Advertising is often a key part of the operating budget of a college newspaper, but attracting advertisers can be difficult, especially in a struggling economy. Here are five tips on how to increase your advertising sales.
1) Door Knock
Door knocking is an incredibly effective method of contacting local businesses and selling advertising. Simply define a region or regions where students frequently visit and spend money, this may be a local mall or a “Main Street” type area that students frequent.
Simply ask for a manager or owner and tell them why your there. Be polite and brief, leave information with them for further study (see tip #2).
Important: Obey soliciting signs. What you are doing is soliciting and you will not be well received if you ignore a “No Soliciting” sign. Also, enclosed spaces like shopping malls may require permission before you can solicit the businesses inside. Contact mall management to find out the details on their policies.
Bonus tip: Shopping malls often give out weekly or monthly newsletters to their tenants; ask if you can get a “blurb” in their newsletter.
2) Print Business Cards with your Contact Details
Printing 500-1000 black and white business cards and passing them out to newspaper staff is a great way to give contact details to prospective advertisers. Any time a staff member visits a local business s/he can hand the card to the manager or owner.
If you order two sided business cards, putting circulation figures and ad rates, can increase your likelihood of receiving an inquiry. Businesses expect print advertising to be expensive, yet most college newspapers are actually very inexpensive, so providing pricing details can convince a business to give it a try.
3) Provide Discounts for First Time Advertisers
Business owners may not be convinced that putting an ad in a college newspaper is a good use of money. By offering first time advertisers a discount rate, you are basically offering them a chance to take a test drive. If they receive business as a result, then you’ll have a long term advertiser.
Bonus Tip: Suggest to the business that they publish a coupon or a specific time/item that is on sale. This will make tracking their advertisement’s effectiveness measurable as opposed to perceive.
4) Get Business Students Involved
Business students are often well connected in the local business community, whether through internships or guest lectures. Try teaming up with your university’s business school or with a business professor. Get together and brainstorm ideas on joint ventures and projects. If you can, offer a commission to business students that sell advertising.
5) Advertise to Alumni
Universities often frequently communicate with alumni via email and newsletter. Contact someone in your school’s alumni department to see about having your advertising rates published in one or more of those communications.
Alumni are more likely to give money to the school if they get something in return (whether it’s a good seat a football game or a bumper sticker in the mail). If alumni can gain customers and help out their alma mater at the same time, then everyone wins.
In conclusion, don’t give up and be creative! Selling print advertising [http://www.fuseavenue.com/print-advertising.html] isn’t easy on any level, but with a bit of work your ad space will be full every week. Good luck!