Cross-Promotion: The Basics

Cross-Promotion is absolutely key to driving traffic to your website. You can place all the Internet ads you want, but nothing will bring prospects from your local marketplace to you more effectively than integrating your website with the rest of your marketing efforts.

Recently, as we were updating the materials in our Online Marketing Resources, we came across some of the tips we first suggested for cross-promotion, years ago when the idea of having a business website was new and exciting, and more than just a simple necessity. Most of them seem like no-brainers, now, but I highly recommend you give this list a quick look to make sure you’re on top of your cross-promotion efforts.

Consider these tips the ABSOLUTE BASICS for Cross-Promoting your website.

Add your Web site and Email address to your stationery, letterhead and business cards

Don’t underestimate the value that your own correspondence can have in promoting your Web site, even to established customers.  You put your mailing address, phone and fax numbers on your stationery and business cards, why wouldn’t you put your email and Web address on as well?

Remember that email and the Web are just different methods of communicating.  You want to give people as many different ways of contacting you as possible.  If you provide a method that’s convenient for a potential customer, the likelihood they’ll contact you is increased.  And for more and more people these days, email is the most convenient.

When printing new letterhead and cards, consider doing a limited run with your new Internet information in bold print, or in red, and use this paper first.  It draws attention to your new Internet presence and encourages people to check it out.

If you’re on a tight budget and want to use up your old stationery, consider adding a header or footer with the new information to your documents.  Write it on your business cards if you have to (although beware of how professional this looks), or consider printing up small stickers to add to the card.  The key thing is to get your Internet contact information out there!

Consider the other paper your business produces, as well, such as order forms, purchase orders, etc.  Get your Internet info on these, too.

Add a P.S. to ALL Your Correspondence, Announcing Your Site

Busy people read correspondence quickly, sometimes giving the barest glance to letterhead and ignoring contact details until they need them.  So even if you’ve printed new stationery with your Web and email addresses on it, people may overlook this information.

Therefore, promote your Web site by announcing your new Internet presence in a P.S. to your correspondence.  People are likely to read a P.S. because it looks short and often contains useful information.   Plus, because it’s part of your letter, it’s more likely to be viewed than in your letterhead.

Like everywhere else, be sure to include the benefit to THEM of visiting your web site.  Don’t just list your web site.

This strategy can apply to any correspondence you send out, not just business letters.  You can add an announcement line to the bottom of your invoices or purchase orders.  The benefit of using these announcements on your new stationery is that your Web site can be promoted twice, even three times on the same page.

Some examples that you might wish to try:

P.S.  Learn how to sell your home fast and for top dollar.  Visit http://www.craigproctor.com.

P.S.  Beat other buyers to HOT, NEW Listings.  Join our VIP Buyer Program at http://www.craigproctor.com.

P.S.  For a FREE, Over-the-Net Home Evaluation, visit http://www.craigproctor.com.

Announce Site On Your Voice Mail

Don’t forget to tell people WHY they should go look!

Again, remember you’re providing your customers and contacts with an alternative method for getting in touch or getting information.  A customer calling for details about one of your products can do their own preliminary research by turning to your Web site, if they hear the address on your voice mail message.  This way, you’re maintaining the customer’s interest in the product even while you’re on the phone!

You might want to try something like this:

"Hi, this is John Smith.  I’m sorry I missed your call, but please leave a detailed message at the tone.  To find out how to sell your home fast and for top dollar or to learn how to beat other buyers to hot new listings, visit my web site at www.JohnSmith.com."

Create and Use a Powerful Email Signature

Just like paper correspondence, your outgoing email messages should promote your Web site.   In addition to your name, your email signature should contain your Web and email addresses, your phone number, and possibly a promotional slogan.

This “signature” will appear at the end of every email message you send.   Make sure everyone on your staff is doing the same thing.  You never know where that next big commission will come from.

Most email programs have an automatic signature feature, which allows you to type signature information once, to be added to the end of all new messages.  This feature can save you typing as well as make sure that you promote your site with every message you send.

Example:

———-
John Smith
A1 Real Estate Company
Email: john@johnsmith.com
(555)555-5555
1-800-555-5555 Toll Free

Visit my website http://www.johnsmith.com for FREE information.
-Buy a Home With NO Money Down
-Distress Sales
-FREE Seller Reports-Sell Your Home Fast And For Top Dollar
-FREE Buyer Reports-Get The Most Home For Your Money
-FREE Over-The-Net Home Evaluation
-Find Out What The House Down The Street Sold For
-And much more…

Add Your Website To Your Signs and Billboards

Here’s the bottom line: Put your Internet contact information on everything that will be seen by other people.  Anywhere you’d put your phone number, put your Web address on it as well.

Listing Signs

Add a sign rider that has both your website address and an appropriate tagline giving people a reason to visit.  Make sure that your website address is clearly readable as people drive by.  People will remember your domain name much more easily that your phone number — Make sure they can read it!

Example:

Buy This Home And I’ll Buy Yours For Cash!
Visit http://www.johnsmith.com

Billboards

If possible, print your Internet info in a different color, so your regular clients will notice the new ways of contacting you.  Remember that your website is often easier to remember than your phone number.  If you’ve named your website after yourself, you might try simply adding “www.” before your name and “.com” after it using a different color and smaller font.  If your billboard is already up, consider adding brightly colored stickers before (WWW.) and after (.COM) your name.

Make sure that you give people a reason to visit your site.

Tell Everyone About Your Site

You can’t do this enough!

This might seem redundant, but it’s important that you get in the habit of telling people about your Internet presence.   After all, a lot of Web site promotion is about word-of-mouth, and at least you know you’re doing your part.

Make people aware of all the services that you provide on the site. Don’t forget to tell all your clients about your new site and ask them to refer it to their friends. This is especially important when you are dealing with new clients.

In fact, get used to giving out your Web and email addresses at the same time as your phone and fax numbers.

As always, remember to provide the your web site address and a “tagline” describing a benefit for visiting the site.

You May Want To Try This Strange Greeting:

Some Web site owners have taken to humorously introducing themselves: “Hi, I’m JohnSmith.com”.  This may be a bit much, but it does convey both your name and how to get in touch with you in one quick sentence.

Collect Email Addresses From ALL Your Contacts

Any time you take down details for a contact – for orders, general inquiries, whatever – ask for an email address in addition to their phone, fax, etc.   This signals to the contact that you are “online” and may cause them to ask about your Internet details.  (And even if they don’t you can – and should – provide them yourself!)

The other benefit of doing this is that it builds up a database of email addresses, which you can make use of during Internet marketing campaigns.

Remember that many users will be reluctant to provide their email address because they fear you’ll sell it to a bulk email marketer, and their Inbox will soon be filled with junk mail.  Be sure to tell customers you won’t do this, and tell them exactly what you will use the address for.  Again, be sure to mention your web site and the benefits it can provide.

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