Just like your business, your website needs marketing. (If you’d like an explanation of why take a look at one of my earlier blog posts: Ancient Greeks Found In Successful Websites Shock!)
Most of the time my posts concentrate on online marketing but today I’m going to take a look at some offline marketing opportunities which can help support and grow your online performance.
Let’s begin with an obvious point which is that your web address needs to be absolutely everywhere; business cards, letterheads, invoices, on the signage at front of your offices, as a banner at your exhibitions, part of your franking mark on your envelopes, even on your business’s voicemail message.
If you run an advert in the press then put the web address in. If you write articles for the local business magazine make sure the URL is next to your name. If you are interviewed on the radio or television then mention your website. It doesn’t matter what promotional activity you might be doing just ensure your web address gets a look in.
And do make sure everybody in your business knows what the web address is because it doesn’t look good if they’re fumbling around looking for it whilst on the phone to customer. (Take a look at: Your Website’s Telephone Goldmine – Part 1.)
In fact, go one step further and make sure that everybody knows what information is on the website. It’s also very important that they carefully direct the visitor to the exact part of the website. Remember, from a customer service point of view it’s probably not that helpful just to say “it’s on the website” (in other words, ‘go find it for yourself Mr Prospect’). Use the fact you have the prospect on the phone as an opportunity to walk them through the site and tell them about all the great information that’s there, then tell them exactly what they need to do when they’re ready to engage your service.
Now, despite the fact that everything I just mentioned is fairly basic stuff it still surprising how many businesses aren’t consistent with their offline website promotion. However, you are not like most businesses and so this should be an easy one to strike off the list!
Now, let’s look at an advanced offline technique so rarely used you will almost immediately gain the upper hand. Many businesses still use telemarketing as one of the primary ways of generating leads (and if you haven’t tested this you should certainly give it a try). However, you can simultaneously increase the effectiveness of your telemarketing and your website using the following technique. Here’s how it works…
Get your telemarketing people to offer one of the three free reports to your prospects. The three reports might be on three different service areas of your business or three different products or three how-to guides or three pieces of research (you get the idea!). Your telesales person then asks which they would prefer and emails a link to a page on your website where that article is available. Now, this simple approach has a number of extraordinary benefits.
The first is that it’s a soft sell approach. You’re not following the conventional telemarketing style of grabbing the prospect by the throat and insisting that they meet with you, instead you’re doing something that most telesales people don’t do and that is giving something helpful and useful away. That in itself will make your prospect feel very different about any future telephone calls you have with them.
Secondly, you’ve captured their email address which means that you can continue to communicate with them even if your telesales person is getting blocked by meetings, holidays and voicemail.
Thirdly, you’ve identified what their interest is (because that’s the article that they chose).
Fourthly, you’ve got them to visit your website.
And finally, you can measure the most popular (and therefore, useful) article by counting the number of visits to the article pages. (By the way, do remember to have each article on its own page!)
The next time your telesales person makes contact they ask for feedback on the article which then clears the way for a more relaxed sales conversation. Plus, you’ve got two more articles that you can offer them if it’s appropriate. This taps into a basic bit of human psychology which is that people are far more receptive to your pitch if you’ve given something of value upfront.
So, that’s one example of how to get the offline and online world to work together to increase your sales and once you start to think along these lines you’ll find all kinds of approaches that will make a radical impact on your business.
Jed Wylie is the author of Make Your Website Sell and works for Morgan Wylie a web design and digital marketing agency in the Midlands. Follow Jed on Twitter at MorganWylieWeb