The 5 Best Offline Marketing Tactics

Without some sort of marketing plan, most businesses are unable to attract new customers and boost their income. Some forms of advertising are more effective than others, depending on a company’s location or industry. Each business has to choose which methods are the most effective attracting customers and producing a high conversion rate to sales. Some of the most effective forms of offline advertising are TV, promotional labels, sign spinners, billboards and direct mail. A combination of methods and testing productivity is the best way to find out what works. Here’s a look at five of the best offline marketing tactics and what they involve.

Direct Mail

The most popular forms of direct mail advertising are postcards, flyers and newsletters. Advertisers use bulk mail rates and zip code targeting for a strong return on investment (ROI). Merchants can include promotional codes and specific discount specials on direct mail advertisements to track effectiveness. Coupon packs shared with several other merchants in the same region are practical for businesses on a tight marketing budget. Barclays Capital projects advertisers will spend about $25 billion on direct mail advertising in 2012.

Sign Spinners

Sign spinning is a one-on-one advertising technique that combines extreme sports with signs and street performing. Individuals do tricks and stunts with lightweight sign boards to attract attention for local businesses and events. Those passing by the sign spinners stop to watch the performers and ideally become customers of the sign spinners’ sponsors. According to AArrow Advertising, sign spinning was introduced into the offline marketing scene by AArrow founder Max Durovic in 1999 as a derivative of sign holding. It is now performed by advertising companies worldwide.

Television

The popularity of TV commercials is no accident. According to Nielsen Media Research, 98 percent of American households own at least one TV. With saturation in nearly every household, the average American will watch at least 2 million TV commercials by age 65. Barclays Capital estimates that TV advertisers will spend $60 billion in 2012.

Billboards

According to Advent Visual Advertising, more than 66 percent of billboard viewers make their shopping decisions while they’re in a vehicle. Nearly 75 percent of those who view billboards go shopping on their way home from the office. This gives billboard advertisers a chance to appeal to the consumer’s need to make decisions on the go.

Promotional Labels

One cost-effective marketing method that leaves room for creativity is the use of promotional labels. A label can say anything and go anywhere. For example, labels emblazoned with the company’s name, logo, address, phone number and web address are ideal for sticking to the outside of boxes and envelopes for shipping orders. Handouts at trade shows, open houses and catered events might feature a simple message or a logo and web address. Retail businesses often use promotional labels as decorative seals for gift boxes and gift bags. Another option is to print the name and date of a sale or special event on promotional labels and post them on bulletin boards everywhere in town. Or perhaps you just want to give out free samples of your brand new hot sauce.

Some businesses use offline advertising tactics to drive people to their websites, while others use them to attract new customers or sell goods and services directly to clients. Successful companies use a combination of promotional labels, billboards; TV, sign spinners and direct mail deliver their message to a variety of potential customers.

Pros and Cons of Email Marketing for Small Businesses

Email marketing involves sending marketing messages directly to the prospective customers. Emails are sent to a targeted list of recipients for promoting or selling, products/services made by a business. It is considered as one of the fastest, easiest and most inexpensive marketing methods. Unfortunately, like any other marketing strategy, email marketing too has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. Following are some of the pros and cons for small businesses.

Advantages of email marketing
Small businesses should consider email marketing for many reasons. Through email marketing, they can promote a product/service directly to a group of people. It will not only develop your business opportunity, but will also generate good sales revenue at a very minimal cost.

Following are some very good reasons for small businesses to consider email marketing:

• Easy to use: It is very easy and simple to use, as you can message instantly to thousands of prospective customers anytime. All you need is the list of email IDs of specific and potential customers to distribute information about your business. It saves a lot of time.

• Time and cost effective: Email is a cost effective business communication tool compared to other marketing methods. In today’s competitive world, to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to adopt email marketing strategies, as it takes less time to create awareness of your business and is also cost effective.

