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How to do offline promotion-

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					?"You've got a web site then?"
"Oh, yes. Didn't you know that ?"
This snatch of conversation is probably quite common. But if we can return, for the
moment, to our ear-wigging we'll hear what happens next...
"Er, no...I got your telephone number from the letterhead, okay. But there's no
mention of your web site address."

Before you rush off to check your own letterhead or get on the phone to the printers, a
few more words on offline web site marketing.
As you'll have gathered by now, one cheap and easy way to drive traffic to your site
involved your stationery. So to avoid stationary web traffic, get your web address
printed on every piece of paper leaving the business - letterheads, business cards,
complement slips, invoices, statements, receipts, brochures, carrier bags, rubber
stamps, fax cover sheets and so on.
Leaving aside the online marketing techniques, which are dealt with elsewhere any
web site marketing campaign should include lots of offline activity as well.

Many small to medium sized enterprises have high expectations of their businesses
being transformed overnight; buoyed, apparently, by the hype and mystique
surrounding the World Wide Web. But with some patience, a bit of guile, and
imagination even the sole trader can ensure a steady stream of visitors to their small
stake-holding in the Internet.

After implementing your site and submitting registrations to the main search engines
and directories, it is easy to sit back and wait for customers to beat a path to your web
site. Like life itself, you can only get out of your web site what you put in.

The following simple steps, however, will greatly assist in attracting customers to
your web site.

Talk all about it - Word of mouth is still one of the greatest promotional tools around.
You can mention your site in casual conversation or while talking biz without
becoming a techno-bore or coming over as too pushy. Having a web site isn't such a
big deal these days, but if there is an opening, drop in your web site address and talk
about some feature of the site that may be pertinent to the subject under discussion.
You may even pick up a few ideas from others into the bargain.

Read all about it - Don't assume customers, old and new, will go looking for your web
site unless you tell them it's there. The most successful commercial web sites have
invariably been those that have been advertised offline in newspapers, magazines, etc.

Write all about it - If there are any trade journals serving your industry enquire about
writing an article for them. This doesn't have to be about your web site in particular.
Publications are often on the look out for opinion pieces or analysis, so sound them
out about supplying a gratis piece on a hot topic upon which you have an insight or
strong view. Insist, naturally, that the by-line includes your web site address and/or
email address.

There may also be opportunities in other titles that your customers read. If you can
come up with an original idea that isn't merely a puff for your company, then editors
are always willing to consider story and feature ideas. Obviously, it helps if you can
string a number of sentences together in a readable manner. And never offer to supply
an article without being certain you have the time and commitment to produce the
goods.

Snail mail about it - It may seem odd at first, but tried and tested direct mailing is an
excellent method of bringing your web site to the attention of existing customers and
suppliers. Web postcards bearing your web address prominently are eye-catching,
effective and reusable. As well as using web cards to alert customers of your site
launch, they can also be handed out to customers along with their purchases, at trade
shows or exhibitions, sent out to the media or posted on shop bulletin board.

Get listed - Another good tactic to consider is whether the professional and trade
organisations to which your business belongs produce directories. A number list their
members and what services they provide. Make a point of letting them know you've
opened up a branch of your business on the web and ask for your directory listing to
be updated.

Multi media - Send out a news release to your local newspaper and radio station and
follow it up with an advert. Submit your news, too, to any trade journals and online
magazines catering for your market.

Think global - If you regularly run local newspaper adverts don't forget to include
your web address here too. Your web site is your showcase to the world, and it's
available 24 x 7. Local customers too will appreciate being able to access information
on your company at a time that suits them. If your budget doesn't stretch to a display
ad, classified ads can be equally as effective, especially if run over several issues.

Involve staff - Don't forget to involve staff in your web effort, as they will prove to be
invaluable in making referrals to the site. Make sure all staff know the address, how to
find the site on the web and what the information the site contains. Encourage staff to
promote the site where appropriate and provide customers with the web address.
Your site should not be merely viewed as an add on to the business, insist it is placed
at the core and integrated into the company's identity.

We can't answer your call - right now. But you may be able to access the information
you require from our web site at www dot...Don't forget the answer machine message,
but make it clear you still wish callers to leave a message and return phone number as
usual. The site is an extension of your customer care, not an alternative to it. If your
site has a Frequently Asked Questions section, the caller may be able to find the
answer online.

Web merchandising - Businesses often give out promotional gifts such as pens or
keyrings. Next time an order goes in, ensure the site address goes there too. Ditto if
you supply staff with overalls or other company clothing. Consider getting some cool
t-shirts printed too to give away to customers or for your staff to wear.

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posted:4/25/2011
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