I have read so much about the ‘right’ way to do things online, from ‘the 7 irresistible ways to generate traffic’ to ‘the 10 best strategies to become the next internet marketing guru’ that I have noticed that, while the numbers from 1 to 100 are all being used effectively to create catchy (and SEO-friendly titles) there is not much attention to the other side of the coin.
Have you in fact recently read about the ‘10 most improbable ways to sell online’ or ‘the worst strategy to generate online traffic’?
I believe that people deserve to be told the truth and, in all honesty, learning about the ‘worst’ strategies can be as effective as learning about the (supposed) ‘best’ ones.
So I have decided to write about the single most improbable (and not proven, since it’ improbable) way to generate traffic online.
There is much talking about how digital is a reflection of the physical world and how useful the digital channels are to make ‘real’ beings (human, for the most part…) engage with their real thoughts and words, and so that they take real action…
This most improbable strategy, therefore, is dedicated to all those who believe that digital should SERVE the physical.
SO, here you go: the most improbable strategy to generate online traffic, IN the physical world.
Perhaps there are still people who remember when, at the park or at the beach, a plane flew by discharging all its load of colorful and papery leaflets, wither urging people to go refresh themselves with a famous cola brand, or to vote ‘right’ at the upcoming elections…
It doesn’t matter what the goal of that campaign was, the joy of the people receiving that unexpected ‘personal’ message from the sky was the forefather of the SMS’s – a message without phone… incredible, right?!
That piece of paper was collected and folded to be kept somewhere in the wallet or lost in a remote corner of the car.
The point is that that message was more durable than most of the messages that are nowadays circulated on the most prominent digital platforms’…
The persistence of a message on twitter is a handful of minutes.
A good old leaflet can resist the test of time!
It is documented how people have been seen retrieving leaflets with their messages still integer after some 10 or 15 years from the original event! (…well, at least I know I have…)
Some of these messages reported CTAs that were no longer supported, and even companies that were no longer in existence: what another proof do we need when a marketing message survives the originator??
This is a real feat!
Imagine the same happening now: leaflets unloaded by the occasional propeller plane with a QR code or the desired internet address on unaware bystanders, with a great and compelling CTA.
Who, laying on the beach to sunbathe, could resist the temptation to either go straight to their phone to test the CTA or simply fold the paper away in their wallet or purse, to follow up once back home or to the hotel, or while at the bar or at the restaurant!
Let’s run some numbers (absolutely unproven), shall we?
On an average sunny day, about 100.000 leaflets can be easily distributed on packed, sandy and crowded beaches… even if ONLY 10% of the leaflets converted in a visit, that would mean 10k visits in one single day… I’d say not shabby.
Who said that leaflets were old and moldy, uh?
But the interesting post-effect of the non-converted leaflets is also very interesting: of the thousands of leaflets that will remain on the beach and along the roads, a certain percentage is also very likely to convert.
Here you go then with a strategy that generates conversions days, weeks and even months after its launch (depending on how often the roads are cleaned and how good the paper and the ink of the leaflets).
Another reason to go for it? The word of mouth effect.
Have you ever seen anyone sharing a digital Ad with someone…? No!
Whereas you can now pass your leaflet around, or simply drop it in your hated neighbor’s inbox et voilà – here you increase the reach and chances of conversion, for FREE! (plus you clog your neighbor’s mailbox).
Let’s now have a look at some drawbacks.
Of course, this would possibly not be the most eco-friendly solution.
Furthermore, I am not even sure it is legally allowed anymore…
But can you imagine all those grown-ups and adults all of a sudden brought back to when they were young and innocent and leaflets were the norm?
As I say, I don’t have any way to test any of the numbers used in this article and, if you ever decide to give it a go, I suggest you inform yourself about its legitimacy and get ready to receive a lot of complaints by people who simply want to lay on the beach without being disturbed, or by environment-savvy citizens and associations.
Keep reading this blog for some other great-worse and wonderfully-improbable digital marketing strategies.