Front Porch Forum offers advertising space to local businesses at bargain prices right now as we’re working to develop as a new kind of service. With 10,000 Chittenden County households subscribing already, including one-third of our pilot city, Burlington, we have a sizable audience available for local businesses. Several are reporting strong responses to their FPF ads.
So we’re interested in news such as the items below, such as the following from Peter Krasilovsky…
The 32 company strong Yahoo Newspaper Consortium, which covers 41 percent of Sunday newspaper circulation, has 700-900 reps selling Yahoo inventory, with a couple of the newspapers selling over $1 million in annual inventory…
It’s been a dismal year for ad-supported businesses, but not everyone is getting hurt. A look through recent public company statements on their ad businesses shows a trend: those worst off are (a) exposed primarily to the U.S. ad market, and (b) have the most print and TV in their portfolios…
Who’s not getting hurt? Those heavily weighted in growing, international regions. And industries benefiting from the shift of dollars away from traditional media — such as digital, search, marketing services, and PR. In other words, the global ad agencies — which have strained their balance sheets making acquisitions over the past several years. They’ve had a decidedly upbeat quarter, or at least what passes for an upbeat quarter in 2008.
And Borrell Associates released a new report. From the executive summary…
Over the next five years, we are predicting that 39 percent of the ad spending on print yellow pages revenues will vanish as small businesses shift marketing budgets online. After 12 years as an advertising medium, the Internet has reached small-business owners with viable marketing opportunities in the form of keyword advertising, interactive directories and low-priced online video commercials.
Until now, the key beneficiaries of this shift have been the search engines. But legacy media companies — yellow pages publishers included – have unleashed a newly trained army of local sales people to hunt down this migrating money. Directory publishers have cross-trained nearly all their print reps to sell interactive media, while newspaper publishers have launched their own interactive directories and have deployed cross-trained sales troops to sell them. All told, online products are being peddled by 34,100 trained local sales reps — more sales people than any other local medium. With all those reps hawking banners, paid search, interactive directory listings and online video, it is no wonder that local online advertising is increasing at a rate of 61 percent this year, to $14.1 billion.
Yellow pages publishers have spent the past three years transforming their massive on-the-ground sales forces into marketing consultants who can meet their customers’ demands both in print and online. Their combined print/online packages are simple, low-priced, one-stop solutions to small-business advertising needs. The proof of the industry’s rapid transformation is in the numbers: Of all local media companies, yellow pages publishers have been the most successful in moving toward digital sales, averaging about 14 percent of their gross revenues from online sales this year. By contrast, the online contribution for most local newspaper, radio, cable and TV competitors is less than 5 percent of gross revenues.
The main battle for the small business ad spending is between the pure-plays, on the one hand, and the two groups with the largest local sales forces: newspapers and directory publishers. Both have feverishly cross-trained their sales forces in the past three years and added “online only” reps to pursue the hottest-selling advertising product in local markets: interactive advertising, including the fastest-growing format of all, online video commercials.
The Journal story lists several reasons for the newspapers’ local online advertising problems, unfortunately well-known to anybody who’s been around newspaper online ad sales operations:
- It’s hard to get sales reps interested in selling less-lucrative local online ads.
- Small local advertisers generally don’t buy banner ads favored by larger national advertisers (and still the standard ad on most newspaper Web sites).
- Strategies of bundling print and online advertising may cause more cannibalization than added sales.
- Local online ad growth is coming from small- and medium-sized business–which traditionally haven’t been significant advertising customers of most good-sized dailies.
That last point is particularly interesting. In print and online, most papers, by covering a broad metropolitan area, are more attractive to larger local advertisers like car dealers and banks. Smaller advertisers–the pizza parlors, nail salons, mom-and-pop stores–don’t want the broad geographic reach that papers offer, and can’t afford the high rates. And they’re harder to sell to (and the commissions aren’t as large).
So newspaper sales reps traditionally haven’t called on those smaller advertisers. But there are lots of them, and other media are moving in–community papers, local Web sites and blogs, even Google, Yahoo and specialty sites like Yelp. That’s what’s crowding the newspapers out of their own markets, online.
Update: We’ve had a few reports of this same problem happening for Gmail users. So… if you’re not receiving your FPF email, regardless of your email host (Yahoo, Gmail, etc.), please follow the steps below.
