Solution: You need to target a list of publications that are right for your business and that offer discounts, work to make them understand your needs and opportunities, and become a "friend" who discretely helps them out when they need to unload excess inventory.
1. Smaller advertisers and agencies have the advantages of flexibility and discretion in these situations. Bigger advertisers are less flexible and may not be able to react quickly enough to last minute opportunities. There is also a concern that word will get out about discounting - if a deal is given to one advertiser at a really big agency or company, 50 people will know about it in a short time. So they really have to make these remnant deals with smaller guys.
2. You should carefully pick the publications you approach to seek discounted space, be upfront with them as to your situation. In some cases you can tell them point blank that you can never afford full rate space, in other cases it may make sense to take a portion at a rate and tell them that you may have some additional funds for a discounted opportunity, but you need to have a certain frequency to make it work.
3. Become the go-to guy. Take all calls promptly, and actually take the remnant space on a regular basis. It keeps them coming back to you FIRST. This is why you should focus on publications that you really want to run with in the first place. And always remember that in taking remnant space, you are not a tough cookie negotiating a great deal, you are a friend of the publication or salesman helping him out of a jam. If you can't take the space, let them down easily. Give them a reason why and tell them to come back to you in the future and you will always consider their offer.
4. Have ads ready on standby or a system for getting them out if the remnant oportunities are presented on a last minute basis.
5. Some advertisers may want to set aside funds for remnant opportunities in their budget. In doing so, they must be realistic about the folllowing: a) How reasonable is it to expect that the remnant space will be available? Consider how much has been available in the past and whether there is any reason to expect this to change. b) Is there enough money provided to cover the basic advertising needs in the event that the remnant space does not come through?
6. Remember too that remnant space is often a fabrication - a complete cover to justify offering you space at a discount.
7. You don't necessarily have to lower your requirements or standards to get remnant space. You can ask for specific positioning and placement, timing, or anything else that is important. It is all negotiable.