Posted Monday, October 25, 2004
You know how difficult it is to drive traffic to your site. The sheer numbers of websites make it all too easy to get lost in the crowd. Search engines are becoming less effective at keyword searches, banner advertising has a lower clickthrough rate than it once had .....
One solution to the traffic problem is offline advertising. Big names like Beyond.com are already promoting their site through commercial ads on national television networks
Those of us without deep pockets might do well to look for more affordable methods of offline advertising -- such as postcards containing a picture of your web site and a custom message. Let's call them "Netposts."
Here are just some of the ways that you might use Netposts.
* Mail them to clients in thanks for business.
* Send them business contacts in lieu of Christmas or other seasonal cards.
* Distribute them at networking groups and trade shows.
* Leave them in selected locations instead of brochures. For example, if your site is selling pet care products, publish some articles on pet care on your web site, then ask animal hospitals and veterinarian clinics if they will display your netposts.
* Send them out to potential customers before you make that cold call. Since the cards are colourful, attractive and easy to handle, they are more likely to be kept on display than a letter or even a brochure.
* Mail them to your customers to announce special deals, sales or other corporate news.
You can make your own netposts if you have the equipment, software and skill to use both effectively. You will need a graphics software program (i.e. PaintShop Pro, PhotoShop), a desktop publishing program (i.e. PageMaker, CorelDraw, MS Word), and sheets of blank postcards such as those sold by Avery (www.avery.com). You will also need access to a good quality color printer. Desktop bubble jets can work quite well when budgets are tight, but do not expect the same quality printing as you would from an offset printer.
Here is what you do:
1. Take a screen capture of your Web site. PC users, press the Print Screen button on your keyboard. Mac users, your instruction manual will tell you a keyboard command to use. A screen capture will save an image of your screen on the clipboard if you are using Windows, and on the desktop if you are using the Mac.
2. Open your graphics software application. Mac users, open the image that appeared on your desktop when you did the screen capture. PC users, open a new file then paste your clipboard contents onto the new file. (To paste, PC users use the keyboard command of Control V). Voila! You now have a graphic image of your home page. Edit and resize as desired.
3. Using a sheet of Avery postcards as your guide, lay out a postcard page in your desktop publishing program. Use your creativity to add text or other images if wanted.
4. Design a back page for your postcards, including your return address and any other message you require. You can also add recipients' addresses.
5. Print your front page onto your Avery postcards, using any good quality printer. Then, turn the postcards over, being careful to match upsides; and print the back page
There you have it. Your own do-it-yourself netposts!
About the Author
June Campbell, "How-to" Booklets, Guides, Templates, & eBooks
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