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Online Or Offline – Which Works Best?

what is pardon
by alexik

Article by Bernadette Doyle

As I use the internet and email to promote my business, many subscribers assume that I only promote my business online. Just this week I got an email from someone who told me that my ideas couldn’t possibly work for their business, as they were selling to an audience who don’t use the internet. The truth is, I’ve been using offline techniques, like direct mail, for several years now, and in many cases it is still my number one recommended technique.

So how can you tell whether YOU should be promoting online or offline? Here are my top 3 questions to determine what is right for you.

1. Is your audience online?

Email has several advantages – it’s quick and cheap obviously. And it’s a lot easier to make changes on an online sales page than it is to have 5,000 brochures reprinted. But if you’re targeting an audience that doesn’t really use this medium, then your marketing efforts ARE better placed elsewhere. No point having a fabulous website unless you are going to get the visitors. And you’ll only get the visitors is they are online.

2. Is your audience ‘easily reachable’ online?

I know this looks very similar to question number one, but the emphasis is different. Maybe you are targeting an audience that you know uses email, but are they actively searching for help online? Are they congregating in large numbers online eg are they members of certain websites or discussion forums? If not, don’t despair, that doesn’t mean you need to give up on the internet altogether, it just means that you need to use offline lead generation techniques to get the relationship started, and then, if your audience uses email, you can use email to stay in touch and build the relationship.

3. Could you combine online and offline techniques?

One of my favourite techniques is to use an offline method to drive web visitor traffic and build an online list. For example, a pet behaviour specialist recently contacted me to ask for help as she was struggling to market to her niche. Assembling a decent list of ‘pet owners concerned about their pet’s behaviour’ could take months using just online methods, and the fact is, there IS a quicker way to do it. You can rent lists of people segmented by gender, age, profession, geography, hobbies, affiliation with certain associations etc.

My recommendation was to rent of a list of pet owners, then send a postcard mailing to that list offering a ‘freebie’ to be collected from her website. With this you effectively kill two birds with one stone (if you’ll pardon the pun). You get the momentum of simultaneously reaching your target audience in large numbers, PLUS you get to build an online list so you can follow up by both direct mail and email.

The bottom line is that any marketing strategy which relies solely on just one medium e.g. internet or direct mail will hit trouble sooner or later. For best results, you should formulate a marketing plan that uses a variety of media to reach and stay in touch with your target audience.

(c) Bernadette Doyle, 2007. Reprints welcome so long as by-line and article are published intact and all links made live.

About the Author

Bernadette Doyle publishes her weekly Client Magnets newsletter for trainers, coaches, consultants, complementary therapists and solo professionals. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, then get your free tips now at http://www.clientmagnets.com.

BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of UK/BBC copyright. Pardon the hissy audio. It was recorded 51 years ago after all. I tried to clean it up but I found that the voices were clearer without any filters. Meh. This is an excerpt from the famous BBC Radio debate between Father Frederick C. Copleston and Bertrand Russell. In this section, they discuss Leibniz’s Argument from Contingency, which is a form of the Cosmological Argument. It differs from other Cosmological arguments (eg Kalam) in that it is consistent with an eternal universe, as it doesn’t appeal to first causes, but rather the principle of sufficient reason. It can be summarized in this way: (1) Everything that exists contingently has a reason for its existence. (2) The universe exists contingently. Therefore: (3) The universe has a reason for its existence. (4) If the universe has a reason for its existence then that reason is God. Therefore: (5) God exists. For a transcript of the debate (including other topics discussed), follow this link: evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com You can download the audio here: www.archive.org Don’t forget to comment, rate and subscribe.

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