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Step 5 (pt. 7): Driving Traffic: Offline Paid

Information Marketing

Avish: Alright. The final quadrant of how to drive traffic is paid offline methods.

Fred: Yeah, and this is where we can get kind of wacky sometimes, too, so it’s kind of fun.

Avish: Well, let’s start with the wackiest one, which really to me just sounds ridiculous, and yet you have used it to great success. And that is putting signs and getting your car wrapped.

Fred: Yeah, well one of the things, I, you know, I’m going to go back on something here which is using your car in a paid offline situation, I’ll give you my experience. I used to run around with this, you know, magnetic sign that I could just slap on my car. I think 4 of the magnetic signs totaled, you know, 2 on each of the sides of the passenger and the driver’s side on the outside of the doors. You know, I had a yellow sign with black lettering and had my website address and a tagline. And that, you know, was actually pretty effective in driving traffic to my site in terms of the cost per dollar. Now recently, over the last couple years I’ve had my car wrapped, and by wrapped I spent, like, over $2000 to put basically a, put an advertising, wrap the whole car. Now, I’ll tell you one thing that this does, is it really guarantees that you can deduct your car as a business expense.

Avish: (Laughing.)

Fred: But what I’ve seen is, that I really haven’t seen the value for the dollar in terms of the wrapping versus just the, so, $2000 versus $150 for a bunch of signs. Here’s what I would have everybody listening to this program do, is start out with a magnetic signs. If the magnetic signs work and work well, then I would consider wrapping the entire car, because we’re looking at a difference between, you know, a couple hundred bucks max and a couple thousand dollars, and there’s a huge difference there. So in, for most people, you know, listening to this program, I would encourage them to first start out with some cheap magnetic signs.

Avish: Alright so could you explain a little of what’s on that magnetic sign?

Fred: Okay, so what I would have is, I would have the web address that I’m trying to get people to, and hopefully you’ve chosen a domain name that’s easy to spell, easy to remember, so when they see it while they’re driving, then they get home they’ll remember it. So that website address, and then a tagline. So the tagline is something compelling that identifies who the audience is and exactly what they’ll get. So if I have my site on there, so basically it’s a redirect for Web Marketing Magic, but I won’t tell you what it is because I don’t want to have people from this program going to that web address. But let’s just say you have a very easy to spell, easy to remember domain name, and underneath it for me I said, Your Complete Online Business Solution. Now that’s sufficiently intriguing, yet sufficiently vague that people will probably want to go to the website if they have any interest in online marketing and check it out. So, and again that’s not the name I’m using on my car because it’s too long, I have a redirect which basically, a shortened name that sends people to, and then —

Avish: (inaudible 00:03:03)

Fred: — then says, Your Complete Online Business Solution.

Avish: And that redirect also has an ad tracker, which is the only way, that’s why you have a unique URL, right? Because that’s the only way you will know whether that car ad is working.

Fred: Yeah. And by a redirect, we mean that you put in one domain name and, using an ad tracker from Web Marketing Magic, it allows me to know every month or every time period how many people are coming to from my car’s signage, and out of those people how many are buying. So we can really track the effectiveness of all of our, you know, all of our mediums. It’s good to use separate URLs, and that’s why we request that, or we suggest that people get a lot of domain names at Ultra Cheap Domains or

Avish: Okay, and now I want to add, I mean it’s a weird technique but it’s worked for you, or at least the sign did.

Fred: Yeah, yeah it sure did. And so, you know, again, the signage itself, I think that one should start with, you know, the magnetic signs before you consider doing the wrapping.

Avish: Okay, then let’s talk about a few other paid offline things. One is joining your Alumni Association.

Fred: Yeah. I mean any of the groups that you’re involved with, you know, where you went to school, any of those, any association that you have the legitimate right to sort of be involved with, is, allows you again to do networking and/or be seen, you know, in a one-on-many situation, which is so much more valuable than doing one-on-one. And alumni associations, are you involved with your UPenn group?

Avish: I’m not, but maybe I should be.

