Using Offline Marketing to Drive Online Sales

The incredible growth of eCommerce has been matched by equally strong development in online marketing – PPC, banner ads, email marketing and more. But what about good old offline marketing? Could it too be used to drive online sales? It seems so counterintuitive. Use old fashioned advertising to drive digital sales. Yet the numbers don’t lie. Studies show that some 40% of online consumers make a purchase after being influenced by an offline channel. No wonder then that over two thirds of eCommerce sites engage in offline advertising. The reality is you can only reach your full sales potential by adding offline advertising to your marketing mix. In many areas, in fact, the two types of media have become blurred – many consumers now use their computers to watch television and their mobiles to listen to radio. They can also use their mobiles to scan a QR code off a billboard, magazine or bus advertisement.

If offline advertising is effective for promoting online sales, the question becomes – how is it done? Studies have shown that the most successful offline advertising mediums for generating online results were: television – 45%, magazine/newspaper – 35%, radio – 25% and billboards – 15%. The best medium however will often depend on the type of product you are selling. It’s vital to test several mediums for effectiveness and track results. How do you track the results? Include a different website address (vanity domains) for different mediums and poll consumers for information regarding how they heard about you. Keep your messages direct and simple, and tease your audience into wanting to find out more.

Below is our list of top offline mediums to drive online sales. Make sure to include your website address in EVERY type of medium you use.


TV is effective especially when using targeted niche cable channels. Marketing a website can be done with 15 to 30 second spots. Studies show television advertisements can often provide an ROI of over 400%. Keep this in mind when you’re looking at the price tag of a 15 second spot.


Radio is less expensive than television. Here too niche stations are best for targeted marketing. Radio is especially effective when used in tandem with other media.

Magazines and Newspapers

Magazines and newspapers can be very effective or very ineffective depending on which one you choose. Here again selecting the right niche is very important. You don’t necessarily need a big add and a good headline goes a long way.


Outdoor advertising such as billboards, bus ads are a relatively low cost way to reach many people – especially if your product is mass market or locally relevant.

Business Cards

The back of the business card is the probably most underused advertising space in existence. Make sure to use it to display your website address. Remember, your web address is now just as important, or even more important, than your phone number. Also consider including the main benefits of your product to consumers and a strong call to action, such as a free gift for those who visit. Your URL should appear, in fact, on all your printed and digital materials. This includes letterheads, envelopes, labels, brochures, press releases, invoices, PDFs, emails, signage, vehicles, packaging, advertising, and more. Anything that has your company name on it should have your web address below it.

Direct Mail, Flyers and Stickers

There is a good reason why somebody is sending you all that junk mail. Postcards and letters if constructed properly can also be very effective. The important thing is to make them look valuable and give a good reason to go and visit your website. Flyers and stickers can be posted in many public areas or distributed directly to mailboxes. To find out what works look at what is being produced. Make sure to include a strong call-to-action that will motivate people to visit your website.

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