Full Color Print Advertising for Online Businesses
Inexpensive, Economical, Print Promotion for Those Who Know that Business Doesn't Begin and End Online
For ebusinesses, it can sometimes be easy to overlook the importance of print advertising. However, for the consumer, print information about a business remains an essential tool in choosing products and services. By advertising and engaging consumers through print media, online companies can build consumer confidence in the legitimacy and professionalism of their business.
There are four fronts on which print advertising can be used to attract and compel consumers:
In the Community
First, they work to funnel traffic to your website. Print that advertises purely online businesses is still relatively rare, so it’s more likely to catch the eye than is advertising for a website run by a brick-and-mortar business.
Second, by having print advertising with similar designs and colors as your website, you implant visual cues in the mind of the consumer. When they come across your website, or advertising for your website, online, they will already be comfortable with you as a business that is physically established in the “real world” and therefore capable of fulfilling their real-world needs.
Through the Mail
It may surprise you to learn that direct mail is a powerful form of print advertising for ebusinesses. A direct mailer, such as a postcard, is very inexpensive to print and mail, and it offers an extremely high ROI.
Many ebusinesses have the mistaken impression that direct mail is an archaic tool leftover from another age of business. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fact is that ebusinesses enjoy greater success with direct mail campaigns than brick-and-mortar businesses ever have.
How? Because a piece of direct mail allows you to connect with consumers in their homes and invite them to visit your business instantly. You don’t have to convince them to get in their cars and come down to your storefront on a particular day when you’re having a sale. All they need to do it type in a URL, and the connection is made.
A direct mailer for an ebusiness hardly requires a flashy design. In fact, a simple, understated scheme that prominently displays your URL without giving too much away can pique a consumer’s interest just enough to get them online. A promotional code on the mailer can allow them to benefit from instant savings, and allow you to track the effectiveness of your campaign.
And the best part? Because you’re catering to a global audience of consumers that all have access to your virtual storefront, you can conduct campaigns anywhere in your country, or the world! Unlike businesses that depend on a local clientele, there are no restrictions on the number of people an ebusiness can effectively reach with a direct marketing campaign.
Through Your Community
Ebusinesses should not hesitate to provide all their employees with business cards. People talking to other people about the jobs they do offer great grassroots potential for building a customer base.
Large businesses tend to already have this area of print advertising covered. However, for the small or boutique business, it can be easy to forget that employees have as much responsibility to promote the company as do brick-and-mortar sales people. Business cards to trade with colleagues, to hand out at social occasions, and even to send clients so that they know who to contact in the future, are one of the essentials for any business that hopes to achieve longstanding success in its industry.
On Your Website
Particularly for businesses offering high cost, specialized products and services, it is key to offer brochures or catalogues on your website that consumers can order at no cost. For those consumers concerned about making a major investment online, a glossy, full-color brochure can be a major confidence builder.
Tri-fold brochures are a comfortable classic, and can be printed with postage information on one side, so that sending out bulk mailings is simple. On the other hand, two-fold brochures are a bit more slick and modern, and thus ideal for online businesses who brand themselves as a tasteful alternative to convention.
Having print materials that can be mailed out upon request offer similar benefits to business cards, postcards, and flyers. They take on a presence in the home of a consumer, where they can be lost, found, considered, and filed for the future. This gives online businesses an advantage over the rest of the crowd on a search engine page, where it is all too easy to click and then click away without a second thought.
Start with a Small Investment
Large, established companies continue to use print advertising as an essential tool of engagement with the consumer. This might seem like a daunting investment for a business used to operating with a lightweight infrastructure. However, with the wide range of low cost, full color choices available through Hotcards, it’s easy to start small, with a postcard direct mailing campaign, business cards, or a small run of brochures.
Once you begin to see, and benefit from, the results of your investment, you can ramp the print campaign up using any of the strategies listed above. Thanks to the low cost of printing services like Hotcards, ebusinesses can maintain a lightweight infrastructure, while benefiting from advertising techniques used by major players on and off the web.