Surveys consistently show that, while successful businesses close the majority of deals through contacts started through their websites, over half of those new online clients are first driven to the website by various types of offline marketing. Therefore, whatever business you may be in, it has lately become apparent that, even if you´re doing a fabulous job at marketing your business online, the secret of success in business today is a successful integration of bot offline and online marketing strategies.
For example, email marketing combined with traditional mail marketing can combine to create a solid campaign.
The old fashioned mail
Unlike online Newsletters and mass e-mailing, direct mail is physical. A letter, postcard or brochure with an appealing look can be an extremely powerful tool, however, there is always a strong likelihood that it will end up unread in the garbage can. Fortunately, there are many ways to minimize that risk and maximize the power of your direct mail campaigns.
Work your envelopes: You should never underestimate the importance of the package. It is necessary for envelopes to stand out, if you want people to open them. The envelope is the first thing they´ll see, so, a random envelope you pick up is not going to get the job done. You should pay attention to envelopes that make you want to rip them open immediately and try to understand and imitate the elements of their success.
Creativity and strategy in envelope design can make or break your direct mail marketing efforts, so, it should never be disregarded.
Keep it cost-effective: Formats affect costs, when it comes to mailing expenses. Postcards remain affordable, while larger envelopes will cost you more. You have to decide whether the equation is working out for you, and one of the ways to do this is tracking visitors who came to your site as a response to direct mail, for example, directing them to a specific page.
Include a call to action: If your mail includes no call to action, you´re wasting a valuable opportunity. Whether it is a toll free number, postage included for mail replies, a promotional code or a prompt to visit your site, this will be the only way to truly convert mail recipients into leads.
When people are busy, even if your materials make an impression, they are likely to forget everything about them quickly enough, or as soon as they open the following envelope. Your best chance of them making contact is that first moment, when they open your envelope and read about your fabulous product or service, and it is a chance that should never go to waste.
Especially in the case of businesses with a strong local element, advertising in all kinds of offline media plays a key role in marketing. Banners on buses and cabs, billboards, newspaper, magazine, radio and TV ads offer countless marketing opportunities.
You can do something small like putting an ad on a local magazine in your niche, or place an ad in a top selling national magazine; it all depends on your business and your budget. The most important thing is to find a way to get exposure for your brand in some of these ways.
Offline ads have learnt from the Internet, and they are integrated with it. From QR codes to including plain web addresses, or calls to (online) action, the trend in offline ads is to integrate them more and more with online marketing and website features; even more so when people now read the news, listen to the radio and watch TV on their computers and mobile devices.
There are also some more indirect, but quite successful, methods to send your company´s name out there.
Sponsoring important local events related to your line of business is right at the top of the list. Most local events, gatherings, celebrations, festivals, conferences, etc, offer a variety of sponsorship deals.
Selecting to sponsor events, to endorse an artist or an athlete, etc, can get you lots of free press, and, if you choose carefully, you will be targeting a demographic that is right up your company´s alley. You need to research which events get what kind of coverage and what kind of attendance or research into the fan base of the person you are willing to endorse, to make your strategies the most effective.
Although most companies now include online catalogs on their webpages, people still prefer to browse through a good old-fashioned printed brochure in the comfort of their homes, turning pages at their leisure, instead of using a computer. Leaflets, full-blown catalogs and the like can also be placed or given out at strategic locations or delivered with a certain related publication, targeting exactly the audience of your choice.
Fabulous design and complete, easy to read information can work wonders, when it comes to adding perceived value to your print marketing materials. A simple way to integrate this type of marketing with online strategies is to offer to mail catalogs in exchange for a newsletter-signup, or to offer online discount codes in the pages of your catalogs.
As long as your offline marketing is integrated with your online marketing, and you are not assuming that the marketing you do online is all you can do to grow your business and your customer base, you will always be on the right track.
Many times, when something new comes along, we tend to forget what it was that worked about what we used to do before. Today´s marketing trends are to use every kind of strategy available that can help you achieve your goals, and focusing on online marketing exclusively can represent a great loss. Offline marketing offers numberless opportunities of spreading the word about your company to the right audience, and you should take advantage of every single one of them.
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