Tag Archives: advertising

Top 10 Online Invoicing Tools for Advertising Agencies

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Invoicing has quickly become a major time-consuming task that seems to takes away from the work that you actually get paid for doing in the first place. Now, added to the regular invoicing duties is the tracking of these same clients for various campaigns and projects, tracking new clients to fulfill their needs, tracking the slow-to-pay, all the while working on your personal touch with clients (this begins to feel like it is growing distant and sometimes lags.)

It doesn’t have to be that way if you take advantage of the growing toolbox full of online invoicing tools designed to help your advertising agency stay focused on the core business. Here are the top 10 online invoicing tools to consider:

Due

Due.com is a free online invoicing tool that offers many time tracking capabilities to account for all your time on each ad campaign. It also has customizable invoicing templates so you can brand the invoice to reinforce your advertising agency’s image in the mind of clients. These professional invoices provide a consistent way to deliver invoices straight to a client’s inbox while providing multi-choice arrangements for the client to pay as they wish, such as paying directly with a credit card or some other payment portal. Even if your clients are in other parts of the world, Due.com works effectively with over a hundred different currencies and tax systems.

Hiveage

This free invoicing system offers unlimited clients and invoicing capability. You can send customized estimates, invoices, reminders, and acknowledgements through the custom branding features. You can also add in discounts, taxes, and other costs like shipping. The invoices can be sent via email or as a downloadable PDF and include an option for accepting online payments. Other features and users can be added for small monthly or yearly subscription fees to help you when you are growing.

Invoice Machine

This online invoicing tool helps you pump out customized invoices in seconds with options for currency, taxes, languages, and notes. You will be able to see what has been paid and what is still outstanding. The tool is free for up to three invoices and estimates per month for one user. If you need to send more invoices, the next plan is $12 per month and allows for 30 invoices, 30 estimates, and two users. As you grow, you can opt for the $24 per month plan for 300 invoices, 300 estimates, and 10 users.

Invoiceable

This free online invoicing tool has an easy-to-read dashboard that puts all the information about your clients right in front of you with charts and reports that cover what has been paid and what is outstanding. You can access this tool from anywhere through an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. There are no limitations on the account that would require fees. Although each invoice will say, “Powered by Invoiceable,” you can opt to have this removed by paying a one-time fee.

Simple Invoices

This free, open source, and Web-based invoicing tool that was created by and continues to be enhanced by a community of developers that understand the invoice process. Since it is a browser-based application, it can be used from anywhere that has access to the Internet. The online invoicing tool is packed with features that provide a way to customize your invoices to what represents your company as well as send the invoices as a PDF. There are no monthly fees or subscriptions required to use this convenient and professional invoicing tool.

Zoho Invoicing

This online invoicing tool offers a time tracker with timer, customizable invoices, automatic payment reminders and acknowledgements, and online payment gateways. It is part of a larger solution that covers all types of features, such as email integration, project management, sales and marketing and more, which can be added on to create a larger customized solution for your business. If you are just looking for the online invoicing, Zoho is free for up to five customers and one user. You can select the next plan at $7 per month for 25 customers and one user or the $15 per month option, which allows for up to 500 customers and three users as well as recurring invoices and multi currency support.

Nutcache

Squirrel away that time you will save by using this free online, cloud-based invoicing tool, which offers significantly more in terms of the project management functionality that is included. Not only can you track time and produce an unlimited number of branded estimates and invoices that can be sent as a PDF or in Word, RTF, CSV or PowerPoint, but you can also use this platform to collaborate on projects and work. The free plan allows for two users, two companies, one active board, and one guest. For $14 per month, you can have two users, 10 active boards, and unlimited customers and guests as well as more storage.

Fusion Invoice

This is a self-hosted invoicing system that requires you to only pay once to purchase it and have it installed on your server. From there, all updates are available at no cost. There are unlimited clients, users, features, and more. Everything can be customized; data can be imported; multiple currencies can be offered; and recurring invoices can be set. Clients can view and pay their invoices online with built-in Stripe, Mollie, and PayPal integrations.

Invoice Ocean

Dive into convenient online invoicing with this tool that is designed with a cloud-based, intuitive interface that is accessible anywhere and learns as you invoice to provide an enhanced service. It provides for four different user accounts with variable features. You can issue receipts as well as use multiple languages and currencies. It is free for three invoices per month with unlimited clients, and email invoices. For $9 per month, you can upgrade to unlimited invoices and clients.

Wave Invoicing

Known for its accounting and payroll software, Wave now offers a free cloud-based invoicing tool that allows you to create branded invoices from anywhere while accepting credit card payments. Other features include multiple templates, automated reminders, recurring invoicing, multiple currencies, and the option to email an invoice or send it as a PDF.

Final Thoughts

These ten invoicing tools are just the top of a very long list of online tools now available, with many more options out there that might fit your specific requirements. With so many choices for invoicing, there is no excuse not to update your agency’s invoicing process to simplify, advertise while invoicing, track all things trackable, and speed payments.

Let one of these systems do the work for you so you can focus on the creativity, ideas, knowledge, and services that define your ad agency.

