Offline Marketing: Tips and Tricks
You can should also be actively promoting your online store offline. And that is often cheaper than you think!
Put your company’s logo on your car, give away pens, go out and hand out flyers, take part in a fair, etc.
Be original, especially offline!
Everyone appreciates advertisements which are original and well-executed. This sounds easy but it often is not. For every online store and each product it is different. Creativity is the key! Designing and ordering business cards can be done by everyone, but if you want to stand out you have to come with something original. Below a few examples that are cheap and fit every online store’s marketing budget.
Get ambassadors for your online store
Especially spreading word about your online store among family and friends is very lucrative. Tell them enthusiastically about your online store during a birthday party or another gathering and your will be surprised at how people react.
The more you are able to speak with passion about your online store the more people will want to help you.
Many people will want to “help” you and will from now on buy these specific products in your online store instead of from another online or offline store.
There are so many friends, acquaintances, family and friends of friends who own a hammock from my online store!
I put “help” in quotation marks for a reason. Your friends and family want to help you but even more they would like to share in your success. When you tell them a lot about your (small) successes they will have a deep feeling that by buying from you they enjoy also a bit of your success. Yes it is psychological, and they will always deny it. But you know better than that!
Moreover chances are they will become an ambassador for your online store. They will tell others about the online store and make new people passionate about it!
Live like your online store
Marketing of course starts with you. We sell hammocks and I promote the “hammock philosophy” with this blog. I try to live as much as possible (and to the extent it feels comfortable) according to this philosophy.
When the temperature is above 20 degrees celsius (68 F) all the staff at the office are in shorts and flip-flops. At one of the busiest moment of the year I go on holiday. I could wait until Fall, but hey! When I own and run an online store according to the hammock philosophy I should be true to those principles.
Do you own an online store in the technology sector? Make sure you always have the latest gadgets so you can show off you are well aware of the latests trends.
Ok, these things will not directly make your sales rise dramatically but will make sure you get into a certain way of life which other people will happily join.
Where can you get cheap promotional material?
There are companies around that will let you buy a couple of hundred business cards and all kind of other promotional material (a few stickers, pens, and the like) for a few quid/bucks. One such company is VistaPrint. If you want more of any of those items you will pay quite some more.
I am not a big proponent of advertising in printed media, on television or radio. You can’t measure your return on investment (ROI). You never know if it brings more profit or whether it just costs money. I advise therefore to only advertise offline in target group-specific media. This will probably mean magazines. Radio and television is too broad and only suitable for branding. There are many hundreds of weeklies and monthlies. The chances are significant that there is one among those that is read by your target group.
Do you have an online store with gothic clothes? There is most probably a magazine with the latest trends and news about gothic. In that case I would say: try it out.
Advertise for maximum half the money!
When you ask the advertising rates with the printed media you will be surprised!
They start with very high rates that you should never agree to.
When you received the advertising rates, send an e-mail back like this: “Thank you for the information, we may consider a long-term advertising cooperation with you but your rates are much too high. In case you have some advertising space to fill in the near future you can always call me.”
When they call you, you know one thing for sure: they didn’tsell all their advertising space and the deadline is approaching. You can now negotiate about the price. I recommend negotiating a discount of 50% at the least, otherwise you will paying much too much.
In case an ad in printed media payed off you can go to step two. Make sure you have various sizes advertisement available (one page, half a page, a quarter page). Tell them now: in case you have a spot left in the future you can always place my advertisement (maximum of 1 per magazine) with a discount of at least 50 %. You shouldn’t be surprised if you will be continuously advertising for much cheaper prices than your competitor!
Advice: do you want to measure the effectivity of you advertisement? Create a specific discount code for every advertisement. Orders that you get with this discount code can be traced back to that advertisement.