Remnant Advertising – Bringing Success at an Affordable Price

Remnant advertising is not a widely used or understood form of media buying. A few years ago a small business and entrepreneurship columnist in USA Today endeavored to explain what remnant advertising is. Here is how he put it: Think about a carpet warehouse. It has all of those large carpet rolls, sure, but it discount tagalso usually has a lot of small rolls piled up, lying around that were cut off from the big rolls. These small rolls are called remnants. Remnants are usually sold at steep discounts.

Well, the same idea often applies to advertising. Media companies rarely sell all of their big advertising space or time. Their unsold ad space or time can often be bought at steep discounts, too. That’s called remnant advertising.

Over the years, I have collected some examples of remnant ads. Though they are now defunct, the song remains the same:

  • The Washington Post – “Remnant rate advertising is sold on a space available basis at 40% off the open black-and-white space rate. Color charges are also discounted at 40% off. Availability of remnant space is at the publisher’s discretion.”
  • Alaska State Vacation Planner – “Let the BIDDING begin for the second annual remnant space ad sale in the Official Alaska State Vacation Planner! Historically, after ad sales close and the directories are laid out, space is filled with Alaska images and/or Alaska facts appropriate to that region. For those businesses that have not purchased a display ad in the Vacation Planner or a remnant ad in last year’s Planner, this is an opportunity to position your business in front of approximately 450,000 high potential visitors as well as on our consumer website at www.travelalaska.com. Take this one-time opportunity to test a display ad at a 75% reduction.”

Here’s the skinny: Advertising time and space can perish if not used. That 30 seconds of TV time allotted for 8:09 pm., if unsold, is lost, forever. So instead of taking a complete loss for unsold airtime or ad space, media outlets will often take far less than their usual retail fees to unload that remnant space.

This means you can buy what is typically expensive media for much, much less than normal. Newspapers, magazines, Internet sites, television, radio, mobile ads and other media sell remnant space. Remnant space advertising is especially good for testing new ads before committing a lot of money to a full campaign.

Often, media companies do not know until their deadlines that they will have unsold ad space. The secret then to using remnant space advertising effectively is being able to buy that time as soon as it becomes available, which is, needless to say, at the last minute. If you can do that — if you can have the money and ad ready to go at a moment’s notice — then big savings can be yours.

Steps to take: If you want to try remnant space advertising, here are the steps to take:

  1. Decide upon the ad: First, create an ad that you can use on a moment’s notice. That means that the ad cannot be time-sensitive (i.e., talking about a sale this Saturday.) But it could be an ad that you want to try out or that has staying power. If it is a commercial, get it ready. If it is a print ad, lay it out. Either way, be ready to go when the bell rings.
  2. Decide on the media: Decide upon which media generally, and which stations or print sources specifically, you want the ad to run.
  3. Make contact: Call the ad rep for the media company and let them know you want to buy their remnant space or time. Remember too, you can choose more than one and wait to see who calls you. Let the reps know that you have both the money and the ad ready to go. Follow up in a month so that they know you are serious, and so they remember your desire.
  4. Monitor the results: Once you run your ad, be sure to monitor the results to see whether 1) the ad pulls, and if 2) remnant advertising works for you.

What Elements Make Up an Effective Radio Ad?

Radio advertising is an often overlooked avenue to market a product and/or service. Yet it continues to be a tremendous source for cost-effective lead generation, especially now in trying economic times. However, writing radio ads is a learned art form that is only effective when done by experienced professionals. When all is said and done, an ad written by an expert will drive a lower cost-per-lead than would an ad written by an amateur. The first thing to know is that success with any given radio ad campaign is dependent on your ability to trust the writer; give the writer the freedom to do what he/she does best. Here are some elements that will lead to a successful radio campaign.

Drive a Direct Response

Running a radio ad certainly creates brand awareness, but an even greater value is found in driving a customer to call your 1-800 number. Then it’s up to your call center to turn leads into conversions. With a great radio spot, customers will not be calling to ask questions, rather to make purchases. This is the art of direct-response advertising; this is the art of writing spots with an effective call to action.

Make an Emotional Connection

Emotions are the greatest driving forces for human action. Even our own thoughts are vulnerable to be overcome by strong emotions. Successful advertisers have known this for decades and have been cashing in ever since. If you want someone to act immediately or if you want an ad to be remembered, rousing emotion is imperative.