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Top 10 Online Invoicing Tools for Advertising Agencies

Snark Master AdWeak Is Out With New Editions of Advertising Insider

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If you recall, last month AdWeak teamed with stock footage company Dissolve to launch Advertising Insider. The combination is the best of both world’s.

On the one hand, AdWeak gets yet another platform through which to share his epically jaded advertising headlines. On the other hand, Dissolve gets to share its vast collection of stock footage. But best of all, the rest of us get to revel in the amusement of the two combined!

Here are three more episodes:

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Snark Master AdWeak Is Out With New Editions of Advertising Insider

How Affiliate Marketing Can Fund Your Advertising Budget

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If you mention the term “affiliate marketing” to some brand marketers they either don’t know what you’re talking about or they think it’s some kind of shady method of generating traffic.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Affiliate marketing, simply put, is the use of third parties (affiliates) to help sell your product or promote your brand. Even better, affiliate marketing is a better way for a brand to pay for advertising. What do I mean by this?

Affiliate marketing simply means paying for marketing on a performance basis. As a result, ad expenditures are based purely on whether or not a sale is made. If an affiliate sells a product on behalf of a brand (and, in doing so, promotes the brand), then the brand pays a percent of sale to that affiliate. If the affiliate’s efforts do not lead to a sale, the brand does not pay anything.

In order for the affiliate to make money, as I eluded to above, they must promote the brands with whom they have affiliate deals. This is how affiliate marketing, in a way, pays for a brand’s advertising. Yes, the brand pays, but only if a sale is made and out of the proceeds of the sale 30 days after it is made. And, while affiliates are attempting to make a sale, the brand is receiving, essentially, free advertising.

If we back up for a moment and consider how most advertising used to be (and, in many ways, still is) purchased, it occurred inside a traditional advertising agency and was done by the media department who contracted with individual publishers on a one to one basis.

Then ad exchanges came along and made it easy for publishers to sell (and buyers to buy) unsold, remnant inventory. Exchanges then moved to programmatic buying of premium inventory from publishers. Centralizing things, agencies then began offering their own programmatic solutions with in-house trading desks to buy the media they had planned to purchase. And that leads to a bit of double dipping, which does not benefit the brands they represent.

Writing in Digiday about this very topic, Jack Marhall wrote, “From a client perspective, the decentralized model appears preferable. Why should they pay for an agency team to plan and buy media from a trading desk, only for the trading desk to charge them again to go out and buy it from exchanges? Why can’t their agency teams take care of everything?”

In the words of AffiliateTraction CEO Greg Shepard, “The days of agencies doing media buying are over.”

By that he means it’s time brands realize that they are paying ad agencies for the “possibility” of their ad dollars achieving results when they could be engaging in pay-for-performance affiliate marketing. Sometimes brands are even paying agencies twice when you factor in the costs for both the planners and the trading desk.

In a way, affiliate marketing is a way to leverage an army of sales people who get paid only if they sell a brand’s products. Why would a brand pay anyone for the “possibility” of a sale when they could be paying only for actual sales? This is what affiliate marketing can offer brands and this is why more big brands should seriously explore affiliate marketing.

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How Affiliate Marketing Can Fund Your Advertising Budget

STUDY: Top Ten Clickable Native Advertising Topics for the First Half of 2014

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Native advertising pioneer MGID identified the top-ten Internet content trends for the first half of 2014 today, having aggregated engagement and virility from millions of visitors to more than 3,000 entertainment, lifestyle and sports websites. Flash games topped the list as the type of content that had the best “click factor” among the visitors of the MGID network thus far in 2014

The top 10 most clickable content trends for the first half of 2014 are:

1. Flash Games
2. Childhood Crushes (Then and Now)
3. Facebook Picture Fails
4. Couple Physical Training
5. Luxurious Lifestyle
6. Bollywood Stars
7. Movie Mistakes
8. Kaley Cuoco
9. Elsa Transformation (from Frozen)
10. Hayden Panettiere Bikini Style

Hahaha on number 10!

MGID measures the “click factor” of Internet content by calculating specific traffic criteria, such as the number of articles published about the topic and the amount “click-throughs” generated as a result of publishing the content.

The analyzed traffic came from nearly 9 million individual website visitors, clicking on content from more than 3,000 websites, worldwide. MGID tracked the data from user clicks on native advertising widgets that thousands of online publishers use to engage and monetize their audience.

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STUDY: Top Ten Clickable Native Advertising Topics for the First Half of 2014

How the Collaborative Economy Will Affect Marketing And Advertising

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For the better part of the past year, Altimeter Group analyst Jeremiah Owyang has been trumpeting what’s called the collaborative economy. Loosely defined, it’s all about people getting what they need and want from each other without buying. Think Uber, BlackJet, Rent the Runway, Airbnb, LendingClub, etc.

I reached out to Jeremiah to ask him what this shift means for brands and how they need to rethink their marketing efforts to mirror the changes brought about by the oncoming collaborative economy.

Read the rest here…

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How the Collaborative Economy Will Affect Marketing And Advertising