In today’s digital age, it’s absolutely necessary to know how to generate leads for your business online. However, this doesn’t mean you should completely replace all of your offline marketing strategies with digital. In fact, offline marketing is still a great way to generate leads and obtain new customers—especially for local businesses. Read on to learn some tips and tactics for generating leads offline.
Tips for Generating Leads Offline
Before getting into methods of offline lead generation, it’s important to remember that this type of marketing will likely still involve online tactics. Below are two important tips for generating leads offline.
When it comes to deciding whether to use online or offline methods to generate leads, you do not need to pick one or the other.
Offline and online lead generation strategies often overlap and are complementary to one another. For example, you might use an event (offline) at your business location to capture leads with an email signup list, yet many of your attendees may be there because you effectively promoted the event via social media and an email marketing campaign (online).
Employing a range of strategies to generate leads will allow you to find the right mix of techniques that will be effective for your particular business and industry.
Tracking in marketing is commonly associated with online strategies, but you can (and should) also track your offline lead generation. Your offline marketing strategies will ultimately direct people to your business website or other online channel, or prompt them to call your business. Tracked phone numbers and tracked links enable you to use phone numbers or URLS that are unique to each of your offline campaigns (such as a billboard, a brochure, or a flyer in a neighboring store). This way, you can see exactly where your offline leads are coming from.
7 Methods of Generating Leads Online
Offline lead generation is by no means obsolete. The digital world may be powerful, but at the end of the day, exist in a physical world where there is power in face-to-face interaction and things we can physically hold in our hands. Here are seven effective methods of generating leads online.
1. Direct Mail
People still love to get mail—of course not bills or junk mail, but visually appealing and pleasant mail. A well-designed postcard or care package that is properly targeted can pay some big dividends. Be sure to assign any offers or promotions you advertise in this manner a unique promo code so you can track how your prospect or customer found you.
As many businesses have abandoned the mailbox for the email inbox, you also might find direct mail as a way to stand out from your competitors. Be sure to use a graphic designer or even helpful online tools to make sure your mailer will capture people’s attention while also reinforcing your brand image.
2. Print Ads
Another effective form of offline lead generation is print ads, such as in newspapers, magazines, or other publications. People are inundated by screens all day. Many still subscribe to printed publications, as it’s refreshing to flip through pages and hold something in their hands. If your target audience contains readers of this sort, this is a great channel for getting in front of them.
To find the right publications for your print ads, consider the volume and frequency of distribution, the characteristics of their readers, and of course the pricing. As with direct mail, be sure to have a professional layout and design your ad. This may cost a bit more than doing it yourself, but will yield better results and a better return on your investment.
3. Hosting Events
Giving people a reason to come to your brick and mortar location is a great way to generate offline leads and attract new prospects. It may also aid in building your company’s reputation in the community. Product demonstrations or expert talks can help to get current customers and new prospects into your space. You know your customers and what they are interested in, so be sure to create events that will be most engaging and appealing.
4. Sponsoring Events
For most businesses, their product or service can be associated with or complimentary to certain events. For example, a local cycling shop would be a perfect fit to be a sponsor of a local race. As a sponsor they would have to ability for prominent signage as well as a presence at the event where employees could display products and interact with attendees. Look for the events in your community that your target audience may attend in large numbers, and you may find yourself an effective means of offline lead generation.
5. Inbound Phone Calls
Calling is a way of generating leads offline, but can be initiated through both offline and online channels. For example, you can put your phone number on car wraps, physical flyers, brochures, and handouts. You can also display your phone number on your website, landing pages, emails and other marketing pieces. Smartphone users are not only using their devices to research products and services, they might even make a phone call with them as well. Utilize click-to-call buttons to capitalize on your prospects’ immediate interest and give them an option to talk to a live person right away.
6. Outbound Sales Reach Outs
Cold calling people who have never shown an interest in your product or service can not only come across and annoying and intrusive, but it also has a very low conversion rate. This strategy will be much more effective with lists of leads that you have generated yourself through other offline and online techniques. Someone will be more responsive to your call if they have previously engaged with your brand by filling out a form, downloading a piece of content, or conversed with you on your website’s live chat platform.
7. Networking With People at Events
Pressing the flesh and meeting people face-to-face is a powerful opportunity to make a lasting impression and expedite the customer/prospect relationship. Industry trade shows are target-rich environments to connect with a large number of new potential prospects in a short amount of time. Exhibiting at one of these events should yield a significant list of active prospects that you can begin to nurture and follow-up with in the days and weeks afterward.
Businesses that have chosen to ignore or abandon offline marketing strategies are missing out. Digital strategies may put you on the cutting edge, but good old fashioned marketing techniques have certainly not lost their flavor.