B2B Publishers, Turn your Data into Dollars

Publishers can help their advertisers with data cleanup and lead generation.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics are just some of the buzz words being overused by many today. If you are a publisher, we know you have a great deal of questions trying to figure out the best way to take advantage of these new technologies. A simpler question should be answered right now to generate immediate revenue to help you survive…

What have you done with your data to create new sources of revenue?

Unfortunately, when asked this question, many publishers responded that there wasn’t much new or different they could do.


You can use data to grow sales now. Whether you have a large audience or a narrowly defined niche B2B publication, you can help yourself by helping your advertisers.

You do not need to spend millions of dollars or several months to build your data system and infrastructure to achieve the desired results. With the right mindset, you can start immediately.

We were recently presented with a dilemma followed by a question:

A publisher can pay huge amounts for quality data upkeep, but if there is no revenue, the business cannot last long.

Publishers tell me all the time that they are resigning from BPA, not due to the fee BPA charges, but due to the expense to build and maintain a quality list. Without the transparency of the BPA audit, they are free to budget renewal campaigns as they choose and look to do so proportionately to the print ad revenue they receive.

What is your proposal to bring back 50% of the ad revenue that has left print?

Our answer: Give your advertisers what they need most, help them sell more. 

Here is how you can do that:

One Business Commitment – Decide to dramatically increase the number of leads you are generating and qualifying for your advertisers, and charge for the leads (make it simple).

One Strategic Decision – Make a commitment to integrate your sales, marketing, and audience development team for the purpose of these projects. Identify a leader to oversee that your instructions are being executed.

Focus on One Integrated Process – Believe that every subscriber, member, or contact name in the database represents a new sales opportunity for one or more of your advertisers/clients (now or in the future).

Make One Simple Promise to Your Clients – Tell your clients that you are dedicated to help them overcome the economic downturn, a result of COVID -19 right now. The majority of prospects will most likely need to be nurtured for another day. Demonstrate your ability to help them prioritize the list of companies who are ready to buy their products/services now.

Remember One Important Thing – All of your clients have sales teams begging for quality leads they can sell to now. Most of your clients do not have a proven system in place to find these prospects. Moreover, sales teams are struggling with cold calling right now and they will appreciate any help and support you can offer adding qualified leads to their empty sales funnels.

What Does This Process Look Like?

Here is an example of this process using projects we have been managing for years:

The campaign is designed as an integral ongoing project.

Every call we make (be it Requalification or New Name) contains questions to identify new business opportunities (leads) for one or more advertisers. Every contact we attempt can result in a follow-up e-mail to expand brand recognition, to motivate call to action, to enable event/webinar registration and so much more.

The result: we become a profit center for our clients.

The key is that we “touch” the audience several times a year.

Based on the audit cycle, some calls are integrated with audience development projects. We talk to the actual label person (the subscriber, never the co-worker) to find out not only if they want to subscribe, but also qualify them as a new business opportunity for one or more advertisers.

When we are done with the Requalification and New Name projects, we continue (we call it survey only) to qualify new business opportunities and leads on-going. Every week, we manage three to eight different projects. We qualify thousands of leads each and every month.

We also provide qualified individuals for:

Simple projects – interest to consume content (white paper, case study, research, etc.).

First level qualification – product needs/interest plus accepting a follow-up contact (by phone or in-person) from the client representative.

Second level qualification – identify product need/interest plus decision-making time/process plus budget availability and accepting a follow-up contact (by phone or in person) from the client representative.

Invite them to attend events (right now all virtual) and webinars.

Survey them and gather other critical information.

We talk to the same qualified individuals several times a year creating new business opportunities for one or more advertisers.

As a result of the ongoing contact efforts not only do we generate a large new source of revenue, but we also secure the highest level of file quality and accuracy that is being used by other internal marketing and sales departments and, of course, (when applicable) being made available (by you) to others (for a fee).

Instead of looking at audience department as a cost center, publishers can start treating them as profit centers.

Real ROI Numbers

While we had to keep our client’s identity and “numbers” confidential, the numbers below demonstrate real ROI opportunities:

45,000 – Total number of print subscribers on file.
(As a result of this program the publisher can report 100% 1YR on their BPA 3b statement.).

5,000 (11%) – Estimated number of new subscribers the publisher adds/qualifies each year to replace those who were removed from the files for one reason or another.

120,000 – Total number of individuals the publisher engaged with. The publisher is using different channels of communications, mostly digital. The publisher promotes their products (digital content, webinars, events, educational and more) as well as the products and services offered by their clients, most are advertisers.

$3.00/sub – The publisher invests about $3 per requalified subscriber (RQ) to maintain their Print circulation at 45,000.

$4.50/sub – The publisher invests about $4.50 per qualified subscriber (NN) to add new print subscribers each year to maintain their circulation at 45,000.

$142,500 – Total annual telemarketing campaign investments for RQ and NN campaigns ($120,000 + $22,500).

In addition to the cost associated with the RQ and NN projects, the telemarketing company billed the client for qualified leads.

Simple projects (all subs)                               $1

Simple projects (limited subset)                $2

First level qualification                                   $3

Second level qualification                            $5

Survey (average)                                              $10


The publisher is billing their clients for leads based on three distinct levels:

Simple projects (all subs)                                    $15

Simple projects (limited subset)                     $25

First level qualification                                        $50

Second level qualification                   $75 – $100

Survey (average)                                                     $35


36,500 – Total number of leads generated by telemarketing.

$107,500 – Total telemarketing cost to generate the leads:

Simple projects (all subs 15,000 X $1)                            $15,000

Simple projects (limited subset 10,000 X $2)            $20,000

First level qualification (5,000 X $3)                                $15,000

Second level qualification (1,500 X $5)                            $7,500

Survey (5000 X $10)                                                              $50,000

$1,012,500 – Total revenue generated by telemarketing:

Simple projects (all subs 15,000 X $15)                    $225,000

Simple projects (limited subset 10,000 X $25)     $250,000

First level qualification (5,000 X $50)                       $250,000

Second level qualification (1,500 X $75)                   $112,500

Survey (5000 X $35)                                                          $175,000

$142,500 – Telemarketing cost for a publisher looking to maintain 100% 1YR file.

$107,500 – Total telemarketing cost to generate the leads.

$1,012,500 – Total revenue generated by telemarketing.

$762,500 – Gross annual revenue for the publisher because of the telemarketing generated leads (400% ROI).

$142,750 – What it will cost a publisher looking to maintain 100% 1YR file is now generating the publisher an annual gross revenue of $762,500/year.

When implementing lead generation as part of the audience development efforts, there is a very real, simple way for publishers to earn back some (or all) of the print revenue they lost.

 What Does This Mean for Publishers?

The main challenge (for most publishers) is the disconnect between the audience and the sales/marketing departments.

The fact that you may not have strategically implemented new business development and lead generation throughout your organization is a lost opportunity. We demonstrated how we turn a cost center into a huge profit center for our publisher clients who implement this process. There is no reason why your company can not expect a large ROI from telemarketing.

It is time to look at your audience development as a source of new revenue. It is being done by some; it can be done by all. Contact us today to get started.


Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Ronen Ben-Dror

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