There are several possible strategies for selling advertising on your association's web site. However, the one that seems to work best is "just don't do it."
That sounds like odd advice, but what it means is that many associations have found it easier to obtain advertising revenues not by selling advertising specifically for their web site - but instead by selling overall marketing/advertising packages that include web site advertising. Here are three examples:
- Sell annual association sponsorship packages that include varying levels of web site advertising as part of each level.
- Include association web site advertising in exhibitor packages for your convention.
- Include association web site advertising in the cost of print ads that are purchased for your association publications.
By including advertising in your association's web site with these other items, you can justify a price increase in your association sponsorship, exhibit and/or print ad rates. This price increase can be equal to the cost of the association web site advertising, or it can be part of an overall price increase of the base items as well.
Why is this is often a more successful approach than selling advertising directly on your association website? Because commercial websites typically offer a lower cost per unit delivered, and this approach avoids the unfavorable head-to-head cost per impression comparison. Certainly, your association website's audience can be more valuable to an advertiser due to its unique qualities, but quantifying that value can be difficult to sell.
Has your association had success selling advertising for your web site? What methods have been most successful for your association?