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Why Your Online Business Should Invest in Offline Marketing

Sean Peek
Sean Peek

E-commerce businesses shouldn't put all of their efforts into digital marketing.

You may think the best way to market your e-commerce business is through digital marketing, but forgetting about offline strategies could end up costing you in the long run. Don't discount the importance of offline marketing, like traditional ads and catalogs, and the value it can bring to your company.

The importance of offline marketing

Offline marketing ideas can help your e-commerce business cater to a wider audience base. A majority of offline strategies focus on supplying traditional forms of marketing, which can eventually help your business build customers' trust.

Based on independent surveys, almost 40% of offline purchases are initiated by offline advertisements. Additionally, almost 60% of customers prefer purchasing items online, only after considering a word-of-mouth recommendation.

This research reveals the true potential of an online-to-offline strategy that your e-commerce business can benefit from. In the subsequent sections, we will cover offline marketing approaches that generate leads for new clients.

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Types of offline marketing strategies

Here are some of the best possible offline marketing strategies to bring in new customers to your online store.

Catalogs and direct mail

Similar to online newsletters, which offer insights regarding products and services, your e-commerce business can readily publicize its brands by publishing catalogs and sending direct promotional mail. Catalogs that are mailed directly to consumers are capable of achieving response rates of around 4.4%, whereas rates of only 0.12% are associated with online newsletters and other emails. Consequently, printed catalogs are tried and tested marketing strategies that can eventually help customers spend their money on your e-commerce brand.

FYIFYI: According to the United States Postal Service, 60% of customers visit a company's website after receiving a physical catalog.

Quick response codes

There are times when having QR codes at select places will help your business cling to potential customers. Oftentimes, the best marketing tactics are carved out of a productive union of offline and online strategies. This is where quick response codes come into play. They can be meticulously paired with physical flyers, business cards and direct mail. This is why your company must take advantage of QR codes to popularize your brand, even across offline channels. This strategy eventually makes way for immersive experiences.

Trade shows

Showcasing your business at a trade show is a great way to network with and learn from industry leaders. It provides you with the opportunity to market your company in person by demonstrating your product, or distribute print materials to consumers and other related businesses. 

The bottom line is that trade shows are equally beneficial to both network with industry partners and grow your business. You don't need to attend a trade show that directly correlates with your company; sometimes the best opportunities come from trade shows with more diversity. 

Press releases

Sending out a press release is a straightforward way to get the word out about your business or make a major announcement about your organization. You don't need an in-house PR team to write and distribute a press release. Just write a personal press release that shares your brand’s story and your newsworthy notification. By now, you should have made relationships with relevant media connections to gain favorable coverage. Send the press release to both local journalists and relevant trade publications to cover your announcement. 

TipTip: Don't have an announcement? Host an in-person or virtual event, and invite the press to get to know you and your business better.

Business cards

Many people think that because you can easily share your contact information through your phone that the business card is dead. However, having a business card is a great way to give connections a physical memento to remember your company. In a digital world, it especially sets you apart from your competitors. Business cards are an extension of your company, so make sure that they are consistent with the look and tone of your brand. 

TipTip: Make your business card stand out even more by using colorful cardboard and changing the orientation from landscape to portrait.

Aligning marketing metrics

The most important consideration while pairing offline marketing strategies with online endeavors is to align the aspects for a more holistic experience. First, create custom landing pages that can close the deal for a user who has come across your website after looking at an offline ad or scanning a quick response code.

Your online business should also make use of shortened URLs. There are times when an individual looking at an offline marketing entity will want to visit the brand's website, and a memorable link can make a huge difference.

Finally, printed discount codes on flyers and other ads can help by redirecting a lot of your offline crowd to your online store. This tactic also allows you to keep track of the codes used and deals closed.

For your e-commerce business to survive, you need to strike the perfect balance between online intuition and offline moves. Consumers still prefer and value personalized experiences, regardless of the medium, and a credible offline targeting strategy can certainly help instill patrons' faith in your organization. In the end, it is a multifaceted marketing plan that works – regardless of the product or service you're selling.

Anand Srivastava contributed to the writing and research in this article.

Image Credit: julie514 / Getty Images
Sean Peek
Sean Peek Contributing Writer
Sean Peek has written more than 100 B2B-focused articles on various subjects including business technology, marketing and business finance. In addition to researching trends, reviewing products and writing articles that help small business owners, Sean runs a content marketing agency that creates high-quality editorial content for both B2B and B2C businesses.