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5 Common Reasons You’re Not Selling Ads!

If your ad sales funnel is full but selling ads has become more difficult, it’s a good time to assess the factors that might be stunting revenue growth. Factors like the economic impact on industries and changes in technology have certainly caused shifts in the ad sales landscape, but there are some other possibilities that could also be making an impact.


Price is a common reason people don’t buy: not just when selling ad space but when selling anything. If you are not making sales, price should be one of the first things you look at.

Start by seeing how your prices stack up against competitors and similar companies in your industry. If you are consistently coming out higher, it may be time to assess company costs to see how you could be selling ads at a rate closer to what everyone is doing.

Perhaps you can’t afford to lower prices. Another alternative is providing some extras to sweeten the pot. Media buyers are always looking for value add.

Consider these options:

  • Alter your pricing model. Offering services a la carte might be more cost effective than charging a flat fee or vice versa. You might also adopt different models for different services.
  • Strategic discounting can help grow sales, but it should not be relied on as a total strategy. When possible, give your ad buyers a little something extra instead.
  • Offer additional coverage in print for your digital customers and vice versa.
  • Provide sponsorship opportunities for a special section, native ad, conference, or trade show for added exposure.

Customer Acquisition

In a perfect world, most of your leads would be inbound from people dying to do business with you. In the real world, however, selling ads takes finding quality leads that will not only become clients but that can also become long-lasting business partners.

So, how can you tell which customers are right for you?

  • Consider developing customer personas based on your best and most consistent customers.
  • Periodically survey past and current clients for feedback.
  • Use this information to set requirements like industry, budget, etc. that guide your outreach.
  • Consider expanding or narrowing your customer base. Perhaps your pool of leads is too general or specific. Adjust your revenue or industry requirements slightly and see if it opens up more possibilities.

In addition, you might implement a referral program if you don’t already have one to reward customers who get you leads. Referrals are big business; in most companies, 65% of new business comes from referralsPlus, referrals are less expensive to generate and have a 16% higher lifetime value.


Speaking of value, are you giving your customers enough? In tough economic times, marketing costs are among the first to be cut. It may take some extra convincing on your part to avoid this.

Here are some ways to offer or show value to your prospects:

  • Giving them access to a large and/or specialized community.
  • Providing them with useful and/or entertaining information not necessarily available in other places.
  • Saving them money through solutions your product or company provides.
  • Using your contacts to help them build their own relationships.

Internal Changes

Think internally. Were there any personnel changes of note within your company? Were changes made to the sales compensation plan? Perhaps you aren’t selling ads because turnover is high in your company and your sales people don’t have the time on the job to create valuable relationships.

The three biggest reasons salespeople leave companies are because of the relationship with management, low pay and, lack of promotional opportunities. Invest in making your company an environment where people want to work. Make your sales reps feel appreciated with praise, incentives, and advancement opportunities. This can not only increase retention but grow ad sales.

Hard to Reach

We really shouldn’t have to say this, but sadly, we all see websites every day with difficult-to-find phone numbers, email addresses, or contact forms. Don’t make people work so hard to find you. Offer multiple options. Some sales reps even provide personal cell phone numbers in addition to their email and business lines.

In addition to the lack of contact information making it more difficult to physically make sales, it also colors how trustworthy potential customers see you. A recent study found that 54% of respondents said the lack of thorough contact information reduced a vendor’s credibility. It also made viewers to your site more likely to leave and less likely to pursue further engagement.

More importantly, if you are contacted for a sale, return phone calls and answer emails promptly. Stats show half of sales go to the first salesperson that contacts the prospect.

Igniting ad-sales growth…

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AdBoom Advertising helps organizations ignite their ad sales through print, digital, and conference opportunities. Explore our ad sales resources.


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