Are You Ignoring Your Offline Marketing?

Like many people, when I first started getting into internet marketing (blogging in particular) I got sucked into all the hype on the millions that could be made from digital products and how, after a few months work, you could look forward to sipping cocktails on a beach whilst the sales poured in.

Whilst it might have come true for some people, for the vast majority the internet marketing dream has remained precisely that. And new research shared on Graham Jones’ blog shows how difficult achieving online success can be.

Of the 179,000 applications on Facebook less than 1% have generated more than $1000 in the last two years.  Whilst you could question whether a study of fickle Facebook users is an accurate sample, Graham suggests that the data is a fair reflection of online success on the whole.

Rather than the conversion target of 5%, trumpeted by many internet marketing gurus, perhaps 1% (at best) is a more realistic target for your digital venture.

73% prefer to receive offers in print

So, I think the lesson to be learnt from this is not to base your marketing plan on chasing traffic and generating content on your website alone. Offline promotion still (and probably always will) has a vital role to play.

Many of those who have found success online have done so due to their success off it. And as a Pitney Bowes study suggests, the majority of people still prefer to receive promotional offers in print.

In fact, modern integrated marketing campaigns often comprise of an initial direct mail promo to build interest before directing people to a website or a personalised URL to develop the sales process online.

Don’t just build it and hope they will come

If, like me, you’re a freelancer it’s therefore unwise to base your business plan on building a website and praying enough clients find you. Whilst I’ve written for companies in Hong Kong, Australia and the U.S., the majority of my repeat business still comes from those I’ve met in person.

So if you’re struggling to find success online, print off some business cards, polish your shoes and start contacting target clients in your area, whether it’s cold calling, attending networking events or sending off a post card marketing campaign.

Because, as the research suggests, you could be ignoring the importance of offline marketing at your peril.

3 Comments. Leave new

Good points Matt. Developing cross-channel seeling tactics (and metrics) is a hot topic in the ecommerce world, and I’ve long been an advocate of mixing offline and online marketing.

My lumpy mailer series is a good example of offline marketing that recipients inevitably perceive as a high-value event, and as you noted, using print/lumpy mailers/whatever to drive traffic online is a damned effective tactic.

I’m concerned that too many copywriters rely solely on e-marketing because it’s safe and easy.

I agree with what you say here Matt. I’ve just created my first digital product, an e-book about how to do well in my particular field of freelance writing.

I’ve created a sales page and a blog, and I’m commenting on blogs and forums.

However, I’ve just ordered business cards and I plan to place ads in print publications. And I’ll actually go to meetings and do everything reasonable to promote my product off-line.

And thanks for the link to Graham Jones’ post.

Tom – the lumpy mailer is certainly on my list. Just need to identify who to target and then how to pitch my proposal because I think I’ll only get one shot at it with some companies.

John – you’re certainly doing the right things. I’d also recommend creating an autoresponder with your blog posts and a newsletter sign up box so you can stay in touch with those who dont buy on the first visit.

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