Successful Sales Series: Recommended Ratios for New vs. Renewal Ad Sales

By • August 28, 2019

Our Successful Sales Series continues with insights from David Freeman, group publisher and former project manager plus sales representative for Naylor Association Solutions, about recommended ratios for new vs. renewal sales on different association publications. How much your association should aim to sell to new advertisers versus returning businesses will vary by publication type, history and industry. Below are some general guidelines to consider.
If your association is looking for more guidance regarding advertising sales and non-dues revenue generayion, check out Naylor’s advertising services.

Q: What are the recommended ratios for new vs. renewal advertisement sales in print publications?

A: For print publications, 20 to 25 percent of overall sales should be new, this will help account for the natural attrition of other advertisers, as their marketing and business plans change. Seventy-five to eighty percent of sales should be renewal for print publications. More new sales is good, though once you get into a majority of sales being new, that means you’re probably not delivering the value advertisers want – and that’s why you have a revolving door of new advertisers.

Q: What are recommended ratios for new vs. renewal advertisement sales for online publications?

A: The acceptable renewal rate is a lot lower for online publications – 50 percent should be renewal and 50 percent should be new to help your online project sales grow. Why? There are a ton of options and ad opportunities online – more than print. There are so many metrics you can get from digital ads, and people often have mismanaged expectations about the return they can get online. Whether or not your ad gets clicked depends more upon the ad copy and what it promises than on the audience. What tends to happen, is companies get the wrong expectations about what digital ads can do – they often expect a lot more interaction, when digital advertising is much more about branding, awareness, and driving website traffic. Advertisers interested in gaining more traction for their business online should think: How compelling must my ad be to get YOU to click on it?

Q: What are recommended ratios for new vs. renewal advertisement sales for membership directories?

A: Thirty percent of overall sales in membership directories should be new. People are less inclined to renew directory ads because they tend to rethink them with more scrutiny as  they only have to address it once per year.

There’s still value in advertising in directories especially at the association level because in that space you have members who still value, and in some cases prefer, a printed publication. So advertisers have the opportunity to advertise in a toll that still has high use among a group of people while showing that they financially support the association. It’s more of an emotionally driven decision. Nationwide, directory advertising renewals are expected to decline to 19 percent. (Source: Adweek)

About The Author

David Freeman is a group publisher with Naylor Association Solutions.