Google has been called a 1 trick pony over the years but as Eric Schmidt has said it is one hell of a trick. I have to agree with Mr. Schmidt 100%. At the same time Google is developing a lot of PPC alternatives to their one trick pony. What Google has more than any other business is traffic to their homepage, millions of users per day looking and researching different subjects, basically everything under the sun and over the sun.
What Google has going for it is unmistakable, they have traffic and relevancy. If you are looking for blue lampshades you can find them on Google and if you are willing to bid on “blue lampshades” as a key term Google is willing to rent that first page and that first position if and only if you are willing to pay for it. While it is possible to use SEO to rank for blue lampshades, SEO takes time and there are no guaranteed that you or anyone else will rank in the first position for blue lampshades in their organic search results. This is why PPC is so powerful; you can get immediate results, if you have the money.
So the challenge is to find other PPC alternatives that can boost your traffic with relevant clients. I think that while you might be able to use Facebook’s PPC solution I’m not so sure that the folks on Facebook are in buying mode when they are the social media site as they are in buying mode when they are on Google. So let’s take a look at 3 other so called PPC Alternatives that will get you immediate traffic and relevant traffic.
1) Direct mail –still the 800# gorilla
2) Newsletter ads – targeted audience
3) E-mail Marketing – listing building is essential for any business
Direct Mail Marketing
With direct mail we can rent a mailing list from a list rental company like InfoUSA. We can select the list based on the users’ preferences. Let’s say our current client base has an income of $86,000, female between the age of 35 -50 and they live in metro areas like New York City. We can ask InfoUSA to pull a list from their database and see how many people come up based on those demographics and preferences.
If too many people come up in the list we might want to narrow the geographic area or the age range we are selecting. In terms of testing I probably would test a list of 5,000 names to mail to and mail to them 5-7 times. Sending out 1 postcard or direct mail brochure just does not do the trick, we need multiple “impressions” in order to be heard from the client.
Next I would make sure that I drive the prospects to a 800# and a landing page, more specifically a “personalized landing page” known as PURL. This way we can track the people who chose to visit the landing page and track the people who call us. One of the other suggestions is to make sure that there is a call to action on the PURL, or make that multiple calls to actions. We want the user to call, add themselves to our newsletter, follow us on our Twitter account, become a fan of our Facebook Fan page, in other words we want them to TAKE ACTION!
Direct mail marketing will drive traffic to you quickly and with relevancy.
Newsletter ads are great because like direct mail we are reaching a targeted audience. I would recommend finding the magazines and websites that your audience reads and visits and then contacting those publications. Once you contact those publications ask them about their demographics. Do their demographics map back to yours? Ask them about their open rates. If they have a list of 10,000 and an open rate of 20% then you might have 2,000 people view your ad. So the real number you are going to be in front of is 2,000, not 10,000.
The same goes here as in direct mail. You need multiple impressions in front of these folks. If the publication mails once per month you might want to buy a 3 or 6 month spend, this way your ad is repetitive 3 to 6 times over the next few months. You can easily track click through rates back to your web site as well as phone calls from this source of traffic using something like a Keymetrics tracking system.
E-mail marketing is the holy grail. It costs virtually next to nothing to manage and send. I use Infusionsoft for most of my e-mail marketing. However, e-mail marketing does require maintaining and fine tuning. Every business if they aren’t already should be building their list both in e-mail and direct mail. List building and PR or public relations are the 2 most cost effective ways to market and build a business. If you don’t have a list go into your contact manager and make one. Find 100 people who can use your products and services. Add them you your list and start building and mailing. Ask them to opt in to your new list about blue lampshades. You will be surprised at how many people actually appreciate that you stay in touch with them.
It is interesting sending out e-mail to your list. You might not think that your customers and prospects read them and some don’t but you still might get a call anyway because they see the mail come in and it reminds them to call you on a completely different topic. I try and mail not so much on a regular basis but only when I think I have something of value to offer my readers.
If you have any questions please feel free to comment below or call 781-990-8844.