Just sold some advertising on my site, a little out of my depth!

Hi all,

I’m hoping some of you can provide a little advice/help please!

I recently sold some direct advertising on my website to a PR company who is working on behalf of their client. They’ve purchased 3 ad spots on my site for a set number of impressions over a 1 month period. I’ve never done anything like this before and am feeling a little nervous about the whole thing.

Just a little background, they approached me and asked me to provide some mockups for the ad spots which I did (this was when they were pitching to the client)…a month down the line they’ve approached me to go ahead with this. In the mean time I’ve been working on a redesign which will go live before their campaign is due to start. The ad spots are still the same so that’s not an issue although I’ve made the site design more flexible to allow larger sized ads.

I’ve been asked:

  1. Can the creatives be 3rd party tagged?
  2. Do you have a spec sheet? Banner type (what formats do you support), File size, Loops required etc.
  3. Can you please send over an IO for this activity?

Currently I use PulsePoint on my site (Wordpress) with Adsense and Valueclick as the backup tags for all ad spots.

I was thinking I could add their ad code as the backup tag on PulsePoint but my worry is it might not meet the required impressions as it will be sharing the spots with PulsePoint. The amount of impressions they’ve asked for will be the majority for that 1 month period. I also not sure what they mean by 3rd party tagged, I imagine it’s just a way for them to track the stats?

I don’t currently have a spec sheet, I’ve been looking around online and found some examples. I’m going to try and use those as a basis to make one…but I’ve got no idea what limits to set. I’m concerned I may make the spec too basic which might not be what they’re after but again, I don’t want to affect page loading times / my bandwidth too much. They’ll be advertising a video game so I’m guessing a larger sized limit would be better for them.

I’ve tried looking up what IO means but can’t seem to find a suitable definition…

I’m also not sure what to do in regards to payment, ask for it all upfront?

I’m hoping a few here have been in the same boat, any information/tips you can offer would be appreciated.

Rather than trying to gather answers to your questions on line, why don’t you contact the PR company, explain that you are out of your depth, and ask them if they will meet you to discuss your concerns and questions? If a face-to-face discussion is not possible, ask them for a chat on the phone. Either way, the point is to be open and honest about your concerns, and not try to give the impression that you can do more than you can.

Regarding your question about when to ask for payment, you should wait until all the issues have been resolved before you approach that question.


Can the creatives be 3rd party tagged?

They want to add tracking information to the ads. Usually in the form of ?key1=val1&key2=val2
This would imply that you are serving the ads for them through some type of ad interface. You are currently using an ad network (PulsePoint) as your actual inline ad code.
If someone is coming to you and paying you directly I will assume they are paying more than you get from PulsePoint and others. They should be the FIRST ad you serve, not the default from PulsePoint.

So the question is… how do you handle serving the ads for them and how will you track it? You will want your own tracking so you can say “I served XYZ impressions for you and got XYN clicks for you on these different creatives…”. If you have ever purchased advertising yourself you should be familiar with how that looks.
You could either install your own ad serving software on your servers (which wouldn’t be a bad idea anyway) or use a hosted ad server. Hopefully someone else can chime in with some ideas for serving your own ads.

Can you please send over an IO for this activity?

IO is Insertion Order in this context. Heres one shown by Inc. magazine. http://www.inc.com/tools/advertising-insertion-order-form.html