One of the biggest bottlenecks in the performing arts program book process is getting advertisers to submit their ads on time.
If you can’t collect all of the customer supplied ads, you run the risk of losing your print window, and ultimately not having your program books in time for your performance.
Over the years, we have tried everything from setting up fake ad copy due dates to trying to have our account executives assist in the process.
The fake dates never worked, because the advertiser usually catches on. And by having our account executives assist in the process, it only took time away from them selling program book advertising.
Whatever we tried, we still had this huge bottleneck at the very end and it consistently jeopardized getting our print files to the printer on time.
Every year, it was the same thing. Our Art Controller would be in a bad mood for about three weeks straight because he was chasing ads all day, every day.
Finally we came up with a solution that seems to be working and can be implemented very easily.
After the program book advertising account is closed in our system, we added a field for the ad copy due date, and a field for the email address of the person responsible for submitting the program book ad. We then made an email template that thanks the advertiser for advertising with us, and then their order summary, along with the exact program book ad specifications of the ad they purchased.
On a weekly basis, we do an email merge and batch email this out to all of the program book advertisers that are submitting their own artwork.
If an ad file is received, our database is updated so that it removes this customer from the email list. If we don’t receive the ad file, the customer stays on the email list until we receive their ad.
So far we have been getting unbelievable results. But only time will tell, for we are fast approaching our peak season. But I do know, for the time being, our art controller is still saying good morning to me, which is always a good sign. Good selling!