The scarcity model

US based Lessiter Media has come up with a successful way of increasing digital ad revenue – sell less.

By James Evelegh

The scarcity model

One of the advantages of a busy website is the virtually limitless inventory it offers – endless ad positions all waiting to be sold.

For consumer media sites with large numbers of monthly pageviews and programmatic opportunities, that might be the case, but for B2B sites with smaller specialist audiences, not necessarily so.

As we heard in last week’s webinar, sponsored by ePublishing, (‘10 Creative Ways Your Website Can Make More Money Today’), chasing monthly web ad sales was not cutting it at US B2B publisher, Lessiter Media. Lots of effort for relatively little reward.

So, as John Bennett, head of digital media, explained, they decided to change the offer. They introduced what they called ‘digital ad partnerships’, based on the ‘scarcity model’.

Out went ‘limitless’, in came strictly ‘limited’.

On one of their sites, they divided the entire inventory into eight and sold eight high value packages. Strictly eight; if you weren’t in the eight, your ads couldn’t show on the site.

This decision changed the whole ad sales dynamic by introducing a sense of urgency to the sales process. Potential advertisers couldn’t forever delay the decision, they had to commit one way or the other.

Either they were in or they were out and the sales message became a lot more compelling as a result.

In addition to the ad inventory on the website, Lessiter also added the logos of the eight partners to all ‘non-transactional’ pages, for instance in the footer panel of all their emails.

The introduction of this simpler, easier-to-sell and much more attractive ad package has proved to be a game-changer for the publisher.

This was #1 of the ‘creative ways’. You can catch the other nine by watching a recording of the webinar.

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