• An Innovative New Out of Home Sales Tool

    Want to generate more leads for your open billboards? BillboardAlerts.com has developed a great new out-of-home product by combining modern technology with traditional direct mail. The web-based platform notifies businesses relevant to your available billboards via a customized direct mailer, letting your salespeople spend less time cold calling and more time focusing on deals. The cost for the service is $1.50-1.80 per mailer (less for IBOUSA associates/affiliates), which includes printing, postage and shipping. Insider talked with Evan Metrock about the product.

    Evan, how does Billboard Alerts work?

    Billboard Alerts helps sell out-of-home availabilities by mailing notices (either a 4×6 postcard, a 6×11 postcard, or an 8.5×11 letter) to businesses down the road specifically in the direction that cars are traveling when viewing the sign. This idea of “down the road” is important to highlight, because this means we’re not wasting money sending mailers to businesses in all directions of your sign. Our technology is smart enough to find only the directionally-relevant businesses based on the direction the sign is facing.

    For any given sign, Billboard Alerts needs the latitude and longitude, the direction it faces, and the road to which it belongs.  Our software finds the businesses near the billboard. For Interstates, we’ll search only at the exits ahead. For non-Interstates, we’ll find all the businesses along the road ahead. You can also create rules to omit certain businesses if you’d like.

    We have several free postcard and letter templates you can choose from.  We can also create custom mailer templates.

    Later this year, Apparatix and IBO Fuze (OOH inventory software solutions) will integrate with the Billboard Alerts API to allow sending mailer campaigns directly from those programs.

    Where did the idea for Billboard Alerts come from?

    Billboard Alerts was born out of iExit, the business I founded back in 2010.   iExit is a free “Interstate Guide” app, with 2 million downloads, listing every business at every Interstate exit across the US.  We sell one “Exit Sponsorship” per exit.  We discovered that cold calling business was an inefficient way to sell sponsorships.   So we created a system to generate and mail out highly customized iExit postcards to businesses near Interstate exits.  To date we’ve sent over 100,000 postcards and they’ve produced an excellent return on investment.

    Once we realized this direct mail solution would work for iExit, we began brainstorming who else it could work for, and billboards quickly came to mind. After interviewing a number of folks in the OOH industry, especially at the IBOUSA, we decided to make Billboard Alerts a reality.

    Who’s using the product right now?

    We have formed a strategic partnership with IBO Marketing and have brought on a few select IBOUSA Associates as early adopters. At this present moment, we’re working on campaigns with Morgan Hudgens of Revelation Outdoor/511 Sponsorship in Georgia, as well as Chris Cowlbeck of IBOUSA/LOOK Billboards in Oklahoma.

    We will be attending our first IBOUSA conference in late April, where we’ll be presenting results and best practices from these early campaigns. We look forward to bringing on new customers after the conference.

    What should a billboard company do if it wants more information?

    They should go to our website, BillboardAlerts.com, and watch our short explainer video. The website also spells out our different mailer options and pricing. If you’re already an associate or affiliate of the IBOUSA, you can log into your account there and learn more about our partnership and future integrations.

    For those interested in being one of the first to begin using Billboard Alerts after the upcoming IBOUSA conference, we have a section at the bottom of our home page where you can submit a short form to join our waiting list. After that, someone from our team will be in touch about getting your account set up and how to affiliate with IBOUSA to obtain the best pricing.

    For more information contact Evan Metrock, evan@billboardalerts.com.

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    1. Gilbert Nichols says:

      Excellent idea! I represent independent billboard investors who have inventory but little to no sales force. This will do well to help them fill up their empty billboards.

    2. Thanks Gilbert. You can reach out me directly at evan@billboardalerts.com if you’d like to discuss.

    3. What about street furniture?

    4. Hi Gloria, yes we can support street furniture. Transit is a bit more complicated, since those are on the move, but anything at a fixed location along a road is something we can handle.