• Personalized promotion: As already emphasized, it enables you to send a business’s promotional message personally to the prospective customer. This helps in establishing a relationship between the business and the customer by encouraging direct and straight communication between the two parties – while a business can customize its message as per the various selected categories of potential customers, customers can directly give their feedback/reply on the message through the email.

• Segment based marketing: One of the best things about email marketing is segmentation. You can segment your list based on the prospective group and tailor your messages to those groups, this helps you in targeting specific group of audience and also increases the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. While segmenting your email list, recipients will appreciate to receive messages that are relevant and useful to them.

• Trackable sales and user engagement: Another advantage of email marketing is that, the sender can track the sales generated by email marketing. Thus, if a user purchases the product/service, from the link provided in the email, it can be tracked in the sender’s server.

Likewise, it is also possible for the email marketer to know how many email recipients have clicked the link, how many clicked but did not make any purchase and how many skipped the mail outright. By this, the seller can review the email strategies, and find the loopholes, and weed them out to make the marketing more efficacious.

Disadvantages of email marketing and how to avoid them
Unfortunately, email marketing has certain disadvantages and the biggest disadvantage is spam. Let us now discuss the disadvantages of email marketing.

• Emails may be considered spam/junk: Many people believe that marketing emails sent to them are spam and junk, may have viruses in them and if opened it may badly affect their computer. Further, if the information provided in the email is not relevant, the recipient is likely to delete your message. So, while sending emails to potential customers, provide genuine business address and contacts, so that they trust your business.

• Engaging customer is tricky: Keeping customers actively engaged for a long time in your business is very difficult. Initially, when customers receive emails from your company, they tend to show interest, but over time, they feel bored of your messages and you eventually lose on a loyal customer. Hence, a good subject line and text about your business, are indispensable to draw attention of the customer for long period of time.

• Compatibility issues with browsers: Tailoring a site for browser compatibility is a major issue, as there may be some problems that may come about while sending image and video emails to customers. If the customer encounters problems while opening the mail, s/he will never get back to your website. Therefore, avoid images and videos in your emails as far as practicable, as it might impact your business.

• Unorganized email campaign: Email campaigns that are incorrect and unorganized may leave your potential audience confused. You need to follow a clearly defined strategy while mailing messages to customers. It is always better to segregate the customers who are likely to get interested in your product/service and only send messages to them. This shows professionalism in your business.

Hire a specialist email marketer
Given the advantages and disadvantages for small businesses, it is pretty sensible to hire a specialist email marketer as s/he knows the job well and will create relevant and valuable email messages that will attract and target potential customers. Email marketers do a thorough survey on your business and will work closely on promoting your business.

Affiliate Marketing – Rollout Strategy Development

When new online marketers think about “Affiliate Marketing”, they think primarily in terms of marketing the products and services created by other businesses they have come across. You can make good online incomes doing this sort of thing. You find good products from good companies that you trust to pay you, and you promote those items far and wide using whatever strategies you can think of, websites, forums, social media sites, video adds, e-mails, etc. and you build an income stream for yourself online.

Exponential growth in your online business is difficult to achieve utilizing this strategy, but as you work, you can create a comfortable at-home income for yourself doing it.

Yet, there is a totally second side to this coin. Perhaps you as an entrepreneur should also be thinking about creating your own online assets and then finding entrepreneurs utilizing the above business model to sell your assets for you. As a small entrepreneur, you can succeed at this just as the bigger corporate entities can – you just need a focus, a niche, a strategy, some drive and you need to work at bringing people closer to you that you can share a vision with and that you can then collaboratively, present your product or services portfolio to the world and you can all make money at it.

You won’t be able to initiate this sort of strategy immediately if you wish to sell your own products as you start to work for yourself as you have no products of your own to promote and sell. You first need to build these and then roll them out after they have been created.

