© 2000 by Diana Pemberton-Sikes
You have a website. You're busy marketing it all over the web. Your hits are growing. You're making money. Great!
But are your overlooking some easy ways to generate traffic OFFLINE? And by doing so, are you leaving "money on the table" that you could be in your pocket with very little effort?
No, I'm not talking about expensive television spots or magazine ads. Leave those to the IPOs.
What I'm suggesting are some simple ways to call attention to your web site to those all folks who DON'T spend all their free time in cyberspace with their noses pressed against a computer screen. Yes, they do exist.
Here's how to get their attention:
1. Include your URL, e-mail address, and tag line ("We Understand Chocolate", "Our Pigs Fly", "We'd Rather Be Fishing", etc.) on ALL your promotional material, including business cards, stationery, fax cover sheets, and sales brochures.
2. Include you URL in your local Yellow Pages ad for your existing storefront, if you have one. Use your website to give all the details you can't give in the phone book, like a list of products, services, testimonials, credentials/background, and prices.
Tip: If your location is hard to get to, or if you're constantly giving directions over the phone, put a map with easy directions on your website. Repeat the phone number, address, and hours of operation on the map page, and invite your customer to print the page for easy reference in the car. She can call from her car phone if she still gets lost.
3. If you have a catchy URL, use your vehicle to "spread the word" by displaying door panel advertising. Web-Magnets.com (www.web-magnets.com) can give you some low-cost ideas on how to do this.
4. If you've recently added a website to an existing business, mail a postcard to your customer list to announce your new site.
You don't have to get fancy or spend a lot of money with a commercial printer (although you could; visit www.wbcards.com and see their web cards). The U.S. Post Office sells pre-stamped post cards for .20 each; I suspect they're equally inexpensive in any country. Just run them through your desktop printer (if it handles post cards). Why a postcard? Everyone reads them.
Give your customers a reason to log on. Don't just say "Take a look at our new web site! Aren't we swell?"
Instead, say something like "Shop With Us Anytime! Clothes Optional" or "Now it's even easier for you to find the perfect Polywog (or dress, antique car, rare book, etc.)!" Try a couple of different headlines on your family and friends to see which one pulls the best before mailing to your list.
5. You already know the power of ezines. They allow you to educate, inform, and otherwise keep in touch with your customers. If you don't have one, add one. What's more, make it easy for people to subscribe--even when they're not online.
How? If you have a storefront, provide some blank "join our e-mailing list" cards at the checkout counter to let them sign up. Once you've input the data into your list, send a confirmation e-mail reminding them when and where they signed up for the ezine. Retain the sign up card for your records.
Or if that's too much work for you, print your website and ezine information on the receipt or on a card or flyer you include in the bag.
If you want more information about starting an ezine, visit Ezine University at www.ezineuniversity.com.
6. Include your URL in any print advertising you do, including classified ads. Not only will a website address give you added credibility, it allows you to further pre-sell very inexpensively, as in the Yellow Pages example above.
7. If you regularly speak at conferences, meetings, or seminars, make sure your hand outs include details about your website, ezine, and subscription instructions. Remind listeners to visit your website and email you with any questions they may have once they get back to their office.
8. Insist on including your website information on any articles you have published in newspapers, magazines, journals, etc.
Tip: Not only is this a great way to show your expertise, it's an inexpensive way to promote your business. You should use this tactic regularly.
Finally, be aware of the offline ways other websites use to capture YOUR attention. If they get you to log on, consider adapting the technique for your own use.
Again, easy, inexpensive ways to let people know about your website. Don't "leave money on the table" in the offline world. Pick it up!
Diana Pemberton-Sikes is the author of "10 Simple Ways To Boost Your Income," which features dozens of simple ways to start or expand a business using your EXISTING knowledge, skills, and interests. To learn more, visit www.niftybusinessideas.com.
Copyright © 2000 by Diana Pemberton-Sikes
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