Fred: Well, I mean, again a lot of times, you know, some of those groups are more active than others, so you may want to check into these and go to their meeting once or twice and see whether or not you look at it as a valuable thing. Now I went to my graduate school alumni association. I stopped going because, number one, they weren’t pulling the numbers, and number two, the people that they were attracting, it just, it didn’t seem like a good match. So consider it, but you know, this is not like a definite you must do this kind of thing.

Avish: Right, right. Well along those lines, and we’re not going to talk much about it because we talk about it in the Free Offline, but your business associations as well —

Fred: Yeah.

Avish: — some of those, like you said, are paid.

Fred: Yeah, and like, you know, your local Chamber of Commerce. Perhaps if you have a business that lends itself to that, you could certainly get some good traffic coming as a result of very few dollars spent on joining, you know, your local Chamber of Commerce, and whether it’s Rotary, Kiwanis, or any of the other service groups in your local area. If it’s appropriate and makes sense for your business.

Avish: Okay. Now what is your experience or what are your thoughts about going to trade shows as a way to drive traffic?

Fred: Trade shows, I think, can be a very, very effective means of doing it. Oftentimes, though, the most cost-effective means of doing it is going to the trade show and handing out a lot of business cards and getting people to come see what you do. And again on that business card, we’ve talked about this before, you know, you have something you give away for free that’s of good value and make a promise on there. So if you’re going to be doing it, I wouldn’t be exhibiting at the booth the first time you’re there. Just check out the trade show and see whether or not it generates your business from some of your sort of guerilla marketing that you do at the event, because that can get kind of pricey to have a booth at a trade show.

Avish: Okay, so you just recommend you go as an attendee and have a bunch of cards —

Fred: Yeah.

(Simultaneous talking 00:06:22)

Fred: Go as an attendee, have a bunch of cards and get the feel for it the first time before considering doing anything on a larger scale.

Avish: Okay, that sounds like it makes a lot of sense. Let’s talk about offline advertising, and this could be in TV, on radio, or even infomercials. And I know you’ve done some of this in the past, so —

Fred: Yeah, and I again, I think that this is something that, you know, you should know exists and consider, but generally this is not for someone who has a small budget. Although in some markets radio advertising might be effective, most of the time this requires, excuse me, a serious test to make sure that, you know, you’re not blowing your money on something that’s not going to, you know, that’s not going to poll very well.

So I would say that if you have a business where you can, you know, you have a good budget and in most markets, you know, doing television ads or radio ads assumes that you have a business that is fairly local, because doing any kind of network advertising, again, is huge money and very seldom do you see people trying to advertise and generate traffic from a radio ads and infomercials unless they are national entities. So usually that’s reserved for it.

But the one thing that you can do, which is kind of interesting, is for you to try and find out whether or not, you know, some of these, you know, especially in these economic times, the radio and television areas are hurting for money because advertising is way down, so you may want to consider producing something radio and television, you know, advertising that is extremely sort of guerilla-oriented, and letting them run, you know, sort of on a fill-in-the-gap kind of basis, where, let’s say for example you knew you could afford $100 and if you gave them $100, say, to test something like a television little 30 second spot, you could actually, and let’s say their normal rights are $500 for a 30 second spot, if they have a $100 check sitting in front of them with a tape with your commercial on it, and you say run this whenever you want, but I’ll only give you $100, if they cash the check they’re obligated to run the ad, so —

Avish: Right.

Fred: –something to be considered.

Avish: Okay. But in most cases advertising is something to know it exists but probably not the best (inaudible 00:08:40) still in the beginning.

Fred: Well, no, not in the, but I think we just needed to mention it just because I know that once you start advertising or getting seen anywhere you’re going to have people approaching you from radio, television, all over the place, trade publications, trying to get you to advertise. And I wanted you to be aware of the fact that it’s only worthwhile to do first when you test, and secondly if you can get what they refer to as sort of remnant space or space that they wouldn’t have sold anyway, that you could pick up for drastically less than what they suggest.

Avish: Okay. Now I have here writing a book as one idea. Now we talked about writing a book as one of your products, but you’re also putting it here as a way of driving traffic.

