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I just tossed some money in the ppc arena, but I confess that it doesn't spark my interest very much so I've let it languish. I figure I can pay to play anytime.
5: Offline traditional marketing avenues.
- Low Volumn Direct mail campaigns. I recently (2 weeks ago) purchased 100 medium quality hand picked domain names ($999). The day afterwards, I spent looking up snail mail addresses for companies I thought would be interested in these types of names. I sent out 200 generic letters and about 50 specific letters to companies in those industries. Total cost of promotion was about 20 hours of labor and $75 in postage, paper, and production. Yesterday I sold all 100 in two lots for five fold in profit (you do the math). I've seen that same process over and over again recently. Not just by myself but also clients.
- Classified ads. It may seem unusual to do classifieds for a website, but strategically markerted campaigns and boost huge rewards. Study up on classifieds and look for web ads in the biggest local paper you can get at. Mimic the ones that appear successful. At $20 ad in the right classifieds category can reap huge rewards if you are an ecom site. The wild phenom about it? The people that choose to visit your site based on that ad (eg: they goto the computer and type in the ad), must have the highest rate of bookmarking of any visitors I've ever encountered. It is like they see the ad, and already have a good feeling about your site before they visit; "hey, that is just what I am looking for" before they even see your site.
- Newsletter advertising. Out, way out. (this note comes from a producer of newsletters). Results from newsletter advertising have been falling hard and fast. Two years ago, a well placed ad could pull 40-60% return rate. A recent run by a client of an ad in a high volumn letter pulled less that 1% (yikes!).
- Radio. Got a client in Chicago, that bought a 15second spots on a early morning program in the a small market. The ad was $1500 to produce (voice talent) and a lot of 20 spots throughout the week was an even grand. He felt his roi was two to one. The domain name matches his site name and is very easy to pronounce. The name was said 4 times in the 15 second spot. He is getting ready to step up to a medium (200k market) and see if the results are the same.
- Trade mags. In the back of most trade mags, you will find classified style ads. Seems like performance of those ads all comes down to creative. It is worth your while to get even small ads like this profesionally produced. The magazine crowd is a touch more descriminating.