Contacting Local Businesses to Advertise on Your Website

We have a local “community” website in our area that we run. I am looking at getting local businesses and organizations to advertise on our website.

Any suggestions as far as the best way to do this? I was going to just start calling their marketing departments or owners and see if they want to advertise. Depending on the size of the business, I am assuming they will want traffic data: visitors, pages, etc. What should I have ready, so that I can cover all of their questions?

Thanks in advance!

I have found anecdotally that going to local businesses in person improves the success rate - business owners can make a better decision on how respectable you look in person that over the phone. It is a little harder to reject people in person too of course…

Good point - It would be better to go in person. I am also curious as to what “data” they will want on the website: page views, visitors, pagerank, etc.?

They want to know how giving you money will increase the bottom line for their business.

Whatever metrics you have that support your ability to grow them are great but success in the local market comes from a very clear, and generally very measurable picture that shows return on the spend.