Original posting: Yahoo Mail‘s spam filter technology has a tough assignment… no doubt. But recently it started blocking many Front Porch Forum e-newsletters from our subscribers’ inboxes. Not only did these good folks sign up to receive their neighborhood newsletter, but they write it too. You can imagine how upset some people are becoming. Not much help forthcoming from the Yahoo monolith, so we’re sharing the message below with all FPF-subscribing Yahoo Mail users.
For Yahoo Mail using Front Porch Forum Subscribers: Front Porch Forum (FPF) has learned that Yahoo Mail’s spam filter mistakenly thinks that some FPF neighborhood e-newsletters are spam. So, it’s likely that your Yahoo Mail inbox is not receiving your FPF neighborhood forum. PLEASE TAKE STEP 1 below and consider taking the other steps (DETAILS below):
We regret this inconvenience. TAKING STEP 1 will help you and hundreds of other folks who have been cut off from their neighborhood news. Thank you!
DETAILS for the steps above:
1. TEACH YOUR YAHOO MAIL SPAM FILTER to accept incoming email from Front Porch Forum by taking step A (please consider steps B and C too):
A. DESIGNATE FPF MESSAGES AS “NOT SPAM”:
– Go to http://mail.yahoo.com and sign into your Mail account.
– Click on Spam folder to see contents (do NOT click “Empty” next to the spam folder!)
– For any Front Porch Forum messages listed in the Spam folder, click to create a check-mark in the small box at the left.
– Go to the “Not Spam” icon just above the message list, and click once. This will move any checked messages into your Inbox.
– Yahoo says this should train your Yahoo spam filter to accept FPF messages (however some Yahoo Mail users have reported that this feature is not dependable). Repeat as needed.
If there is nothing in your Yahoo spam folder, chances are that you’ve set it to be emptied automatically and immediately. To fix this, go to “Options” (top right), then to “Mail Options” and then “Spam” (left-hand menu) and change the spam settings to empty your spam folder weekly or monthly. Then repeat step 1A above in a few days.
B. ADD FPF’S “FROM” ADDRESSES TO YOUR YAHOO CONTACT LIST:
– On Yahoo Mail website, open any email with an FPF address (especially one that was sent to spam folder), or click message to view it in the preview pane.
– Click the “Add” icon next to the “From” email address.
– At “Add Contact” dialog box, confirm email address and click “Save.”
– Alternately, you can click on the “Contacts” folder and add FPF address(es) manually.
– Addresses to add include: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and [YourNeighborhoodForum’sName]@frontporchforum.com
C. CREATE FILTERS TO ROUTE ANY FPF MESSAGES DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX:
– On Yahoo Mail website, go to “Options” (top right), then to “Mail Options” and then “Filters” (left-hand menu).
– Click on “Create or edit filters.”
– Click “Add.”
– Filter Name: “FPF” (for example).
– Under: “If all of the following rules are true:” designate “From header” / “ends with” / and enter “@frontporchforum.com”
– In “Then… Move the message to:”, choose “Inbox.”
2. PROVIDE FPF WITH A NON-YAHOO EMAIL ADDRESS: You can either (A) replace your Yahoo address as your FPF Primary Address with one from a different provider (gmail, hotmail, your employer/school, your ISP, etc.), or (B) add a secondary email address to your FPF account. To change your FPF account, go to http://frontporchforum.com and click “Log In.” Once logged in successfully, click on “Account” and make changes there. Or contact us directly (http://frontporchforum.com/about) and we’ll be happy to help.
3. Continue using your Yahoo email address, but USE EMAIL CLIENT SOFTWARE, such as Mozilla Thunderbird (http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird), that will download your emails onto your computer for reading. The Yahoo Mail spam filter will be avoided this way.
4. READ YOUR FPF NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS ON OUR WEBSITE, instead of via email: If email fails altogether, or you want to look at any missed issues, you can read your FPF neighborhood news on our website. Go to http://frontporchforum.com and click “Log In.” Once logged in successfully, click on “Archives” and browse or search.
At Front Porch Forum we value each and every subscriber… that’s why we make a priority of customer service. It’s great to see that effort reflected in comments back… such from Kim in Essex this morning…
I wish that everyone I worked with was as responsive as you guys! Thanks so much.
And from Nancy recently…
I am so impressed with all of your efforts to keep our neighborhoods knitted together through Front Porch Forum – it is a terrific service (and the customer service is exceptional!)