Choose the Right Creative Approach

In order to illicit a direct response, we’ve already discussed how emotions play a significant role. But how is this accomplished? One way is through the script design itself. Creative formats range from testimonials and sole announcer, to story-form and vignette. Remember, the most-effective format for your ad is dependent upon your industry and product/service. Also, make sure to understand why your professional writer chose the particular format, and then trust him/her to execute it.

Consider the Production Value

Have you ever seen a good movie that would have been great if they’d invested more money into the production? Or have you seen a dated TV commercial that makes you think poorly of the product? The same goes for radio ads, except you generally only have 30 or 60 seconds to leave a lasting mark. Good writers will set up the scene with sound effects that not only compliment the spoken words, but encourage an emotional response as well. Poor-quality sound effects can distract your audience or even give the entire spot a dated feel to it.

As a full-service direct response advertising agency, Media Partners Worldwide (MPW) has been a leader in direct response radio advertising since 1997. With pre-negotiated remnant rates and innovative advertising strategies, MPW consistently delivers low-cost, highly targeted campaigns to its clients.

To get your Radio Advertising Evaluation and find out how remnant radio will increase cash flow for your business visit www.MediaPartnersWorldwide.com or call 1-800-579-3031.

Webinars: Best Practices

You’ve gathered lead information, including email addresses, for hundreds of potential customers. It’s now time to launch various marketing campaigns to capitalize on these leads and develop new revenue streams. Webinars can serve as a great means to educate, entice, and sell your products/services online. Here are a few tips:

Get an experienced speaker

It’s not easy to admit that some people are better suited than others for giving presentations. Bottom line, find someone who’s qualified. Also, avoid awkward pauses and filler words such as, “um,” “ah,” and “er,” as these convey a lack of preparedness and can be increasingly distracting.

Thrill your audience

Incorporate striking visuals and entertain your audience while maintaining a professional demeanor. People have taken time out of their day to watch your presentation, so be creative and engage the audience with compelling content and eye-catching graphics.

Elicit a direct response

Upon the webinar’s completion, make sure your leads know what do to do next. Where do they go to redeem their coupon code, get a complimentary white paper, or purchase your product? Also, have an outreach plan in place to follow up with everyone who sat through the presentation. You should also include a post-webinar survey and gain valuable information about the effectiveness of your presentation. Once you forge an emotional and intellectual connection with your audience, eliciting a direct response should come naturally.

Present at the right time

It’s generally a good idea to schedule the webinar in the middle of the week when most people are not scrambling to catch up with work. If you’re presenting to a national audience, be sure to schedule it later in the afternoon to appeal to all time zones.

Be willing to adapt

It’s important to test new content and tweak your messaging as you present subsequent webinars. After time, you may discover that a later version of your webinar was far more effective at closing leads.

As a full-service direct response advertising agency, Media Partners Worldwide (MPW) provides lead generation for all sizes and types of businesses. With more than 100 years of combined direct response experience, MPW takes a cutting-edge approach to effective, creative copywriting. Established in 1997, MPW is one of the largest purchasers of remnant radio advertising in the world, delivering the most cost-effective alternative to traditional media buying. Specializing in remnant radio, MPW also offers television, online, and social media marketing solutions as well.

For more information about MPW, visit the agency’s website at www.MediaPartnersWorldwide.com or call 1-800-579-3031.

5 Ineffective Approaches of Traditional Agencies

As an agency with direct response in our DNA, we were struck by a recent article by the CMO of aCommerce agency, discussing the 5 reasons why you should fire your digital agency. Most digital agencies are trying to create branding and exposure via display, social and search, and as such are not suited for e-commerce in the way a direct response oriented agency thinks.

Within online advertising, the trend has been a shift towards performance marketing, in other words direct response. This means the goal is not to spend more, but spend better. The article cited 5 elements worth repeating here that represent the increasingly ineffective approach of traditional agencies that should steer you to consider shifting toward an agency like Media Partners Worldwide that focuses on direct response, eCommerce oriented media spend:

  • Inefficient marketing spend that drives volume but not quality traffic
  • Overly focused on social, which does not have a direct ROI, but is more relevant to the consideration part of the purchase funnel process. Direct is more focused on ROI, LTV of a customer, and acquisition costs
  • Lax attitude toward analytics and data analysis
  • Declining need for Don Draper styled branding campaigns (the marketing and communications approach epitomized on AMC’s Mad Men)
  • Focused more on traffic volume as opposed to order volume