Don’t overlook your small advertisers

November 4, 2013

By Bob Berting
Sales Advice 

How many publishers feel that their small advertisers are not worthy of their high priority attention? How many feel their small advertisers are being serviced by 80 percent of their staff and find that 25 percent of their business is coming from them?


Small advertisers are important

If small advertisers can be profitable, then we need to think about having creative salespeople work these accounts. There are different ramifications in developing them to a more dominant role in your publication.

Here are things that can be done to strengthen the small advertiser base:

• Provide co-op help. If your salespeople can find co-op dollars for their smaller retail accounts, they are not just selling ads but helping the advertiser get into a stronger and more dynamic ad program with you.

• Small advertisers spend money in your publication and deserve expert ad design and copywriting. If their ads are part of a provocative ad campaign that keeps readers looking for their ads each week, maybe the results can stimulate a more dominant and profitable ad program with you.

• Special promotions that have small advertisers in the same business category are effective. These collective page promotions can have spot color in each ad and the promotion participants can share the color cost.

• Your website can be a great place for smaller advertisers who can’t afford larger dominant print ads. A well-designed and well-placed ad in this format could have significant exposure.

• Rates? How hard have you made it for the small advertiser to exist in your publication? Are you pricing yourself out of the market? The local shopper publication will be glad to take care of your small advertisers who can’t afford your rates.

• Sponsor a seminar for your small advertisers. I have conducted 300 seminars for the customers of newspapers and they are extremely effective. Invite your inactives, regulars and prospects to a morning seminar. Even an all-day seminar with an afternoon hands-on workshop, can be educational and entertaining. Participants are usually appreciative of this type of event.

• How can your pre-print insert service help small advertisers? Can they buy zoned coverage or do they have to buy your entire circulation? Will you let several small advertisers share a common insert? Could you create a booklet of small advertiser coupons that could be inserted in your publication?

Start thinking how your staff can do a better job with your small advertisers. How your small advertisers can grow into more dominant, high profile advertisers that will get more response in your publication. © Bob Berting 2013


Bob Berting is a professional speaker, newspaper sales trainer, and publisher marketing consultant who has conducted more than 1,500 live seminars, tele-seminars, and webinars for newspaper sales staffs, their customers, print media associations and trade associations in the U.S. and Canada. Bob’s advertising sales record in the industry is impressive. For 15 years, he averaged two cold contracts a week and sold 20 shopping centers on yearly contracts. He is the author of the best selling E-Booklet “Dynamic Advertising Sales and Image Power,” which can be ordered on his website Contact Bob at 800-536-5408 or at He is located at 6330 Woburn Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46250.

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