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To a certain percentage though this might have been curiosity because regular readers knew we usually list another domain in the ads.
I'm thinking of printing up teeshirts with my logo + URL, then handing them out to all my friends and some "industry" people that work in the niche I have a site for. What do you guys think of this method? Do you think its even going to be effective? I mean, for the most part, people will more than likely catch the URL, but how many will remember to check out the site when they get home?
We operate a global website, and did just this. Not just T-shirts, but also sweatshirts, pens, badges and sports discs (aka "Frisbees" (r)).
It works. People love something for nothing.
With internet advertising and marketing, I can spend $1000 and actually see that I had a return > or < than that $1000. And if it's looking like it's less than $1000, I can tweak my campaign to try something else and measure the effects.
Plus, you can get targetted traffic=higher roi.
I don't think you can get any of that with baseball caps.
I'm pretty sour on 'normal' advertising methods these days. Could be because I've tried it and not been succesful :). Still, if I wanted to spend money to attract internet users to my website, the next place I'd be looking (after adwords/overture) would be niche websites that accept advertising.
Everytime I drive my car with metallic signs left, right and rear, I see people signing up on my site.
Walking through airports as I travel with my $25 shirt on, amoratized, costs me nothing, but I know folks are taking note.
Standing in any line, movie, rent-a-car, sports event, etc with a $20 ball cap is going to get me something every time.
I know folks are taking note.
Visibility is key.
My favourite promotional item is a tiny flashlight with the company's logo that I carry on my keychain. It's cool, and genuinely useful sometimes. It triggers a positive thought about that company nearly every time I take out my keys. So far, so good. But .... hardly anyone sees it except me.
I have another item from the same company: a simple but sturdy cloth totebag that gets used for carrying books to and from the library. A lot more people will see the company's logo and URL from that totebag than will ever see my keychain flashlight.
Which item is delivering the best value for the company's promotional expense? It's hard to say, because their effects are quite different.
Something to think about regarding T-shirts: some women won't wear T-shirts with logos on the front because they don't like having someone stare at their chests to read what it says. They might wear a shirt with your logo on the back, though.
I have often thought about vinyl ads on a car? You can park it where you want and get all the exposure you need. :)
I mean, do you really want a fat, middle age, sweaty bloke walk around with a cheap t-shirt with your logo / URL on it? ;)
Some stuff you can get away with (pens for example), others are just "market stall nasty" for mass market (mass market in terms of a "target everyone" approach and not specifically "target everywhere").
However, if your particular subject area lends itself well to say, T-shirts and baseball caps then it can be great. So for example if you have a snowboarding site and want to use T-shirts to hand out to random snowboarders then that could work fine.
You are basically getting people to walk about with your advert plastered on their front (or back), and without putting too fine a point on it, there's a reason companies hire models for PR activities! ;)
I think any freebie must have either form or function to be successfull - simply getting a few boxes of white t-shirts with yourdomain.com printed on the front in Times New Roman aint gonna cut it.
Now I realize that my website wont get anywhere without either using paid advertising, getting linked to a couple websites or my methods of advertising.
I don't think PPC is a requirement just now, and getting inbound links isn't too hard when you get into it. :)