Recent research predicts that the online ad market will decline by 25% in 2001.**
In 2001, net advertising is a buyer's market.
Everyone has seen the media spotlight focused on the big
dot-coms who, dependent on ad revenues, have either gone
out of business or been forced to cut back.
Unfortunately, it's the same story for small business
owners. The economic downturn has left many potential
advertisers increasingly reluctant to pay the same prices for media that they
would have done a year or two ago.
I recently came across a message board where one advertiser
summed it up this way: in these hard economic times, she
has read that people are less willing to make purchases.
This means that she is much more at risk to suffer a loss
rather than make a profit. Like many, this advertiser does not have any extra
money to spare - and certainly none to lose to a failed
ad campaign. To turn the odds in her favor, she regularly
goes bargain-hunting for ad specials.
Frustrated webmasters and online editors are feeling the
pinch of lost ad revenues. This is particularly evident
with the recent launch of ad auction sites such as
WebmasterBids.com and EzineAdAuction.com. These sites
are specifically meant to aid newsletter editors and
webmasters in selling their remnant ad space - space
that would otherwise remain unsold, the profits lost
This doesn't mean that you can't benefit from your ad
space! Quite the contrary. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Encourage Customers to Book Multiple Ad Slots.
Offer large discounts on multi-ad packages. This is
a win-win situation - your customer receives excellent
value, and more of your ad space is booked with less
2. Auction Off Remnant Ad Space.
As mentioned above, there are at least a couple of places
where you can put your unsold space up for auction. If
you prefer you can set a 'reserve' price, under which
you are not obliged to sell.
3. Offer Incentives to Subscribers and Previous Advertisers.
Your own mailing list is a great source of advertisers!
They're familiar with your newsletter and know what type
of exposure their ads would receive. Previous advertisers
also have this type of first-hand knowledge. Encourage
them to book with you by offering great incentives - free
bonuses, significant discounts, or anything else of value.
4. Swap Ads.
Approach other editors within your niche market and offer
to swap ads. This is a great way to increase your exposure,
fill your ad space, and do it all without spending a single
Is there something you need but just haven't gotten around
to doing it? Use your ad space as a bargaining chip. For
example, you could ask a graphic artist to create a banner
or eBook cover for you in exchange for ad(s) in your
newsletter. To sweeten the deal you could offer an
6. Go the Extra Mile.
Provide prompt, friendly, and reliable service to
encourage repeat orders. Offer an extended run free of charge if the ads fail to perform as expected. A little extra attention goes
a long ways!
In the meantime, if your business relies heavily upon
ad revenues for profits, start building another viable
income stream. For example, one model that's becoming
increasingly popular is the content-rich, fee-based
Companies that are overly-reliant on ad revenues have a
choice: adjust to the ever-changing world of the Internet,
or risk going out of business.
We've all heard the phrase, 'Never put all your eggs in
one basket'. That's good advice for every online business
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John Schultz is the brains behind WebmasterBids.com, the
place where webmasters can go to auction off their remnant
ad space! Webmasters make some extra money, and visitors
can pick up some great deals ... visit today at