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Promote your website — Offline also!

Don’t forget to promote your website offline as well

For most businesses, their website is just the means to an end. By that I mean that their website is not what they are selling. But it should be seen as something instrumental to help achieve business goals. Those goals could be to provide information to customers around the clock, every day of the year. It could be for lead generation or for soliciting donations. Whatever the purpose, it does no good if no one knows it’s there.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make after launching a website is assuming that since you built it, they will come.

My recommendation is that as the owner of your website, you should promote it almost like one of the products you sell. What if you hired a salesperson with extensive experience that would be beneficial for your customers? You’d want to publicize that, wouldn’t you? You might even send out press releases. You could do a direct mailing announcing their arrival and enclose a business card. Maybe you’d have an open house to introduce them.

When launching or relaunching a website you should use a variety of offline channels to get the word out. (For the purpose of this blog post, I’m not speaking about online promotion — social media, search engine optimization, and such. Those are topics for other posts.)

Here are some tactics for promoting your website offline.

  • Make sure the web address is included on your printed materials. On your business cards and letterheads, of course. Put a bright sticker on envelopes to draw attention. Postcard mailings and email blasts can give a few details explaining the ease of use and the benefits of using the website.
  • Have a QR code made up for your website and use it on your printed materials. Smartphone users can scan the barcode to quickly add all of your details to their device.
  • Promotional merchandise such as coffee mugs and desktop items serve as daily reminders about your business and website. There are all kinds of ad specialties that can tie in with your message and the nature of your business.
  • Your on-hold phone recordings can remind customers how the website can answer most common questions any time of the day.
  • Consider signage or posters on the front doors and around your place of business.
  • Decals, vinyl, and magnetic signs on your vehicles can build awareness across a wide area. Literally!
  • Educate your employees on how the website can benefit customers and the business. Support their active use of the website so they can better promote it to customers. And be sure to solicit and respond to their feedback for website enhancements.
  • Word of mouth — Make a concerted effort to get others involved — your family, friends, colleagues, your church, and your bowling team.
  • Conventions and expos — Attendees are usually there to get more information. But your attention and theirs is likely to be divided. So directing them to your website for more details can be a perfect segway. (You can even have special content related to the event posted in advance.)
  • Event sponsorship — Festivals, sporting events, and fundraisers are good opportunities to promote your business and website on t-shirts, giveaways, banners, and programs.

You know the old aphorism about sometimes information doesn’t sink in until the person has heard it seven times? Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself using different methods and messages.

And I would be remiss if I neglected to tell you the following. Make sure that your website has fresh, high quality content that will interest your customers. Without that, it would be silly to go all-out promoting a website that offers only limited added value!

More ideas to promote your website offline