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Insertion Order: What is IO, Benefits, Drawbacks + More

Back in the days of traditional advertising, most dealings were done manually. Publishers didn’t have standard terms and billing procedures. With time, as the ways of website monetization through display advertising increased, the industry started developing methods to keep records of the agreement. Hence we got insertion order.

Table of content:

What is Insertion Order

Insertion order is an agreement containing the details of the inventory to ensure the ad proposal is processed. It guarantees that the advertiser can run ads on the publisher’s inventory. It is the last step in the inventory selling process issued by advertiser, agency, or publisher also known as io marketing.

Insertion order contains all kind of details related to the deal, which are:

  • Name of campaign
  • Start date and end date of campaign
  • Name and details of publisher
  • Name and details of advertiser
  • Ad unit dimensions and placements
  • Target audience to be covered
  • Number of impressions to be served
  • Pricing structure
  • Ad sizes, colors, and positioning
  • Total cost and discounts
  • Reporting requirements

Insertion order or io marketing is an old school method to keep a record of the advertising revenue. Even after the digitization, insertion order continues in the industry and is still being practiced. It provides an insight to both the publisher and advertiser about the ad placement.

Benefits Of Insertion Order

Assurance of deal: For publishers, insertion order is the written proof of the deal. This contains the amount publisher will receive by selling the display inventory signed by the advertiser. Due to this, disagreements and conflicts can be avoided in the future.

Contains all details: As insertion order contains all the details related to the proposal (mentioned above) and publishers can easily access them. Using which, future pricing structures for inventory can be designed. Furthermore, io marketing helps in keeping the dealing records straight for future reference.

Customizable: Insertion order gives the opportunity to publishers and advertisers to work together. Here both parties can negotiate and make a deal which is beneficial for both. Hence, for that, customization becomes an important step. The key is to make sure all details are understood and agreed by the parties involved, before signing off the IO.

No ad fraud: IO minimizes the chances of ad fraud. As the dealing is done manually where publishers, advertisers, and agencies sit together. The one-on-one contact among the parties brings out a sense of security for everyone involved.

What Does An IO Look Like?

You can find various insertion order templates online for free as well as paid. Also, IO templates can be designed in-house by adding the terms one would like to include in IO. In case, you are using Google or Bing services, try Google’s or Bing’s way to create an insertion order.

If you need a look, here’s is an insertion order template sample:

Insertion Order Sample


Are There Any Drawbacks Of Insertion Order?

Yes, like most techs/features, insertion order is not perfect either.

Makes the process slow: Insertion order requires constant human involvement. One person prepares the IO and another one approves it. And finally, the publisher and advertiser sit together to negotiate and sign it. These extra steps add more to the process, making it slow.

Negotiation can be tricky: No deal is perfect for both parties. One party has to compromise in order to seal a deal. The same thing happens when publishers and advertisers negotiate. The process is lengthy and there’s always a possibility that negotiation might not turn into a closed deal.

Not trending anymore: Programmatic deals are trending now. Both publishers and advertisers are appreciating automated methods. Because they’re easy, safe, and better in many ways. Reduced human involvement makes the process lightning fast, which eventually makes the publisher and advertisers opt for programmatic methods. Hence, all of this is shrinking the demand for direct deals and insertion order.

There is no particular disadvantage of using IO. It just needs some technological updation to resolve above mentioned drawbacks.

Insertion Order: Best Practices For Publishers

  • Insertion orders can be created by publisher, advertiser or agency. Generally, agency takes up the responsibility to document the IO. However, if no agency is involved, either publisher or advertiser can prepare the io marketing.
  • IO is the documented proof of ad proposal. Before signing it, publishers and advertisers should review it thoroughly to avoid disagreements.
  • Insertion order is designed to be straight forward. However, if anything causes confusion, it’s advised to clear it up before signing the io mrketing and beginning the campaign.
  • For publishers, it’s ideal to store insertion orders in an organized way. This can help them later in the future when they’re be needed for reference or audit purposes.
  • It’s important for publishers to know their inventory. Do not oversell it by showing more impressions than you actually receive. Instead of giving a fixed number, publishers should specify a range based on historical data.

How to prepare an Insertion Order?

Having trouble preparing an insertion order? First, you need to understand that an Insertion Order is dynamic in nature, i.e, it can vary depending on your strategy. Therefore, it’s crucial to analyze what you are offering and how to deliver it.


Insertion order may sound like an extra step, sometimes even hectic. But in order to run a fair and monitored business, io marketing can be really helpful. It’s a step in advertisement process, which represents commitment between advertisers and publishers.

IO helps to manage budget for advertisers. And for publishers, it can be used to evaluate generated revenue. Most importantly, IO keeps things tidy for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the Insertion Order?

Insertion order is a contract between an advertiser and a publisher for running ad campaigns, It guarantees that the advertiser can run ads on the publisher’s inventory.

2. What are the benefits of insertion order?

Some of the benefits of insertion order are:
It provides an assurance of deal
It contains all details
It is customizable
No ad fraud

3. What are the disadvantages of insertion order?

There is no particular disadvantage of using IO. However, you can keep few things in mind:
It makes the process slow
Negotiation can be tricky
It is not trending anymore

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