Online Advertising Versus Traditional Media Advertising
Before I compare today's online advertising with traditional media advertising I will make an analogy.
If you've been on the Internet for as long as I have, you probably noticed that things have changed dramatically. About 6, 7 years if you were using online dating sites it was a lot easier to connect with people that were genuinely interested in chatting with you and then meeting you if things were going well. Nowadays things are much different. People do not hesitate to chat online with you but suddenly stop. They might even give you their phone numbers, but if you attempt to call them, they won't return your calls and you'll never hear from them.
When you advertise on the Internet and that you get online inquiries the exact same thing happens. If you try to email or call someone after they inquired about your products or services at your site, you may leave them messages and 9 out of 10 times they won't even bother returning your calls or emailing you back.
The Internet is the most impersonal thing you'll ever come across in your lifetime. People go online, browse sites but although they may inquire at your site they do not commit to anything. They don't see you, you can't see them thus there are absolutely no commitment on their part.
More importantly, the negligible cost of posting an ad on the Internet or blasting an e-mail promotion has attracted a lot of unsavory characters to the web. Some make all kinds of ridiculous and irresponsible claims. Others are nothing more than rip-off artists.
As a result, I strongly believe that prospects are far more skeptical of promises made in online sales copy than they are of benefits promised in direct mail, television, radio, or print.
Also in direct mail, you have a much better opportunity to address all important points about your offer. A brochure or a special report gives you a lot more to present your headline and proof elements than you get on a web page or in the subject line of an email blast.
And of course, direct mail pieces tend to be longer copy and have a longer shelf life in your prospect's home than web based campaigns do, so response differentials driven by the added copy, credibility elements and so on can be significant.
Online advertising is a lot cheaper than direct mail advertising. There are close to 12 billion pages and about 10 millions being added daily. You don't need much money to operate an online business. You can get a website for almost nothing. Online advertising is really saturated with mortgage, insurance, debt consolidation and other offers.
People are bombarded everyday with solicitations
It is very well known that online mortgage lead providers resell their leads so many times that it is not unusual to hear someone say that their online inquiry resulted in 20 or more calls. How can you possibly close a deal when that occurs?
When people seek information on a product or service online, search engines come up with hundreds of thousands of websites if not MILLIONS. It is so easy for someone to click on a text link ad, a banner or a pop ad and place an inquiry. If an online user makes 10 inquiries it means that each company has 10% chances of closing that lead. That is assuming that it is a serious inquiry. Since 1 out of 10 does not even bother replying to your emails or returning your calls, I would say that you may need 100 inquiries to close one of them.
The fundamental difference between online advertising and direct mail is that when you send a postcard or a letter to a recipient it is between you and them. They can read your offer and if they like what they see, they WILL MAKE THE EFFORT TO CALL YOU. This is an important step forward that shows a genuine interest in learning about your offer. Unlike online inquiry where online users simply fill out a form, it does not commit them to anything AT ALL. They do not interact with you, they cannot ask you questions, and thus you cannot remove their objections. If you cannot build a report with an online user NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.
People buy from people they like and trust.
When someone reads your mail piece, the only way they can find out more about your offer is by CALLING YOU. The fact that they call you shows that they are more serious about their inquiry. Once you can speak to them, they can ask you questions and you can answer their objections. That is the only way a sale can happen.
If everything goes very well, they may move forward on your offer without shop around. As a matter of fact this past Friday an individual in New York called me and inquired about marketing services. At the end of the conversation he was so pleased about our conversation that he told me: "You are the first one I talk to and I will not call anybody else". BANG!!!
That is why you should never underestimate the power of direct mail, radio, and TV advertising. When you advertise using those mediums people have to call you and at that time you get a real chance to prove that your have a fabulous offer that they cannot decline or they'd be foolish. You can build a report with the individual and if everything goes well people won't even bother shopping around, and if they do, they will certainly not call 10 companies.
The Internet offers none of that. I talked to another individual this past Friday, we had a great conversation. I taught him a lot about online lead generation companies. As I was did that he started asking me if I had heard of 5, 6 companies. Most of them I had never heard of. I couldn't believe all those companies he was trying to contact to get mortgage leads. That conversation just proved me that I was right in my thinking. Search engines come up with a long list of companies so it is very easy for online users to contact many advertisers. That dramatically reduces your chances of closing a deal.
Shared Direct Mail Advertising
Sure direct mail, or radio advertising is a lot more expensive but it is also a lot more effective. You should seriously think about using Shared Direct Mail or Media Insert advertising to cut your cost of advertising.
I found a local newspaper that offers me 10,000 8,5 x 5,5 full color inserts for just $370. And guess what? I am going to ask another company to advertise on the other side of the flyer and we will split the cost. Where can you find 10,000 flyers printed and distributed for just $185? Everywhere as long as you keep searching for good ideas.
What do I mean by good ideas? COST EFFECTIVE MARKETING SOLUTIONS that can give you great return on your investment. As online advertising space keep being more and more crowded everyday and as search engines keep changing their algorithm, you should NOT depend on online advertising to build a long-term business. If you do so , it could mean serious trouble sooner or later. Remember that technology changes very fast.
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