Using Offline Tactics To Drive Website Traffic


We all know that you can use PPC to drive traffic to a company’s website. We’ve all experimented with Facebook ads and digital banners to send people to our sites. But did you know that traditional media could still be one of the most effective means of improving site traffic? Here are a few ideas on how offline advertising tactics can drive traffic to your company’s website.

Television Ads  A recent survey of 2,276 UK consumers between 14 and 75 years of age found that 64% of respondents say they visited a website after seeing a television commercial. 98% of people chose TV as their favorite type of media. So yes, TV commercials are expensive, but for many brand categories such as fast food, automotive, retail, etc. TV is the smartest way to engage and drive traffic web-ward.

QR Codes  These odd little boxes of jagged mazes are popping up all over the place in magazine ads, direct mail pieces, on menus and packaging. Scan them with your smart phone and they rocket you to a website landing page. One brand that’s used QR codes effectively has been Heinz. In 2011, Heinz added QR codes on their new environmentally friendly ketchup bottles. The QR codes linked to a mobile site where users could win prizes by answering a green knowledge trivia question. After that campaign ended, Heinz reported that more than 1 million consumers scanned the codes.

Outdoor Boards  Outdoor advertising varies in costs throughout the country, but, all and all, it still has one of the lowest costs per thousands of impressions of any purchased media around. Use headlines and visuals that drive consumers to the site. Online giant, eBay effectively used outdoor advertising internationally to create awareness to drive traffic to their site with the launch of the 2012 “Want it. Get it.” campaign. Warning: do not put a QR code on a billboard. Scanning can be really dangerous.

Transit Cards  If you live in a high-density city with mass transit, transit cards or bus cards are a perfect way to drive people to your website. Think of all those people with mobile devices sitting captive staring at your ad. With the right creative message, you can get prospect visitors browsing your site in no time.

Radio Spots  Radio can be produced affordably. Plus, the frequency achieved with a radio schedule goes much farther than a TV campaign given the same dollars. Internet traffic peaks during the day while people are at work.  Drive-time radio lets you target people while they are driving to work. Use your radio message to drive people to your brand’s website. Radio is also a good medium for both humor and emotion. Last year, we used radio for Caron Treatment Centers to deliver poignant stories of individuals battling their drug use and alcoholism. Each spot drove the listener to the URL: We mentioned the URL twice and even spelled out Caron so people didn’t misspell the brand name. The campaign dramatically increased website hits.

Newspaper Ads  The Internet has definitely changed the traditional landscape. Sadly, newspaper readership is trending down. It seems only the diehards who like to get ink smudged on their fingers while enjoying their first cup of coffee still subscribe. But consider this: take a market where there are 50 radio stations. Ask people which radio station they listen to. You’ll likely get 50 different answers. Ask them which newspaper they read and they will give the same answer – the local newspaper. Plus, independent studies indicate that newspaper ads out perform TV ads in driving traffic to a website. The theory is that your site will get greater readership if the visitor is a reader not a passive viewer. A full-page newspaper ad still catches the eye. So don’t knock newspaper off your list just yet.

Direct Mail  If not done right, direct mail can be a pricey way to drive prospects to your website. Do your research and buy a really targeted list. Then direct people to your company website every single page to get optimum web traffic. Plus, you can even reverse engineer this process. New tracking software available today can actually tell you who is visiting your site. In a business-to-business industry, that knowledge is power. If you spot a prospect has been poking around your site but still hasn’t phoned or opted in, send them a high impact direct mail piece, then follow up with a phone call. They will be amazed at the “coincidence.”

Trade Magazines  Magazines are still an effective means of attracting people to your company’s website. Trade publications are quite affordable and allow you to interact with editorial content and show industry leadership. There are lots of creative ways to push customers to your website. Ask questions in your ads that your website answers. Show “before” images that take the reader to the website to see the “after.” Don’t forget to use QR codes and other tricks to invite readers to go to your site.

We are a Dallas Advertising Agency specializing in integrated marketing.