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If there was one prevailing bit of advice
that virtually every single speaker gave
at the SNA Classified conference last
month it was this. Make sure you offer
self service online classified ads.
This step is made easy these days with
several vendors offering simple pack-
ages that work extremely well. And, sta-
tistics prove again and again that self
service classifieds drive revenue up an
average of 30%. With costs to imple-
ment the program at roughly 5-8%,
there is no good reason that publishers
should not act immediately to make this
a reality at every newspaper in every
corner of our membership.
Don’t know where to start? Contact Al
Cupo, SNA Vice President of Sales &
Marketing, and he can put you in touch
with some members who are already
doing this and associate members who
offer software and expertise to get you
going with on line, self service classi-
fieds. Al is reached at al.cupo@subur-
ban-news.org, or 215-256-6801.
“Free” is a curseword
“Don’t say the ‘f-word’ in clas-
sified”, says classified consult-
ant Janet DeGeorge. And she
wasn’t talking about cussing.
No, she was talking about the
In her refreshingly candid
remarks to classified managers
gathered at SNA’s conference
last month, DeGeorge shared
her view that the free approach
is bad for business and said
that it implies no value.
Always price your ads and do
so as aggressively as your mar-
ket allows, says DeGeorge. “And upsell everthing! Bold face,
screens, reverses, white space, borders, logos, photos, internet
links. Everything should have a price and inside sale people
need to be trained to sell them.”
DeGeorge covered a lot of bases in her ‘Best Practices & Words
of Wisdom” session and hit on a list of items for classified
managers to tackle as soon as they headed back to their news-
#1. Renew motivation. Fully recognize the power of your inside
sales staff. Redesign and improve commission plans. Implement
contest and games – they work! Get rid of deadwood and hire
managers who can motivate the team.
#2. Upgrade your department. It’s “extreme makeover” time,
says DeGeorge. New carpets, flat screens, fax machines on
every desk, wireless headsets.
#3. New commitment to callbacks. Never underestimate how
this intimate service keeps customers coming back.
#4. Promote. Promote. Promote. Plan your specials and watch
the calendar. Every category has a particularly strong time of
year – capitalize on it.
#5. New business & competition. How much do ads cost in
your competition? Find out and price your ads accordingly.
Give reps new business goals, i.e . get one new account per day.
#6. Training. Be committed to training in the call center – do
reps really understand your internet component. Train monthly.
#7. Design. Modernize your print classified section. Organize
your categories like the yellow pages. Dump the numerical
classification approach. Make the front page beautiful. Need
some ideas? Go to www.brasstacksdesigns.com.
#8. Productivity. Get rid of the old rules! Identify all of the
ways you say “no” to customers and turn them into “yes”.
Janet DeGeorge is very vocal
about newspaper classified
advertising and encourages a
strong focus on the inside sales
team. She spoke at the SNA
conference last month.
SNA members at the classi-
fied conference last month
heard from Tom Kemper, of
BBDO in Detroit, about a
very real & immediate rev-
enue opportunity. Tom han-
dles the certified pre-owned
marketing for Daimler
Chrysler Group (Dodge,
Chrysler & Jeep brands).
All manufacturers have “cer-
tified” pre-owned programs,
said Kemper, and many have
lucrative co-op programs that
newspapers can tap in to.
Tom’s co-op program allows
up to $2000 per month on a
50% cost sharing basis. All
newspapers can qualify –
free, paid, daily, weekly.
CPO vehicle sales is a grow-
ing niche. “There’s a great
story here,” says Kemper,
“and I don’t think dealers are
doing a good job of spread-
ing the word. You can help.”
Tom Kemper is eager to help
SNA newspapers get his co-
op dollars. He’s reached at
BBDO’s Tom Kemper talked
about a co-op opportunity
for certified pre-owned cars.
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