Six Paths Offline That Increase Your Traffic Online – Part I

Increase online traffic with offline marketing strategiesWith all the talk about search engine optimization (SEO) and how to increase your traffic with online marketing strategies, I thought it was time to stress the importance of continuing to promote your web site and/or blog offline.

Here are six strategic marketing paths you can implement offline that lead to increased traffic flow to your site:

#1. Put your URL on every piece of printed matter.

Your business card . . . your company or product brochure(s) . . . your fax cover sheet . . . every letter or communication you mail out.

Your business card isn’t your only calling card. Any promotional piece you hand out makes a statement about your company, whether it’s a letter or a direct mail package. Make sure your URL is on everything you mail, fax or hand out.

#2. Submit press releases to local newspapers and trade publications.

Yes, print publications are out there on the newsstands and you shouldn’t ignore them. Many people still prefer to read a newspaper or magazine in their hands vs. reading it on their computer or Kindle monitor. Therefore, be sure to send your press releases to them.

Authors Dick Connors and Jeffrey Davidson (Marketing Your Consulting and Professional Services. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) point out that, “An effective method of marketing and promoting a professional practice is through the use of publicity and the local press. Effective publicity and public relations can contribute to your overall marketing effort at little or no cost and in many cases can be more effective than paid advertising and the publicity that paid advertising may “buy.”

The launch of a new a Web site or blog is definitely worth telling your local newspaper(s) about, as well as any trade publications in your field of business. Although this announcement may not always get written up as a feature article, many papers may mention it in a few lines under a “what’s new” section or the like. This coverage lets others know about your site and puts it in the public eye.

#3. Send “snail mail” announcements to your current mailing list.

Yes, it’s easier and less costly to send e-mail, but with so much e-mail overflowing in inboxes many folks are happy to receive something in their mailbox that isn’t a bill.

When I started my Web site I sent announcements to all the clients (past and present) and prospects on my mailing list. It helped:

a) Spark interest.
b) Put my name in front of people — reminding them of my business.
c) Gave more people the ability to see my capabilities online. It is a great opportunity to build client relationships and encourage enhanced relationships with prospects — without using a hard-sell approach.

Soon after I sent out notices announcing my Web site, a few things occurred. First, I went to check my e-mail and found several messages from clients complimenting me on what I had done. They had gone there immediately to “check it out.” Then, I found more messages from prospects and past clients — curious as to what I was up to — congratulating me on the content of my site.

And last but not least, the phone rang. Just sending out a notice was a gentle reminder to some clients that they needed to call me about a project!

Stay tuned for Part II where I’ll cover three more ways you can market offline in order to increase your traffic online.

In the meantime, have you used any of these first 3 offline strategies to generate leads to your web site or blog? If so, which ones worked best for you? Have a new one you’d like to add to the list?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.

Comments

  1. I tend to send the URL to my blog on e-mails I send out, but I’ve yet to put it on business cards or anything like that since it’s “just” a personal blog. I should probably get away from thinking that way.

    I’m tinkering around with the idea of going self-hosted once I get my blog back on track (I’ve had a lot of connection issues this past summer…*sigh*), so the press release probably isn’t a bad idea once I do that.

    Awesome tips…definitely things that people should remember. This is so much better (and more practical) than the oft regurgitated “comment on other blogs,” “use good keywords,” and “content is king,” (to the last point…duh?) tips that circulate on the internet.
    Angie Hottentots-Laurel recently posted…World Peace for a DayMy Profile

    • @Angela, definitely a good idea to think about including your URL on anything printed! And, as mentioned on the blog in an earlier comment, the press release announcing your blog is a good idea as well. Glad you found the tips “awesome.” The other ones you mentioned are online marketing tips and are still important for SEO (i.e. commenting on blogs, using keywords, etc.). This post (and Part II, soon to come) focuses on the offline tips. Glad to be able to inspire you with some new ideas. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. ~Debra

  2. Good info. Those new in business, especially “solo-preneurs” often overlook their local paper as a way to make announcements (which doesn’t cost anything) about a new product or service or even becoming a member of one of their industry’s associations. Thanks for the post!
    Brenda Spandrio recently posted…7 ways we sabotage ourselves as we try to get organizedMy Profile

    • @Brenda, contacting your local paper and announcing a new product/service is always a great idea. And, as you suggested, so is letting them know about your membership in an industry association . . . your appointment to a Board of Directors . . . your role volunteering with a non-profit. While they may not publish a full-length story, many will at least include a few lines about your achievement. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. ~Debra

  3. Hi Debra –
    I have found that PR is a great way to drive traffic to my site. I have had great success taking some of my longer article posts and tweaking them into a press release for local and regional magazines. The article has been taken in full with a short by-line for me.
    Stephanie LH Calahan ( recently posted…If You Are Considering Running a Contest, Consider Using One of These ToolsMy Profile

    • Hi @Stephanie, with so much going on online these days, I think some people have forgotten about the value of press releases. I have to admit that, when I first started my business I submitted releases all the time and now I do it less frequently. However, I did find, over time, that even when I hadn’t received any coverage in the paper for a while people still said “I see your name all the time.”
      Name recognition is good so PR is surely a practice worth pursuing offline. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. ~Debra

  4. Great post. I also have my facebook url on my business cards. Just a thought. Can’t wait to read the other three.
    Carla recently posted…October – Breast Cancer AwarenessMy Profile

    • Thanks @Carla. Yes, I have my Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn URLs on the back on my business card. When I suggest that, some people say “I don’t want to go out and buy/print new business cards.” The beauty is, they don’t have to. They can just print up some labels and put ’em on the back of their already printed cards. And with today’s printers, they can even print new cards at the office. Glad you enjoyed the post and appreciate you sharing your tip. ~Debra

    • Thanks @Carla. Yes, I have my Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn URLs on the back on my business card. When I suggest that, some people say “I don’t want to go out and buy/print new business cards.” The beauty is, they don’t have to. They can just print up some labels and put ’em on the back of their already printed cards. And with today’s printers, they can even print new cards at the office. Glad you enjoyed the post and appreciate you sharing your tip. ~Debra

  5. Great tips. Sometimes I overlook the simple things in regards to marketing so it helps to be reminded of how important it is to include things like your URL on everything.

    • Hi @Christine, it is easy to forget the simple stuff sometimes. Glad I was here to remind you as it is SO simple to include your URL on everything. Keep it simple sweetheart! Have a great day and thanks. ~Debra

  6. Hi Debra,

    I have done postcard mailings, thank you cards, and offline publishing to generate traffic to my website. All of them worked; however, I got the greatest human interaction from the thank you cards.

    I think I’ll write something on this for my next UBC post. 🙂

    Thanks for a great read!
    Bonnie Gean recently posted…Five Ways to Attract an AudienceMy Profile

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