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Peter Wagner's 'Get Real' column: Support page sales for unique occasions such as June Dairy Month

By Peter Wagner

FORMAT: One or more broadside process color pages
REVENUE: $$,200.00 per page

I have to admit that I “borrowed” the basic idea for this “turn-on-a-dime” promotion from one of our printing customers that did a similar project for May Beef Month. But the beauty of this easy-to-sell package is it can be used to create increased revenue from just about any highly recognized national or local event.

Two additional benefits are it can be sold exclusively by the publication’s inside sales team entirely over the phone in just one day. That leaves the outside salespeople free to continue to meet their goals outside the office.

Interestingly, the two pages were our second project centered on selling the Dairy Month promotion the last week of May. We had just finished producing our monthly Herds & Plowshares farm section – with a dairy month theme – the week before.

But I was desperate for an idea to boost the following week’s N’West Iowa REVIEW income when I came across this idea. I shared the sample with our inside sales team the same day and they jumped on the idea realizing it could be easily sold to non-agricultural accounts as well as farm businesses that had already advertised in the earlier Herds section.

That quick response is what we call “turn-on-a-dime” selling. A committed sales team needs to be ready to take hold of a last-minute idea, when necessary, and sell it to the max.

The layout is simple. The promotion was printed on the back two pages of the news section. The lead page featured a larger header while the second page was laid out to allow for more sponsor support ads. I believe we could have sold one or two additional pages if there had been more time. Our normal price for a full process color page is $1,023.23. At $50.00 per business card size support ad, the two pages each produced surplus income. In our market we’ve found support ads priced from $37.50 to $50.00 are easy to sell. Those priced higher are more difficult to fill.

One suggestion. These type pages are important to the community, the industry or event being promoted and to many small retail and non-retail businesses. It is an excellent way for them to keep their name in front of the public when they have no specific message to advertise. For the best buyer response always refer to such projects as “support” pages and never as signature pages. Businesses who would never be just another name or signature on the bottom of an ad will often jump at the chance to offer their “support” to something the community believes in.

Finally. I don’t usually share an idea so close to the month it needs to be sold. But there’s still lots of June left to sell this profitable idea. Done correctly, it can be sold in just a few hours. And I am sure it is an idea you can easily adapt to other national and local events.

Peter W. Wagner is founder and publisher of the award winning N’West Iowa REVIEW and 13 additional publications. He is often called the publishing industry’s leading “Idea Man” and is a regular presenter at State Press Association and Publishing Group conventions and seminars. For more ideas and motivation or programs for your upcoming company meeting  Wagner can be contacted by emailing or calling his cell at712-348-3550.

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