5 Tips to Win Your next RFP

by: Reilly O'Connor, on Aug 5, 2014 in Publisher Tips & Tricks


It’s a well-known fact that the digital media planning process is complex. Publishers spend hours filling out Requests for Proposal (RFPs), while media planners distribute, collect and attempt to efficiently process them.

Publishers spend an average of 1,600 hours a month on RFPs that have a 25% average “stick rate,” or campaigns that will deliver the contracted amount, according to recent research by Digiday and Adslot.

At Local Yokel Media, we realize that the process is very manual and the majority of publishers don’t hear back from agencies a whopping 65% of the time.  That real-life statistic leads to frustration and the nagging question “Is all this RFP work worth the trouble?”

Advertising dollars are critical to your bottom line, so yes, we think it’s worth it.  To help improve your success rate for winning an RFP, we have outlined 5 Key Tips to help you organize your information, minimize the time investment and ensure your time is well spent when an RFP arrives on your desk at 5PM on Friday.

1. Prompt Response: Be sure to respond to all RFPs as soon as they come in – even if just to confirm receipt and your interest in participating.  Be sure to outline any questions you might have in terms of the RFP submission deadline, creative or RFP format requirements or the like.  Immediate responses are always greatly appreciated and reflect how it will be to work with you.

2. Know Your Numbers: Set up an internal process where you document and store your website traffic metrics ongoing so you have them readily available when requested.  The key metrics typically asked include total website monthly traffic (monthly Unique Visitors & Pageviews ) and what inventory is available for purchase by ad size/unit (ultimately revealing advertisers potential Share of Voice – SOV).

3. Be User-Friendly:  It’s tempting to offer a variety of unique ad unit sizes, but advertisers with larger budgets traditionally follow IAB best practices and develop creative reflecting the most popular standardized sizes.  Today the most common ad sizes are 300×250, 728×90, and 160×600. If you desire smaller ad sizes for your local advertisers, pick a uniform size and confirm it is in compliance with IAB Display Advertising Guideline sizes.

4. Talk the Talk:  It’s easy to get lost in the mumbo jumbo of digital media lingo.   Make an effort to gain a thorough understanding of the advertisers success metrics, reporting language and pricing structures used in today’s digital media landscape i.e. CPM (cost per thousand views), CPA (cost per action.), and Sell Through Rate.  A helpful tool for beginners is the IAB Interactive Wiki Glossary or even our own LYM Glossary.

5. Know Your Worth: With a clear understanding of your traffic, audience, and what your market is willing to pay, you can establish competitive online rates for your website.  We’ve created a Media and Revenue Calculator page on our site that we invite you to bookmark.  Local Yokel Media sees an average rate card for local news sites ranging between $5-$15 CPMs.   The average CPMs paid out for remnant by third party providers ranges between $0.25 – $2 online.  Local Yokel Media pays a premium for locally targeted inventory from $3-$5 CPMs.

Once you have your process in place, it’s comforting to know how much revenue your site could potentially earn daily, weekly, or monthly.  When you know your traffic, rates, and current sell through rate you can quickly respond to an RFP and book new revenue, avoiding leaving any unsold inventory – and money – on the table.



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