By: Karina Fabian, Marketing Communications Specialist
Self-service is not just a trend but an expectation – and why not? It offers convenience for the customer as well as labor savings for the company. It also keeps things in one convenient place, making communications easier, and simplifies the process of offering discounts, collecting data and more.
You probably have a self-service portal for subscriptions. (If not, contact us!) But have you thought about one for your advertising sales? There are plenty of reasons to set up a self-service portal for selling advertising on your news media sites or in your print publications.
- Convenience for your customers. A self-service portal lets your customers handle many of the details of around their advertising order at any time. This is a great help when you’re dealing with customers in different time zones or different countries, or the super-busy advertiser who likes to get his work done at odd hours.
- Convenience for you. Customers can use the self-service portal to view orders, invoices and statements, sign insertion orders, pay invoices, and make changes from updating contact information to uploading artwork. You can even allow customers to renew orders automatically. This frees your sales, production and billing people to concentrate on the other valuable aspects of their jobs – pursuing opportunities, designing great campaigns, analyzing accounts and planning for the future.
- Customizing with deals. A really good self-service portal (like ours) lets you program in special deals like discounts for pre-paying, early renewal or package deals. You can also integrate the material submission portal to tie into your pre-flight software, allowing for instant feedback to customers if there are any artwork issues.
- Easy access to information. With a self-service portal, all the information is available to the customer as well as the sales, production and billing teams. You can easily flag missing information, such as the graphic you need for a newsletter. Plus, you can quickly verify if your customers got their invoices, if the ad information is correct, or any other myriad of details.
- Online payment. Better yet, you can make it easier for your customers to pay their invoices directly online, at any time of day or night.
- Reduced friction. Your customers can see and pay their invoices, sign contracts and review proposals right on the portal. That helps you cut the processes that create barriers to signing. With our advertising sales self-service portal, your customers can even sign contracts using a mobile device. While the portal provides convenience and ease for your customers, it also gives you a clear audit trail of any customer interactions.
- Price reductions. Some ads – such as line ads/classifieds – don’t require negotiation. With the online details handled by the self-service system, some ads can run on automatic. Customers put in the information which gets pulled into the ad management system. By removing the middleman, you reduce your costs. You then have the luxury to pass that savings to your customers.
- Stand out from the crowd. Self-service portals have become a standard for reader subscriptions, but using them for advertising sales is still a new phenomenon. By offering this convenience to your advertising customers, you are giving yourself an edge over the competition.
“Everyone needs to do more work with fewer people,” noted Wayne Burrows, Senior Implantation Specialist here at Newscycle. “Self-service portals like Élan Ad let the customer put in their data for you. Then you get the customer thanks because they have freedom, and you win because it’s less work for your people.”
Our news media customers are excited about our self-service option for advertising sales management. If you’d like to learn more, contact us.
About the Author: Karina Fabian has been writing about business, leadership & management, and software applications for over a decade. Before joining Newscycle, she wrote reviews of business software and services for Top Ten Reviews and Tom’s Guide, and about business practices and leadership for Business News Daily and Business.com. In addition to writing for Newscycle, she is a freelance writer and author of 16 books.