So, you've signed up with OwnLocal and you've got your cash rake ready. Sit tight! There's just a handful of steps standing between you and the money switch.
1. Kick-Off Call
Our team will reach out to schedule a "Kick-Off Call" with your team. You are welcome to include as many folks as you like, but ideally we recommend having a designated leader for this project as well as your favorite technical wizard on the line. On this call, you'll get a chance to chat up your Account Executive and/or Digital Revenue Analyst. They'll ask you some questions in order to get to know your company and market better, and then walk you through the rollout process.
2. Send Out That Advertiser Letter
Don't stress! You'll talk all about the Advertiser Letter during your Kick-Off Call. The Advertiser Letter is simply an announcement that you will send out to your current advertisers to inform them about your (awesome) new service. Not sure what to say? We'll be happy to provide you with multiple examples if you wish. We recommend sending these letters out 2-3 weeks in advance of your launch. Usually this means getting them out right away!
3. Fill Out Your Spreadsheet
Our stellar Onboarding Team will send you a spreadsheet to fill out with basic information about your publication(s). We need this information to be clear and accurate since it will be used to build your OwnLocal Platform as well as for billing/record purposes. As soon as this spreadsheet is completed and returned we can begin building your OwnLocal Platform. In most cases, it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes to fill out, so no need to put it off!
4. Send Us Your Logo(s)
We'll need copies of your logos in order to brand your OwnLocal Platform sites. Please send a high-resolution logo in PNG format to represent each site. Transparent backgrounds are preferred whenever possible. We have no specific size requirements.
5. Point Your CNAMEs and Add A-Records
Don't be afraid of the scary acronym! This is a simple change that your IT folks will need to carry out through your DNS host. Basically, they'll just be setting up a subdomain where your OwnLocal Platform will live. For more details, check out our article: All About CNAMEs and A-Records.
6. Send Us Your Sample Manifest (if applicable)
For most of our partners, we'll be requesting a sample manifest. This is usually just an export of advertiser information from your ad order entry system. For this step, we'll be needing your team to send our team a sample manifest containing multiple entries of real live business data. You can read all about manifests and our manifest guidelines in this article: Manifest Basics.
7. Sales Team Training With Your Account Executive
Our team will reach out to coordinate a training about the OwnLocal Platform for your sales team. We like to schedule this training around the time that your advertiser letter goes out in order to prepare your team for potential customer questions and objections. This training will be led by your dedicated Account Executive.
8. Upload Test Ads and Manifests
Our team will give you the signal when it's time to begin sending us test ads and manifests via FTP. Generally, we'll ask you to test for a week-long period prior to your launch date. This gives our team and yours the opportunity to work out any kinks and ensure that your upload process is functional. Participating fully in testing is essential to a smooth launch. For further details about testing, please refer to this article: All About the Testing Phase.
9. Implement Your OwnLocal Platform Widget
We recommend implementing your OwnLocal Platform Widget on your homepage on the day of—or shortly after—your launch. If you implement it too early, it won't yet have featured ads and businesses to display. You can read all about widgets here: The OwnLocal Platform Widget.
10. Launch, Baby!
You've made it! We'll check in with you on the day of your launch to make sure everything is looking good and running smoothly. Know it is not uncommon for there to be a few more bumps in the road post-launch. Rest assured, we'll work with you to get it right.
How Long Does This Whole Thing Take?
This depends on the number of sites you will require and any unusual software or processes you employ. Normally it takes 2-3 weeks, but can be done slower or faster as the needed.