Fred: Yeah, because when you show up at various events and you hand out your book, it’s sort of like a sophisticated, you know, version of your business card. And you can get a lot of people visiting your site if you hand out books, because again it makes you look like a more, you know, a serious and more legitimate entity, and by handing out a book instead of just a business card your rate of response will go way up. So a book becomes your single best promotional material piece if you have it, especially at live events.

Avish: Okay, makes sense. Now what about, we’re talking about speaking as one of the free ones, but what about speaking at other people’s events?

Fred: Yeah, it’s a great idea. If you can get, you know, booked to speak at somebody else’s event, you know, again you’re in a great form, depending on how many people show up, to do one-on-many marketing. And by doing the one-on-many marketing, when you get up in front of the group, you’re going to give out, you know, a very easy to spell, easy to remember domain name and give some, somebody some, you know, give the group in the audience that you’re speaking for, you know, something of value. Now even if you, you can also pay possibly sometimes to attend other people’s events, and that’s why this is sort of a paid offline method, is what happens there is, by paying to attend these events, you can sort of find a way to shoehorn yourself into the whole discussion by, let’s say, you know, I’ve seen, and I’ve done this myself, but I’ve seen it done effectively, too. You know, somebody gets up in front of a group of 250 people to ask a question, and at the same time they’re asking the question they’re promoting a domain name. So what happens is that people feverishly write it down, you know. So you get up and you say, you know? You know, I’ve heard about this site called, has anybody had any experience with that? So —

Avish: Right.

Fred: — you could ask that and you could get seen and heard by the rest of the group, and at the same time dropping the name of your URL, your domain name.

Avish: Interesting. And then just being there in your networking and contacts, you probably, I mean obviously if you are interested in your topic, you’re talking about going to, like, a competitor or someone who does something similar to you, their events?

Fred: Yeah, or something that is a related topic or related, you know, topic area so that, again, you’re not maybe, you know, either at a competitor’s event or it’s something related that you feel there are enough people in the audience that, who would have an interest in your topic that it would be worth your time and energy to be there, and money.

Avish: Okay, I can understand that. And how about direct mail, like direct physical mail?

Fred: Yeah. Direct physical mail, especially since, you know, everybody’s doing email marketing now, direct mail, some of the response rates have often gone up as a result. So when you’re promoting a website, probably the best way to do this is with a post card. So on a post card, if you want to test it, you get, you know, a list of people either buying a list or, if you have an internal house list, and taking a postcard, putting some clever copy on it, directing people to a website is at least worth testing. Because again, people are now, and the reason why I say postcard is they don’t have to open a letter or doing anything like that. Now test the postcards, see if it pulls and go from there. Now if a smaller postcard works, you may want to go to one of those oversized postcards, which the beauty about the postcard is they don’t have to open an envelope to see the promotional message. And again, if you put something clever on there, it is a way to consider and to test, to try and get more traffic.

Avish: Got it. Alright, well the final thing I have here paid-wise, and this may be in the wrong section, but I have an idea in here about domain names, specifically getting misspellings of domain names and expired domain names.

Fred: Yeah, it sort of is in the wrong place, but again you can use it offline as well. But a misspelled domain name will end up generating you traffic. So for example, I own, and that redirects to a site on professional speaking. So you may want to consider reserving some of the misspellings of domain names, and that serves to work wells both on- and offline. But it is in essence a primarily online one, so we’ve somewhat misplaced it.

Avish: Okay, and what was that idea about expired domain names?

Fred: Well, one of the things you want to do is to look at a domain names that might be perfect for what it is you do, and then checking, like, what with Ultra Cheap Domains, you can put a domain name on backorder. So if somebody forgets to renew it, you could pick up domain names that are perfect for you, you know, for very, very little money. You don t have to pay any kind of premium price.

Avish: Okay. So that’s a whole bunch of pay it offline methods. Anything you can think of that I have not asked you about?

Fred: Yes. You know, there are a ton of them. But anything that you even consider of a paid offline nature, make sure that you test it small first, before throwing a bunch of money at it. And don’t be fooled by some salesperson who says, oh yeah, other people have done this before with great success. Don’t believe them. Test small before you get going.

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