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 Jonesâ€™ 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.
Donâ€™t just build it and hope they will come
If, like me, youâ€™re a freelancer itâ€™s therefore unwise to base your business plan on building a website and praying enough clients find you. Whilst Iâ€™ve written for companies in Hong Kong, Australia and the U.S., the majority of my repeat business still comes from those Iâ€™ve met in person.
So if youâ€™re struggling to find success online, print off some business cards, polish your shoes and start contacting target clients in your area, whether itâ€™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.