What Factors Affect Magazine Advertising Sales?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2019
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Factors that affect magazine advertising sales include the economic climate, the circulation of a particular magazine, and the willingness of magazine publishers to bundle print magazine advertising sales with online advertising. Other factors include the effectiveness of a publisher's sales staff, the ease with which advertisers can place orders, as well as the publisher's pricing structure. Obtaining advertising for print magazines, in particular, can present challenges, as many readers make more use of online sources than those that are available in print.

In many cases, declining magazine advertising sales can be tied to economic uncertainty. Many companies respond to difficult economic times by slashing their advertising and marketing budgets. This means that magazine advertising sales may precipitously decline until the economy stabilizes. Magazine publishers may respond to declining ad sales by lowering their rates and offering special promotions that maximize an advertiser's budget.


A significant concern of many advertisers is being able to both target their advertising to a certain market and ensure that as many people as possible actually see the ad. Magazines that cater to a niche readership may have less difficulty in securing ad sales if there aren't a lot of other magazines publishing in that genre. On the other hand, advertisers want to ensure that their ads are seen by potential customers. Advertisers frequently want to see evidence of a magazine's circulation before making a decision about purchasing advertising. Some publications use an outside auditing firm to certify that their readership claims are correct, and some advertisers may be more confident advertising in publications with an audited circulation.

Magazine publishers that offer online as well as print content may often bundle advertising services into one package for advertisers who are interested in both online and print advertising. These bundles may significantly increase magazine advertising sales, because advertisers who may be suspicious of the efficacy of print advertising may be more willing to take a risk if they know their ad will also show up online. Those magazines that do not maintain a significant online presence may find it more difficult to generate magazine advertising sales without offering significant discounts or other inducements to potential clients.

Some publications work to make it very easy to obtain information on their magazine advertising sales policies and may even provide opportunities to buy advertising directly online. Media kits, which include information on prices and deadlines for submitting advertising, are frequently made available online. Publications that offer easy access to their rate cards and policies may find that they can increase their magazine advertising sales with companies operated by younger entrepreneurs who are more familiar with doing business mostly, or entirely, online.


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