Using offline promotions is one of the best, though often overlooked, ways to build your email list. For beginning marketers, in particular, or publishers on a shoestring budget, it's a great opportunity to spread the word without spending a fortune.
 
Promoting offline can sometimes make it harder to reach your target audience, since you may not know as easily where they can be found – especially true if you have a narrow, niche market. So using a broader stroke in your marketing efforts is acceptable as long as you see good results.
 
The ways to promote your business offline are only as limited as your imagination. Here are a handful of ideas to spark your own creativity. The best part: They are relatively low-cost and won't break the bank. 
  • Fill a small zipper bag with a few Hershey's Kisses, your business card, and a quarter-page flyer that includes details about your email list, and the benefits for subscribers. Distribute these freely wherever your target audience hangs out.
  • Leave a few brightly colored, half-page flyer with your email list information and subscription URL in the lobby when you stay in a hotel. Staple a mint to each page, so the maid doesn't automatically toss them. Do the same thing with a quarter-page flyer at restaurants, day cares, grocery stores, pharmacies, bookstores, the bank and anywhere else you visit.
  • Place a small classified ad in your local community paper. Local papers usually offer affordable advertising options that are seen by a large number of people. The nice thing about community papers is that most people read them from front to back, so even though the circulation may not be as large as other newspapers, the actual number of eyes that see your ad might be greater.
  • Set up a booth at community fairs such as those held by your church, parish, or local Chamber of Commerce. Fill a basket with candy to attract visitors, and host a contest for a free gift.
  • Create some simple drawing slips with a small print disclosure that anyone who enters will be subscribed to your mailing list, and require everyone who enters to include an email address. When the fair ends, draw a winner, and deliver or mail the prize.
  • Rent a booth at a local flea market, business expo, or county fair. Offer free goodies such as a small booklet related to your niche topic, and ask anyone who stops by to subscribe to your email list.
  • Balloons, pens, letter openers… all of these ideas that we think only work to build a brick-and-mortar business, can also work to build your subscriber mailing list – if you use them! Carry a few with you so when someone asks you what you do, you can hand them one of your promotional items.
  • Contact local businesses and ask if you can post a flyer on the inside of their restroom stalls in exchange for a free button, banner or text ad on your website. (This is a good place to use laminated flyers, too.)
  • Have a few T-shirts printed with your subscription URL and info on them. Something short like – "Free Budget Tips!" and the URL work great. Wear one when you're out and about.
Not every idea you have will draw noticeable results, but by using a variety of methods, you'll get the word out about your business much more quickly. Give a few of these techniques a shot and see what works. 
 
 
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