26 The price you pay often determines your long-term success or failure in space, so be prepared to bargain! With most media, it's critical that you be prepared to bargain, or have an agency that will do so for you. Your margin of profitability is largely determined by what you pay for what you get.
See if the publication offers:
• A mail order discount (up to 25 percent is common).
• A special test rate for new advertisers.
• Standby ad space (tests at the media's convenience can save 50 percent).
• Last minute "remnant space."
If a publication seems eager to get your business, suggest it run your ad on a per-inquiry (PI) basis—or per order. You have no risk and pay the media an agreed percentage of your sales or x dollars per inquiry.
None of this information will be volunteered by the publication. Ask for everything, and you'll often get some type of a rate break. Recognized advertising agencies get 15-percent commission. A good agency can save you 20 percent to 80 percent.
27 Bargain for position. In magazines, a right-hand page in the front usually will be better read than a left-hand page or a page in the back. Some media charge a "position premium" to honor special requests. Often you can bargain these premiums away if they really want your business. Having your ad run opposite or surrounded by editorial helps it stand out. In newspapers, the best position is a right-hand page, above the fold on the outside corner.
28 Be aware of timing. For example, monthly magazines close their books for orders 30 to 60 days ahead of issue. You may get an additional week or two to supply artwork. If you're in a hurry, newspapers, which have short two- to three-day closing deadlines, are a natural.