Has anyone had any success in advertising a website via offline advertising campaigns? How can you track conversions? How do you know how well the campaign did for you?

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Tracking an offline campaign is very, very hard to do. I've seen people employee all types of tricks but mostly it comes down to special urls and people simply don't always use those. The most effective way to track a campaign is by using a discount or bonus code that gives the new visitor something for entering a tracking code -- of course if you don't sell anything (like a forum), this does very little.

In terms of how to do local advertising, that really depends on the forum. For ScubaBoard our site is based entirely around an activity that people can only do in the real world. There are thousands of shops that offer services/ equipment sales, thousands more resorts, charters and other companies all of whom can help promote our name. The industry also has numerous publications and has even been the subject of a few movies. Thus when we do local promotion it really does mean going traditional. In the past we've used everything from print ads in some of the smaller magazines to fliers for a very targeted group to stickers and giveaways for more massive branding. Right now I am developing a more serious offline campaign which includes an initial order of 10,000 promotional stickers. We will also be attending a few trade shows this year with a booth in order to promote the site in person to thousands of potential members. Tomorrow I'm attending a local event one of our clubs holds every month. I'm going to interact with users, get in the water and have a good time but there is certainly a promotional value in my time there as well (and in the banner they asked me to bring along).

For a site like this one where the user base is online mostly, targeting a campaign in the real world can be far harder. There are a few nice magazines that have decent circulation numbers and may be worth investing in, although most are already well versed with forum communities given that subscribing means finding the magazine in the first place. Finding success here really means thinking outside the box and employing a unique campaign to hunt down webmasters. This means going outside of the webmaster arena and trying to sort out who webmasters are -- if you can establish common interests you can target them in other mediums. This might mean attending a more general trade show as an exhibitor in order to draw in the webmasters who also attend. It could also mean doing promotion in local publications that may not be webmaster focused but cater to potential webmaster demographics. Stickers and giveaways may not seem as effective but given the mass proliferation of the Internet they certainly can work. In the area where I currently reside (Irvine/ Southern Orange County) we have offices for almost every major high tech company. Placing an ad in a weekly magazine would certainly get eyeballs from webmasters, the question of course is how many and at what cost.

As I've said a few times, any successful marketing campaign must include offline advertising at some point. Discovering the right way to do that really depends on the site and your ability to isolate potential visitors and target them. Tracking also requires a unique approach to get even basic values and sometimes even that isn't possible -- you just have to look at overall traffic flows and try to figure out if there is any correlation (of course correlation doesn't always mean causality). Even tracking online campaigns is hard to do completely although many advertisers think otherwise; people remember names, they come back later and they don't always do what you want them to do for your research purpose. Offline most advertising means branding and that often means higher costs or more out-of-the-box solutions, but that's the fun part.

I Have really thought about trying it. Since progs4sale is very new, I really havent considered it.

I went to the JupiterMedia Search Engine Strategies expo this week. And there was a booth there by: http://www.btobonline.com/ They are a print magazine for B2B marketers and I think might be a good fit for attracting an I.T. audience to DaniWeb (or selling some I.T.-related advertising, at least). I think I'm actually going to first go ahead and do an e-mail newsletter campaign with them. This way, I can get a feel for whether their audience responds well and converts well for me. This way I'll feel more comfortable delving into print.

Umm if you had big bucks to spend.....Bill Boards

I have not tried offline marketing, mostly because I don't think any of my sites would really be ideal for that sort of marketing, but I hear it is a mixed bag.

Offline advertising is a great way to advertise. Even for sites like these. (tech forums.. tutoriols etc) You just have to find the right outlet. For example: A site like this may want to market/advertise in a computer store. Get "in" with the management at small computer stores and see if you could put a banner/poster on the window or something in that nature.

just some ideas.

Quick offline technique is to have your advertising publish a website that the potential customer has to go online to, then leave and opt-in box on that site to capture e-mail address and build a list, you will now be able to tell through a combination of google analytics how many people are coming to the site, and who is opt-in to your list. Then you can use an auto responder to send them sales information.

Very nice information regarding offline marketing.Are you tired from unwanted calls here are few links for you:

If the offline ad is innovative and compelling, it can help promote online presence.

I do not say we are successful but we always place our website URLs into any print advertising or printed material; especially material related to a particular campaign.

I totally agree - this should be the bare minimum - in order to cement association of the company's online presence.

thanks for sharing such a nice view and thoughts on this thread.
i thinks for Offline advertising campaign i will choose Advertising on TV Channels.

I never did cause I have seen example with better results in online!

Thanks Sexy Wear - but how does this answer the question?

I think the best advertise is on web 2.0 pages!

I never try offline advertising before, but I guess,offline advertising only works best locally,only radio advertising and newspaper ads I know so far,and to track their effectiveness,I think you will not find other way but survey

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