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Offline Promotion - The Other Source for Potential Customers

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Author: Hermas Haynes

Article source: Used with author's permission.

It is often quite easy for the Web business owner to overlook the importance of offline promotion. In reality, all your potential customers live offline. They work in the community, shop at the neighborhood supermarkets, attend various places of worship, read newspapers, watch television, visit the doctor and are members of various organizations.

Each of these facts is an opportunity to promote your Web site in the real world, and by routinely combining offline methods with your online promotions, you will effectively extend your reach in the virtual marketplace.

Here are 11 simple ways you can do that:

  1. Word of Mouth - This is obviously the most cost effective and powerful way to let people know about your Web business. It may also be the most under-utilized, which is ironic since the majority of your site's content is made up of words anyway. Use every opportunity to talk about your Web site to friends and family. Make it a point everyday to tell six strangers about your business. The impact of this publicity will astound you.
  2. Stationery - Include your Web address on all your business stationery, especially business cards and letterhead.
  3. Fliers - A simple flier announcing a special offer and displaying your URL can be put together for next to nothing. You can give these out at community events, distribute door to door or ask permission to place them in businesses in your neighborhood.
  4. Brochures - A well-prepared brochure is a convenient tool for presenting an overview of your business and highlighting your product or service benefits. They can be handed out or mailed in response to requests for more information.
  5. Community Boards - Many supermarkets, diners, restaurants, laundromats, bookstores, and local businesses have a section on their premises where you may place your business cards, fliers, brochures and announcements.
  6. Promotional Items - The familiar and ubiquitous promotional coffee mug, key chain, pen, magnet, calendar, tee shirt and baseball cap, are excellent items to display your company logo or Web address. You can sponsor an event for a community organization or little league club and give these items away. Your business will always be associated with the event.
  7. Card Exchanges - Very often, local business organizations and Chambers of Commerce will sponsor events where business owners can display their products and network with each other. These are great opportunities to establish contacts and develop sound professional relationships.
  8. Press Releases - Put together a one- or two-page document with news about your company's new product or service, and send it off to the editor of your local newspaper, radio and television station. Editors are always looking for something news worthy to feature. This could result in a newspaper article, a radio interview or a television appearance. The exposure is good for business.
  9. Newsletters - If you offer an online newsletter, consider printing copies of it and getting permission to leave a few in your doctor's or dentist's waiting rooms. You could place some on community boards in your town and try a few of the methods mentioned above to distribute it.
  10. Bulletins - Many places of worship circulate a bulletin at their services that includes inexpensive advertising. Consider placing a classified or small display ad for an extended period in such a publication.
  11. Answering Machine - Program your answering machine message to mention a new product or special discount and invite the caller to visit your Web site for more information.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of offline promotion choices. The opportunities are only limited by your imagination.

Many of the above strategies require little or no money, and can be executed as you go about your daily routine. The exposure you gain could be worth the time and effort many times over.

If you want to expose your business to the widest possible audience, you must vigorously and consistently promote it online as well as offline.

Effective promotion is to your business, what the wind is to a sailboat. You wouldn't make much progress without it.

Hermas Haynes is an Internet marketer and Webmaster of, which offers a blueprint on how to create and manage your own profitable online business. Visit his site today and get a free preview.

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