5 Methods to Advertise Your Online Business Offline
You have to admit – the online world is CROWDED with marketing messages.
It’s hard to start out and get noticed, and it’s become more difficult every day.
Ironically, some of the older methods have once again become more effective. As everyone else vies for attention online, consider doing something old school, such as…
1: Sending Postcards
When you send an email, it’s easily ignored or deleted. A message on social media carries even less weight.
But a real life, physical piece of mail that lands in their mailbox is something they will take notice of. And postcards are cheaper to mail than letters.
Here’s what to do: Decide on the goal of your postcard – do you want them to join your list? Attend your webinar event? Go to a sales page?
Once you have your goal, use testing to find just the right slant for your offer. A postcard is a relatively small space, so every word and every image has got to pull its own weight. But once you find the magic mailing piece, you can continue to mail it out for months and even years, as long as it remains effective.
Know the lifetime value of your customer. This will help you determine what kind of conversion rate you need with your postcard mailers to be in profit.
Send the postcards yourself, or use a postcard mailing service. Simply Google “postcard mailing service” and you’ll find a company to match your needs.
2: Sending Lumpy Mail
What’s the best way to get your mailing piece to stand out? Make it lumpy.
If you’ve ever received a non-profit solicitation for a donation, you probably know what we’re talking about. They send pennies, pens, calendars, packs of greeting cards and all sorts of things to get you to open their envelope. And of course once you have their free gift, the law of reciprocity kicks in and you want to send them something back.
For our purposes, think of something unusual and cost effective, such as…
A pebble (because of the rocky time they’ve had, or the rocky time ahead if they don’t get your product)
Seed packets (to ‘grow’ their business, grow their profits, etc.)
A compass (so they can find their way)
A thumb drive loaded with your promotional materials
Worry stones (because they’re up at night, worrying about their business or how to pay the bills)
Poker chips (because they shouldn’t gamble on other products or providers)
Aspirin in a packet to ease their pain
A paper wallet because you’ll show them how to fill it with money
A sand timer for when they’re running out of time
And so forth.
Again, there are services to help you accomplish this. For example, http://lumpymail.com is a good starting point.
3: Print Ads
The trick here is to make your ad look like an article in the magazine or newspaper you’re advertising in. Let’s say you’re advertising in a magazine – get an issue and see how their articles are formatted. Two columns? Three? What font do they use? What about picture placement?
Write your ad as more of an advertorial than a regular ad. You might have to put the words, “Paid advertisement” at the top of your ad, but it will still convert better than if your ad looks like an ad.
Have a great headline and use lots of sub-headlines to keep the reader on the page.
Have a strong call to action for an irresistible offer. The offer should be so good people simply cannot resist it, whatever it is.
4: Get a local column
This is an excellent technique for local business consultants. If you live in a small to medium sized city, your local newspaper might be thrilled if you would volunteer your services to write them a column each week on a topic that interests their readers.
If not, you might consider taking out a weekly ad and making it look like a column. In some respects, this is actually preferable to writing the column for free, since you’ll have more control over your topics.
Be very helpful in what you write. Only the last line or two should promote your business. The bulk of your column should be helpful information that people can use.
This will set you up as the authority and the person people turn to when they need your services.
5: Birthday cards
Here’s something that used to be common and no longer is, which is why it will make you stand out from the crowd of marketers like a beacon on a hill. Send REAL birthday cards through the mail to your best customers.
You might collect their birthday (Month and day, not year) when they check out. You might even tell them WHY you’re collecting it. Let them know it’s optional, but you’d really like to remember them on their birthday.
Most people will be eager share their birthdate with you. Or you can hop on Facebook and discover their birthday there if they have it listed.
Now then – a person might interact with a few hundred people and companies online over the course of a year. But odds are you will be the only one who remembers their birthday. That makes you pretty special.
You might include an offer of a free birthday gift in your card, too. Perhaps a video you recorded for their birthday (you can use the same one for everyone) and a download link for a free product.
Guaranteed they will be opening your emails and following you closely on social media after that.
How to send a birthday card on Facebook – okay, this is obviously online, but I wanted to include it because many of our readers won’t want to send actual cards (although we HIGHLY recommend it!)
Here’s how to send an electronic card through Facebook:
Go to the Birthday Card Maker app on Facebook by typing in “birthday card app” on the search bar.
Click “Okay” for the app to access your basic profile information.
You’ll see a calendar with pictures of your friends and dates of their birthdays. Choose which friend to send a card to.
Click “send a birthday card.”
Pick out the theme of your card.
Post the card to your friend’s wall by clicking the “Send this Card” link on the card itself.
Note: If you have a lot of Facebook fans, you might want to outsource this task.
When it comes to things like investing and marketing, doing the opposite of what most people are doing is often the winning course. Now that everyone else is online, be sure to look for offline opportunities to win the hearts, minds and wallets of your customers.