Have you ever wondered why some of the biggest online businesses spend huge sums on direct mail, as well as TV, magazine, radio, and newspaper advertising? Is it because they have money to burn?
No, it’s because mass media ads and direct mail can actually draw highly targeted visitors – prospects who are ready to buy.
Those big companies with deep pockets use mass media ads to create indelible name recognition in the public’s mind. After branding their company into our consciousness, they use direct mail techniques such as postcard mailings to send offers to hand-picked prospects who are most likely to make a purchase soon.
It’s strange, but very few online marketers have discovered the power of direct mail. A handful have learned to use classified advertising – the distant cousin of expensive mass media advertising. But almost none are using other forms of offline ads. This can also give you an enormous edge.
If you make your living from affiliate programs and related upsells, you can bet that your competition isn’t doing any sort of offline advertising If you think offline advertising is too expensive, think again. Because PPC has become so popular, the cost of high quality online advertising is rising dramatically. It’s common for a PPC (pay-per-click) campaign in a competitive field to cost $1 or more per click – sometimes much more. And you don’t even know if those clicks are coming from real prospects or your competitors’ itchy
In fact, today PPC can actually end up costing as much, or more, than direct mail on a cost per sale basis. So do the math before you write off direct mail. A mailing of custom color postcards, for example, can definitely cost less than $3 each to print and mail, and that includes the mailing list.
More importantly, you must think about your projected COST PER SALE when comparing PPC and direct mail. Clicks may be cheap, but customers may not. All traffic – whether targeted or not – is made up of people. If these “clickers” are unlikely to be buyers, you’ll lose money on PPC no matter how cheap the clicks are.
For highly competitive keywords you can easily end up paying over $3 per click if you want to be on the first page of Google. If you stop and consider WHO you’re selling to, the direct mail campaign may be a better investment. You can target exactly the sort of person you want, with just the right demographics, and tell them to go to your site where you’ll show them an irresistible offer.
What about classifieds?
With classified print advertising, you can advertise your URL in literally hundreds of small daily newspapers for ridiculously small amounts per ad. And classified ads in major national niche magazines can be very affordable – and usually pull extremely well.
These days, television ads may not even be out of your reach. If you enjoy the spotlight, you can purchase "leased access" time on local U.S. cable television. By Federal Law, every local cable station must allow the general public to purchase time on their channel, in blocks of 30 minutes. Since the costs are also controlled by law, even in large metropolitan areas a 30 minute segment may cost as little as $200.
These days, $200 won’t buy you much PPC in a competitive field like mortgages or debt management. You don’t even have to be selling to a local market to make a television segment pay. As long as you’ve got an easy-to-remember URL, put a special television offer page on your site.
Then offer a high value upsell free to the first 20 people who respond to the “TV special.”
Finally, don’t forget other incredibly simple offline methods of getting your URL out there. Instead of a traditional business card, print several thousand with your URL in huge letters and leave them anywhere relevant. Don’t forget pencils and pens, letter openers and coasters, calendars and T-shirts…
Remember, you don’t need a bricks and mortar location to use offline advertising.
Amazon, Gateway, Dell, AOL, and many other online businesses spend millions on offline promotional methods. That’s what’s made their brands and URLs famous.
You can do the same on a much smaller scale. It’s a big offline world.
Plenty of people spend more time offline and on. Open your mind to using offline
marketing to get your message in front of the RIGHT people. That way you can get your URL in front of targeted prospects. And when they visit your site, they’ve actually made a conscious decision to do so.