Using a grid system, have your staff sell space in your advertising section rather than pieces of a page. This will make the time and effort of selling and designing your ads worthwhile. Because businesses buy advertising by the column inch in professional publications, you can align with the rest of the industry by selling space.
Traditionally, schools that sell divisions of a page (e.g., ¼, ½, full page) give advertisers a break on larger ads and limit their options, but they also leave money on the table. Bottom line – don’t discount larger ads.
Here’s how grid sales work: Divide the page into thirds vertically. Then divide the page horizontally into 9 blocks. The price of a single block, or “A” ad, should be comparable to the price of your current smallest advertisement. Although the “A” ad equals a ninth of a page, never refer to it as anything other than an “A” size advertisement. Remember you are selling space, not pieces of the page. The “B” ad equals two “As,” so the price is two times the price of the “A” ad. The progression continues: C = 3 blocks; D = 4 blocks; E = 6 blocks; F = full page. The pricing is logical and fair. As a result of this division of pages, you will reduce the number of ad pages in your book while increasing revenue. Learn More
To entice reluctant business owners and professionals (lawyers, doctors, dentists) into advertising, divide the “A” ad in two and sell a business card advertisement. Simply run six of them in a column along the side of a page. In the case of the business card ads, round up and price the two halves slightly more than the cost of the “A” ad.