But you can start almost immediately looking for affiliates to help sell your services if you are wanting to trade your time for money directly. Let people know what your service chargeout rate is and what percentage of this rate they can get if they promote you to others. This is how professional consulting and freelancing service models have worked for years. The only downside to this is that you are still trading time for money. You only get paid when you physically work to create something for someone else and the time you take at doing this takes away from time you could be using to build your own passive income business; one where you do not directly have to trade your time for an income. You don’t get to wake up in the morning, grab a cup of coffee, go to your computer and see how much money you have made since the last time you logged on.

So now let’s look at affiliate marketing from a product provision perspective where you can actually earn a passive income from products you create. If you have budget, product creation skills (such as programming, web and database development skills for example) coupled with good product ideas and possibly investors at hand, you can build and sell physical products that have taken time and money to create and then you can go after the affiliate world to help sell it. But this usually takes a considerable amount of time and money.

What if you have neither? You want to create something you can sell and get others to sell for you but you don’t have any product development teams at hand or budget, etc. You are a “one-person-band” creating online and wanting to make a good and growing passive income. The logical fallout to what you can achieve is to create “Knowledgeware” products of some sort that people will purchase and affiliates will want to market for you.

If all you want to do is create the product and then have others sell it for you without you directly having to support your product, work with and directly grow your own affiliate base, then you are looking at doing things like:

  • Writing E-Books and self-published paperbound books on sites like Amazon, Create Space and Ingram Spark.
  • Creating online training courses and publishing them on sites like Udemy, SkillShare, etc. where the sites themselves and the site’s affiliate members sell your created Knowledgeware products for you.
  • Etc.

This can make you an income and even a growing income over time but your trade-off here is that you are giving away the greater parts of each sale to those hosting/marketing websites and the affiliates that they work with. Your net take-home revenue is much lower than the full retail value of the product on each sale – yet your benefit is that you have very little work to do to market your product as they are taking care of that for you. Create enough products and a decent passive, monthly revenue stream can be generated.

This brings us to the final business model for selling your products online. One where you choose to be in complete control of your product and marketing it, bringing in your own affiliates. Now you can keep most of the money for your products yourself except what you choose to give away to your own affiliates which will increase your per product profit margins. This model has the potential for the most exponential revenue growth for your business but it will take the most work to create and manage, at least in the first year or two.

You will find there are several things you will need to build out to be successful under this model. The list below may seem daunting to you, and I have by no means listed everything you will find you need to do, but if you want to attain the real growth in your business and the higher levels of incomes that are possible, all the tasks I include below are things you will need to work on. Here is my list:

  • Create products that trend well and sell well – probably of a “Knowledgeware” variety sort and hopefully, easily downloadable from the Internet or easily distributable to your target markets.
  • A website to showcase and sell your created products.
  • Information on each of your products consumers can use to make decisions with.
  • Product promotional e-mails and advertising/promotional videos.
  • An affiliate signup process and revenue sharing model – and this should be automated.
  • Affiliate training documentation and videos.
  • Tools you create to help your affiliates sell your products such as: logos, banner and other adds, advertising copy, trackable hyperlink codes for each affiliate so as they sell, they will automatically get tracked in your system and can get paid. This needs to be fully automated.
  • Auto-responder set up informational e-mails geared to supporting your affiliates.
  • Methods to facilitate easy communication with your affiliates when they have questions or run into issues.
  • Programs put in place that enable additional incomes or bonuses for your affiliates if they bring in even more affiliates to your business.
  • Sometimes, you may also even be wanting to build in the capability of generating “affiliate brandable” websites that you host to aid them in their marketing and sales efforts – but you can evolve to this.
  • The building of promotional videos that affiliates can use and distribute themselves to help them promote your products and business.

So this last method of generating affiliate revenues for your business is significantly more work that the other methods discussed in this lecture. It is something you evolve to in your business once you have created a substantial and saleable product portfolio.

But here is where the real money is in affiliate marketing. This is how you can work hard for a few years to build a strong online business capable of generating for you a significant monthly income.