing individual pricing or allowing the advertiser to pick and choose. Integrated bundled packages work best if they are bought in their entirety.

NMHQ: What trends do you see coming in regard to ad selling?

Nancy O: Two years ago I would have said that publishers needed to move away from print and find ways to increase pricing on digital offerings. I think we are seeing a swing back to print as several magazines that went digital only in the past 24 months are now re-establishing their print publications.

In my own case, my magazine’s print revenue was up considerably in 2014 while a couple of my competitors are still focusing on digital platforms. There is a place for all of our forms of delivering content from print to digital to events. We must remember to continue to keep them all strong and viable.


Editor’s note: Nancy will be speaking at the upcoming Niche Media Conference in Denver.


More about Nancy: Nancy O’Brien is the Niche Magazine Conference Director and the Associate Publisher (and ad sales superstar!) for Aviation International News. She also co-teaches the Camp Niche Ad Sales Training.


Diana Landau, Niche Content Wrangler

About this blogger: Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Niche Media. A former sales director and corporate marketing hack, she has now found nirvana in writing and wrangling quality content. Diana is a food, wine, art and SF Giants enthusiast……who sometimes gets carried away.


Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah -also created a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events – blog.NicheEventNation.com  Check it out!

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