Focused on digitizing their marketing efforts and customer interactions, many businesses discount the importance of offline marketing. This particularly applies to ecommerce businesses that may consider the implementation of offline advertising counterintuitive.
But, is this really so?
Offline marketing helps you attract wider audiences, collect invaluable customer data, and increase brand awareness. Most importantly, traditional forms of marketing build trust with your customers and inspire their loyalty.
For example, did you know that 40% of customers make an online purchase after seeing an offline ad? Moreover, 60% of consumers value offline word-of-mouth methods more than online ones.
Here are a few tips on how to create an integrated online-to-offline marketing strategy.
Which Offline Marketing Tactics Work for Online Stores?
There is a plethora of offline marketing practices big brands still use. These include TV and radio ads, newspaper and magazine ads, billboards, business cards, and flyers. However, there are a few types of offline business promotion that work exceptionally well for ecommerce marketers:
Catalogs and Direct Mail
When promoting their products, deals, and offers, ecommerce businesses focus on email newsletters or social media. They usually forget that direct mails outpace these online marketing tactics. Statistics say that 54% of customers want to get printed catalogs in their mail, as opposed to 49% that prefer email.
Directly mailed catalogs have numerous benefits. First, they’re visually appealing and high-quality. Second, many customers trust them more than online promotions. Most importantly, they can achieve a 4.4% response rate, compared to the 0.12% email response rate.
Precisely because of that, direct mail can serve as a notable traffic and conversion booster for your online store. The InfoTrends survey claims that 56% of consumers who responded to direct mail either went to the brand’s website or visited their offline store.
Promotional products raise the value of your business by boosting your brand awareness and customer loyalty. The Advertising Specialty Institute conducted a comprehensive research study on promotional items back in 2016. They found that 85% of users remember brands that give them a shirt or. Another study highlights that promotional products the most effective way to prompt action across all generations.
In other words, by gaining people’s trust offline and increasing their brand recall, you will inspire them to visit your ecommerce site and convert.
For many ecommerce brands, pop-up shops are a perfect way to bridge the gap between online and offline selling. Here are the major benefits of jumping on the temporary retail wagon:
- putting your products in front of those audiences that haven’t heard of your ecommerce website
- educating people about your products
- increasing brand awareness
- generating higher revenue
- building stronger relationships with your audiences
- testing the waters for the potential offline growth in the future
Many popular online brands including Brandless, Boohoo, and Goop use pop-up stores to provide sample products, interact with customers, and even host special events.
Integrating Online and Offline Marketing
Now that you know what offline marketing practices work for the ecommerce sector, you should understand the idea behind their implementation. The abovementioned stats don’t claim that offline marketing tactics are more effective than online ones and vice versa. On the contrary, the most powerful ecommerce marketing tactics are a result of the marriage between these two marketing aspects.
Add QR Codes Everywhere
QR codes are a new form of barcodes, containing information about your business that can be read by mobile devices.
You can use them on banners, business cards, product packaging, flyers, direct mail, storefronts, or promotional items – basically on any form of traditional marketing that makes sense for your brand. This way, you will provide immersive user experiences, guiding them from the offline world to your website.
Combine your Online Information with Strong CTAs
Give your audience the reason to visit your website. Always write catchy calls-to-action that will inform your customers about what’s in it for them once land on your store. For example, you could provide massive discounts, give away your top products, host a social media contest, or share value-added content (guides, eBooks, webinars, ultimate lists, etc.) for free.
Leverage a “To Be Continued” Campaign
Online and offline marketing share a common goal – engaging your target audience and raising their awareness of your brand. So, why not use them to create immersive, multi-channel user experiences.
For example, create a strong, emotion-evoking narrative around your brand and begin your story offline. In this case, offline marketing tactics like TV ads or billboards should only grab a user’s attention, increase their awareness of your brand, and intrigue them. The next step is to entice them to visit your online store to find more about you. And, to make this process easier for them, add QR codes, links to your specific pages, and specific CTAs.
Align your Online and Offline Marketing Metrics
Building an online-to-offline marketing campaign makes no sense if you don’t measure its results regularly. Here are a few simple steps to take.
Create custom landing pages
If you’re running an online clothing brand, you will probably place your ads with URLs and QR codes in fashion magazines. And, to drive more qualified leads and track your offline traffic easier, consider creating separate landing pages for certain offers and product types. Precisely because of that, you should make a list of your landing pages and know where exactly you used each URL offline.
To see how many people landed on your page from your offline channels, go to Google Analytics > Behavior> Site Content > Landing Pages.
Use Shortened URLs
Using UTM parameters is one of the most powerful ways to track the effectiveness of your offline campaigns. You just need to create several shortened links with URL shorteners like Bitly that would direct your users to specific URLs.
Once you create a shortened URL, make it simple and memorable so your users can use it easily. You can also turn them into QR codes people can scan to land on your page.
Now, there are a few ways to track the performance of shortened URLs. For example, Bitly keeps a log of all URLs you shorten and even has its own analytics system that lets you see the CTR of these URLs. You can also track your shortened URL in Google Analytics, under Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns.
Since many people associate Bitly URLs with spam, consider customizing your branded shortlinks. to get them to click.
Offer Discount Codes
Creating a coupon code benefits your online store in several ways. First, discounts engage your customers and encourage them to make a purchase. Second, you can use these codes everywhere – on your promotional products, billboards, flyers, store windows, cars, etc. Most importantly, they’re easy to track.
One of the simplest ways to track of your discount codes online us by using Enhanced eCommerce plugin on your site. All you need to do is enter “Product Coupon” in Google Analytics and then to Conversions > Marketing > Product Coupon.
Ecommerce Marketing Success Lies in a Healthy Balance
Irrespective of the size of your online business and industry, you need to remember that you’re still selling to humans that are craving for exciting and personalized user experiences both online and offline.
Precisely because of that, focus on building a multi-faceted marketing strategy that aligns your online and offline efforts. This is the only way to appeal to wider audiences, provide better-targeted user experiences at every customer touchpoint, and gain greater insights into your campaigns.
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