IN YOUR SHOES Tips For Small Business

Online Advertising Tips

Diana Pohly

Use this Simple Metric to Get More Bang for Your Print Advertising Buck

A simple formula to sell more with every ad you place


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When shopping for ad space, it often seems that it will cost about the same amount to place your ad in two similar newspapers or magazines. Yet which ad will produce the greater response as you advertise your business? “A single metric to compare different publications,” a recent post on the MarketFarm blog, outlines a straightforward strategy for calculating which ad will provide the greater ROI for you advertising dollars. Here’s a quick summary of the strategy:

  • Start by comparing the cost-per-thousand (CPM) of your potential ad. It is a simple measurement of what it costs you to reach 1,000 people. The post explains that if ad costs $250 and the publication’s distribution is 8,000 copies, the CPM will be $250/8, or $31.25.

  • But remember that the CPM doesn’t tell you the whole story. A bigger ad will effectively reach more potential customers, for example, as will a more colorful ad. There are a number of variables.

  • That’s why you should add a second statistic to your calculations. This is the amount that you are paying per square inch of ad space to reach 1,000 people. It’s also called the CPM per square inch, metric, or CPM/i². To calculate it, you multiply the CPM of the ad (see above) times the number of square inches that the ad will occupy on the page where it will appear.

Remember to Consider Frequency Discounts Too as You Advertise Your Business

You will pay less for ads when you buy a series of them, and also will achieve a more favorable CPM and CPM/i². Making those calculations can take time, but may be necessary to help you predict which ad will provide the greatest ROI for every ad dollar you spend. The MarketFarm blog post offers guidance on how to calculate those variables too.

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