Back to the roots: The ultimate Offline Marketing Guide for online stores

You get letters for your birthday only from Ikea, family and friends send their congratulations via WhatsApp or Facebook?

No surprise that even companies are almost exclusively online and hardly make use of offline marketing anymore. But not everyone who lives in a developed country will use the same communication channels as the majority. So if you solely rely on online marketing, you are categorically excluding target groups that are not so familiar with the Internet or hardly use it at all. In addition, offline marketing can make you stand out from the crowd, as traditional advertising is a good alternative to the crowded online platforms of the competition. We have researched and found the most cost-effective and creative offline advertising ideas for you:

Flyer, Flyer, Flyer

That doesn't seem particularly new and creative to you? We'll show you why these classics are still the number 1 in offline advertising. Handing out flyers or throwing them into mailboxes is of course just as ineffective and annoying as spam mails or advertising calls. But with the right use, you can attract and retain customers with many attractive and also quite cheap flyers.

1. Flyer as a package insert
This is good for your own packages, but also for those of your competitors. This is easy to do, for example, at, where you can choose advertising partners whose packages you would like to include flyers, discount codes or product samples. You can do this for a contribution towards expenses or in exchange cooperation, i.e. with the promise that you will include flyers from the other company in your packages. It is best to choose shops that do not sell exactly the same as you do, but have a similar target group. If you run a shop for children's clothing, you could add your flyers to the packages of baby food stores or children's shoe shops.

Why is this method so effective? How great does it feel to have finally received the package you have been looking forward to for days? Very much, and therefore it is much more likely to pay attention to and be happy about advertising inserts in such a fundamentally positive situation than in other situations where it is not clear in which mood the person is.

2. Putting out flyers where your customers are around
You would like to handle out flyers by yourself? Why don't you display them in your shop when you run one and think about where else you can find your customers. In the café next door, at the bakery around the corner or maybe at the weekly market. Be creative, put yourself in the shoes of your customers and at the same time make contact with the shops in your town, whose flyers or posters you can hang up in return. A good reputation in the town is always a step in the right direction.

Free press about you

When you think of advertising in the press, do you only think of expensive ads in local magazines? Well, here's the thing.
Most magazines and trade journals suffer from acute staff shortages and therefore also from a lack of necessary input. So just look for magazines that deal with topics of your industry and send them an e-mail with a proposal for a cooperation. In doing so, you can offer an article, a statement or an interview with you about a current topic that has to do with your online shop. For example, an article about the disposable society today, mentioning at the same time that you sell reusable jute bags in your online shop, so that you don't have to buy a new shopping bag at the checkout every time, or an interview about the history of your business idea if you sell something unusual, new.

As long as the newspaper receives added value from your article, you can assume that your suggestion will be gratefully received. Just give it a try!

Local radio stations are also always happy to receive new ideas and suggestions, so it's worth a try to ask for a cooperation here. There are also school newspapers or university radio stations. Just be creative and think about what might interest the readers and listeners.

You can also create another win-win situation by giving away free promotional items, such as a free jute bag per purchase or pens for local schools. With each person more, which runs around with a bag with Logo of your Shop on the shoulder, the probability rises that non customers become attentive on your Shop. So being generous is definitely worth it!

Guerrilla marketing

Now it's getting exciting. But the best way to explain guerrilla marketing is to see for yourself:

This looks like a lot of work and money? It probably is. But the principle of guerrilla marketing, i.e. getting a lot of attention by changing old familiar places, can also be realised on a small scale and can attract a similar amount of attention. There are no limits to your creativity. Good examples are sewing or clothing stores that knit in trees, lanterns or benches in front of their shop or embellish them with fabrics or clothing. Any form of street-crossing garlands that refer to the shop and remain in the memory or other creative ideas that catch the eye, are funny and will establish your brand. Very few small shops are aware of the effect such promotions can have and therefore do not make use of them. So be the one who uses the element of surprise and stays in memory.

Be present in your region

Of course, not every online shop operator also has a retail shop. Nevertheless, in most cases you can turn the location factor to your advantage. Be there at city festivals, trade fairs and wherever you expect your customers to come to tell them personally about your business and your products. In the end, your customers might not care from where you sell your products online. However, it has been proven that a location in the immediate vicinity promotes sympathy and identification, which can thus become a motive for buying. So if you try to create a good image of your shop in your area, promotional gifts (including small items such as pens or highlighters with the URL of your online shop), which you can take home and become signposts to your shop, will also help you.

If you also run a store, it is even more important to be known in town. So make a special effort on Sundays when the shops are open for business and at town festivals or markets, your potential customers will notice that too. Offer free coffee and snacks, put some flyer besides or give away some jute bags or balloons with your logo, so that your customers become your local brand ambassadors and automatically attract people to your shop who haven't visited it yet.

Word-of-mouth recommendation

Not only satisfied customers tell their neighbours and friends positive things about your shop. Often forgotten, but even more important are your employees. They should be your biggest fans! If this is not the case, you are doing something wrong. After all, you have a unique idea which you have already put into practice and you are enthusiastic about. You should be able to transfer this enthusiasm to your employees and make their work as pleasant as possible. Because no advertising is more honest than that of satisfied employees who, on the one hand, automatically describe after work their positive impressions of their day and, on the other hand, will, with a clear conscience, only tell positive things about your company when receiving specific questions about their job. Often little things can make a big difference, such as personalized T-shirts or diarys with your logo, bags of Christmas cookies in the run-up to Christmas or a little something for your birthday. Think about what you would be happy about and enjoy organizing and giving the little things as gifts.

Conclusion: Online marketing vs. offline marketing
Online marketing is almost always free and fast, but it does not always reach the right people. Offline marketing is more specific and associated with direct feedback, but more complex to plan and not always easy to measure. And what should you do now? Exactly, do both!

1.Present offline marketing campaigns online
No matter what offline marketing you are planning, show it to your followers online. Whether it's the design of the new flyer or the preparations for an open for business Sunday: Use this content to show your online community that you are active and that you care about your customers. At the same time, make sure that potential customers visit your store when they find out on Facebook or Instagram, that a late night shopping event or similar is coming up. You can also upload 24-hour stories to Instagram, where you insight into what's coming up and what's going on. These exclusive insights make your followers feel special and keep them interested in what you're planning and doing.

2.present online marketing actions offline
Of course, the whole thing also works in reverse. Mention all the social media channels you are represented on and of course your website and online shop address on your flyers, business cards and other merchandise. Tell your customers about your online shop when they buy offline and maybe even offer them discount codes that save them 5€ on their first online purchase.

Final conlcusion Without one, the other can only rarely work, so the following applies: The better the two marketing measures are linked, the more successful your advertising will be.

Lisa Weber