As Internet marketers, most often we associate growth in website traffic with online marketing efforts such as search engine optimization, pay-per-click ads, mobile, email and social media. However, we miss valuable opportunities by not using offline marketing as an additional traffic source. Here are four ideas you can put to the test.
1. Put your website address on all offline marketing materials
- Business cards
- Product brochures
- Promotional items
- Press releases
- Product packaging
- Mailing labels
- Newspaper and magazine ads
- Presentations and handouts
- Print articles (newspaper, trade journals, newsletters, etc.)
- Direct mail
- Outdoor advertising
- Radio and TV ads
- QR Codes
When you conduct a marketing campaign that involves a particular landing page, you may find it more productive to use that URL instead of your main website address. (We'll talk more about the use of landing pages later in the post.)
2. Mention your address at networking events to increase offline marketing
When attending networking events, most likely you will pass out business cards. Be sure and point out your website address when you do.
3. Reference the address when answering your phone and in voicemail
Be sure to reference your website when talking to colleagues and prospects over the phone. Include the address in voicemail messages, as well to increase offline marketing efforts.
4. Utilize PURL technology in direct mail for campaigns
I want to spend some time talking about a unique approach to offline marketing called PURLs, an acronym that stands for Personalized Uniform Resource Locator.
If that sounds too techie, don't freak out. Basically, PURLs are website addresses that contain a personalized element such as the recipient's name, company name, and other unique information. For example, www.mysite.com/Jill.Smith or www.mysite.com/Bill.Jones.
This video explains how PURLs work in plain English.
Using a technology called variable data printing, each mail piece is individualized to include custom text and graphics from one print piece to the next without slowing down the printing process.
PURLs are specifically engineered to move the mail recipient from offline to online. According to one source, it is 375% more effective than using direct marketing collateral that lacks such integration.
A few years ago, with the help of a local advertising agency, Bizzuka conducted a campaign consisting of a series of offline marketing mail pieces that were sent out to a list of prospects over the course of a few weeks at a rate of one per week. The message in each successive piece built on the one before it in order to form a narrative.
PURL technology was used to add personalized information in the web address, as well as in the body copy.
When the recipient typed in the URL, he was taken to a landing page that contained his name, company name, and other personal information. The landing page contained a short video and clear call to action. Offline marketing worked with online marketing to create conversions.
The hope was that, by adding a personal touch, the recipient would be more inclined to type the URL and visit the website.
PURL technology has analytics tied to it, so it will be easy to see who clicked the link, which is useful from the standpoint of follow-up by the sales team.
This is an example of a landing page that PURLs link to.
BONUS: 7 Tips for direct mail that drive website traffic
An article from offline marketing resource site MarketingProfs contains a list of ideas for creating direct mail pieces that drive website traffic. Try these and see how well they work for you.
1. Make a compelling offer. Give people a powerful reason to visit your website. That could include a valuable offer, free trial, coupon, white paper, or other collateral.
2. Use an easy-to-type URL. Obviously, your prospect cannot copy and paste a URL contained on a print piece, so make it easy to type; the simpler and shorter, the better.
3. Personalize your copy. Just as personalized copy can improve conversions in email, it can be effective in print mail, too. PURLs make that easy to do.
4. Include a clear call to action. Tell the prospect what you want him or her to do. For example, if you want them to attend a webinar, tell them to go to www.mysite.com and sign up. You would think people could figure this out on their own, but it's better to provide clear direction up front.
5. Push response with a deadline. Make prospects aware that your offer has a deadline associated with it and encourage them to take action quickly.
6. Build a special landing page. We have talked repeatedly on this blog about the value landing pages provide when it comes to generating leads. Rather than sending prospect to your website's homepage, take them to a landing page instead.
So, while you're busy crafting your next email newsletter or social media campaign, don't forget about the opportunities offline marketing can provides as a source for driving website traffic and generating leads.
Include your website address in every print piece, mention it at networking events and in phone calls, and consider using PURL technology as a way to give direct mail an extra personal touch.