Promoting Your Website Offline

When you run a website, you can get so focused on building up your traffic online that you forget the potential of offline promotion. We may talk about living online, but the fact is, we all go out into the real world for various reasons. So here are a few tips to help encourage the people you meet to visit your website.

First, consider the humble business card. Everyone exchanges them. Because they’re ubiquitous, people tend to underestimate their power. Users collect them, put them in a corner, and then sort through them later. A distinctive business card, at that point, becomes a call to action.

Make sure your business card clearly states what you offer. Put your website’s URL prominently on the card; you can put it on the back in large type. Add a free offer that’s appropriate for your business – a free course, webinar, two weeks of free membership access, a free e-book, etc. Consider including it on the card as a code they type in to receive the free item. Make sure you set it up to capture their e-mail address, so you can follow up later.  

Second, many online companies sell goods that they ship. Amazon is the most obvious example, but everyone from eBay sellers to artists with independent websites to specialty companies ships items to customers. Why not include a promotional gift with your shipment? Make it a coupon or something with a promotional code that the recipient can only use if he or she visits your website and opts in. As soon as they go to your site, redirect them to download their free gift.

What should you offer? That depends on your business and possibly what the customer ordered. A gift certificate good for purchasing more items is often welcome, or you might want to go with something specific, like a particular tool or e-book or introductory course.

If you have a brick-and-mortar retail location, your opportunities for promoting your website offline increase. Advertise your website and/or blog at your business location. Don’t be afraid to use a sandwich board! Just make sure you put together a great call to action.

For example, if you run a yarn shop and design some of your own patterns, you could do a blog entry about your latest creation, and include detailed directions for the pattern you came up with. Display the item you created in your shop with a prominent sign that states where your customers can get the pattern online (your blog’s URL).

Do you live in an area that holds regular farmer’s markets? You’d be surprised at the kinds of businesses that get spaces at this sort of thing. I found a local website design and development company handing out business cards and brochures at the weekly farmer’s market in my area. The business owner had also set up a laptop to showcase his work. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that he included his website’s URL prominently on all of his literature.

These are just a few suggestions for ways you can promote your website offline to increase your online traffic. Give it a little thought, and I’m sure you can come up with many more. Good luck!

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