For the past few weeks we’ve seriously been pushing you to consider using technology to drive your publishing business. We’ve spoken briefly to the use of mobile devices in the sales process, brought up some pointers on how to successfully transition from print to digital, and finally reached your bottom line with how big of a role digital ads played in this years Black Friday shopping bonanza. It’s no secret that we’re advocates of the digital era.

Today we’ll be talking about another technique to entice your traditional print advertisers to make the leap onto your digital platform. Lots of publishers we work with sell digital ads in the same way they sell print ads. Offering digital ads for specific time frames, or days, similar to how print ads sell by issues. What works for print is not always the best option to use for digital ad sales, although it is still an option. In order to understand the best route for selling digital ads, we’re going to review all of the popular options currently available. Knowing these options allows you as the publisher to create appropriate packets and encourage advertisers to use your digital platform.

CPM – How Well Known Are You?

First off we’ve got the pricing model: CPM or Cost Per Mille (1000). This is an impression based price point that is most definitely publisher preferred. An impression is a count of every time an ad gets loaded onto a page. Regardless of clicks or purchases, the publisher charges a fee depending on placement. This means that it doesn’t matter how well the ad performs, the publisher still gets paid. Larger publishers are the usual suspects for this type of pricing model. Great for branding a product or service through a large publisher, this isn’t always the best way for an advertiser to guarantee any clicks.

CPC – How’s Your Viewership?

Next on the list: CPC is a Cost Per Click pricing model that only charges the advertiser when a site reader clicks on their advertisement. For small publishers this might be a more realistic option when selling digital ads. CPC gives a more tangible ROI for the marketer, making it more reasonable for them to invest in buying an ad with you. This model puts much more weight in the quality of the digital platform. Larger publishers still use this method when they’ve expended their ability to sell CPM ads or when they have ads that are unsold nearing a deadline. This is a great route to go if you are confident with your site and your viewership.

CPA – How Are Your Advertisers?

CPA is the last of the common price models for digital ad sales. CPA, or Cost Per Acquisition/Action, gives the marketer full power and only pays the publisher when a click from your site turns into a purchase from the advertiser. This is a great metric for measuring ROI, but unfortunately it requires a much more contextual and response-based marketing strategy. The publisher has no control of how many clicks will turn into acquisitions or actions, because they have no control of the marketing strategy. If you as the publisher have no traction in the digital ads game, this might be a good way to prove your site will generate sales for potential advertisers.

Looking at all three of these models, gives us a great breakdown with this chart.


Depending on the publication, choosing the appropriate model is crucial. Larger, more well-known publications can probably get away with a limited CPC and CPA usage, while smaller pubs might need a heavier set of CPC’s, especially if the pub is relatively new. A good way to persuade potential advertisers to purchase ads based on impressions is to show them how well your site is loved. Giving your advertisers metrics on your page views, unique visitor rates, and click-through rates could be the golden ticket you need to sell more CPM digital ads. Explaining that a combination of models might be best for both parties is also a great compromise in sharing the risk.

At MagHub we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for your publication to go digital. We support all models of digital ad sales. Including sales-based on time, although not recommended, it is a possible intermediary step when transitioning. Our ordering system allows your sales reps access to all information regarding digital and print sales right at their fingertips. We allow you to create packages to help transition some reluctant advertisers.


“Change is inevitable, progress is optional.”

Progress with MagHub and find out our strategies to help you move into the digital game.


POSTED BY Nick Pataro, to contact click here.