Donít rely on web-based methods alone to bring customers to your site. Rely on more traditional advertising methods and include your web site address (URL) on everything. Traditional advertising should use short teasers that direct consumers to your web site for more product information. Your traditional ads should just catch their attention and draw them to your web site where more in depth information is provided to help close the deal.

Companies are finding traditional ads directing customers to their web site is more productive than banner ads on portals and search engines.  Theyíre getting excellent marketing results by using traditional advertising to drive people to their site. Traditional ways include brand-awareness campaigns, key industry trade shows, and advertising in trade journals.
 

Newspaper Ads

Ads in your local newspapers containing your web site address can be an inexpensive way to build up knowledge of your web site in your community. This works especially well for small retail or service businesses whose customers and clients are mainly local.

Radio Ads

Radio ads are usually less effective due to the necessity of listeners having to write down your web site address. If your URL is simple, short, or easy to remember, radio ads can be an inexpensive way to reach a large targeted audience.

TV Ads

Focus on local cable ads for best bang for the buck. Try to target specific shows that you believe your target customers will be watching. If that is not possible, at least select the cable network that they are most likely to watch. Make your ads short, focussed, and right to the point. Donít be tempted to make an entire sales pitch in your commercial. Just focus on a single interesting reason they should go to the web site.

 If your message is long and complicated, you might consider an infomercial to be shown on targeted cable channels during off hours. If you do, take out newspaper ads and radio ads encouraging people to watch it. Offer a free prize or drawing to viewers at the end of the informercial.

Magazine Ads

Target trade journals, special interest magazines. Several smaller ads, each with a different teaser, but all requesting user visit your web site for solution or more information is often more effective than fewer larger ads. Focus on interesting, unique bits of information that will catch reader attention.

Trade Shows

When attending trade shows, make sure your web site address is prominently displayed in large letters on an overhead banner. Additionally, itís a good idea to include several laptop computers with your web site running in your booth, especially in areas where people would wait or pass by. These serve as sales aids and information kiosks when sales staff are occupied with other customers. Your web site can be run off their local hard disks or you can connect to the internet via Ethernet connections usually provided by the trade show, or newer WiFi connection starting to become available in most hotels, coffee shops, and convention centers.

Mailing Lists

Make sure that all mailings you do contain your web site address and encouragement and incentives to visit it. Use your own mailing (preferred) or purchase one with the demographic values you believe your potential new customers possess.

Some excellent sources of mailing lists, sorted by buying habits, profession, income, and specific demographic information are:

  • ListBazaar.com - Provides access to Info USAís lists, American Business Information, and consumer data from Donnelly Marketing
  • ZapData.com - Generates lists in specific industries. No minimum order requirement. Pay as you go. 21 cents per lead.
  • ThinkDirectMarketing.com - sells lists for the US and Canada. Pay a single annual subscription fee for access to all of its databases. It offers two different services:
    • Think Direct Mail (Demographic) - For $395 per year, you can search and download up to 20,000 names based on age, employment, housing, income, and lifestyle.
    • Think Direct Mail (Geographic) - For $195 per year, you can search for customers within a given radius (i.e. 20 miles) of a specific address or phone number

Billboards

Displaying your web siteís address on outdoor advertising billboards can be a very effective way to increase traffic to your web site. After a series of unsuccessful yellow pages and radio ads, a Detroit manufacturer of portable toilets, toilets.com, paid $12,000 to rent four billboards located next to some major freeways for a month. At the end of that month, they saw a 180% increase in visitors to their site (to 125,000 per week) and 2,000 downloads per week of the companyís catalog.

Location-based Media

Locations themselves draw the audience to the advertising. Old forms include billboards, transit ads, and sandwich board ads, Newer versions of place-based advertising include ads on movie theater screens, at theme parks and resorts, taxi tops, truck sides, video monitors in airports and malls, posters on restroom walls in bars and restaurants, aerial banners.

Cost Comparisons:

  • 1/3 page black and white ad in major newspaper ~$5000
  • Movie theater ad - Shown 3 times before every movie on all 8 screens at a local cineplex for a week ~$500
  • Consult Standard Rate Data Service (www.srds.com) for other out-of-home advertising opportunities and rates

Freebies

Another way of cultivating positive customer relationships via marketing is to include a free gift when you ship each order obtained from your internet site. Pens, key fobs, mouse pads with your web siteĒs URL express your thanks and keeps your web site address easily accessible to your customers.

Traditional Advertising Methods

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