10 Offline Advertising Ideas to Increase Sales

In some markets, growing your business “the old-fashioned way” could be more profitable than sticking to your digital guns. Here’s why: the classic methods of advertising—deeply based on direct mail marketing, eons before the internet—never get old. That’s why these offline advertising methods will help your business sales skyrocket (or at the least, increase).

1. Billboards

Forget social media. Stay far away all network platforms that lets you interact with customers online. Social media is dead. At least it is for our purposes: Ie., to use offline advertising methods and principles for increasing sales. We’re taking things old school. Think about the dollars all the big players pour into billboard ads in downtown NYC and the Canadian city of Toronto, for example.

Old school offline advertising still works.

2. Radio Trades

Many college towns and smaller cities have a small handful of radio stations. Some big cities even have more than one. Capitalize on this by offering the DJs and managers of those stations’ free products, in exchange for spreading the message about your business.

3. Sponsorships

A lot of community events that need funding. This is one of the most effective offline advertising methods you can use to attract brand followers. Allocate a portion of your marketing and advertising towards sponsoring these community events. Think about the last time you watched a sporting event – I’ll bet there were loads of sponsorships from companies all over the place.

4. Canopies

Many outdoor events need vendors. If your business draws a crowd, chances are you’ll increase your sales. A custom canopy is a fantastic tool for doing this, since you can pay to have your canopy/tent designed however you want. They are reasonably priced, they go a long way towards stretching your marketing budget and promoting your business offline.

Canopy ads effective offline advertising method

5. Newspaper Ads and Editorials

Newspapers are a fantastic way of showing people what your business has to offer, and will make your brand seem more personable. Offline advertising via newspaper ads and guest editorials used to be THE way to get public attention to your products. As opposed to merely advertising in the paper (which has a lot of stiff competition.) Strive to seek out specialized newspapers and specific regions to target audiences better.

6. Direct Mail

With the help of a list broker, you will be given access to thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of lists. These lists contain information about how many people bought product XYZ, how much they spent on it, and how frequently that product was purchased. For a fee, the broker will then give you the addresses of those customers. All you must do is write a personalized sales letter addressing that customer, selling your products or services, and mail it.

7. Freebies

Who doesn’t love free? Go around to town stores and ask them if you can stock free samples on their display. They may or may not agree, depending on how you set up the offer. This investment does mean that you will be losing sales, since the products are for free. It’s an investment that has the potential for doubling your sales.

8. Booths

Is there a trade show going on in your town? Get in on it. People come to these events for the specific purpose of trying out products and learning about services that can help them. You can show these people why your business is the most skilled at the industry it’s in.

Trade shows effective offline advertising method
Image Credit: popculturegeek/Flickr

9. Workshops

Workshops are like seminars – meaning you invite a group of people and teach them something about the industry you’re in. Yet another offline advertising method that online marketing gurus claim is dead due to the rise of the uber cheap webinar. The educational value of a workshop is priceless, as attendees are there for a reason: Ie., to learn. This is a great brand promotion opportunity as well, as we tend to trust brands and people that know what they’re doing.

10. Joint Advertising

Advertising is expensive. Even though you try and save, it may not be enough. That’s why it’s good to seek out other businesses in your industry that are interested in offline advertising in addition to online methods, and offer to promote each other’s services. Both of you enjoy the benefits of spending half the time, money and effort that goes into offline advertising, then split the profits after they’re tallied.


We haven’t always lived in the digital age. The principles and ideas we’ve talked about were profitable for companies long before the world grew addicted to the internet. If increasing your business’s sales is your current mission, remember that behind every screen, there’s a real person. A person with a burning need or problem. Your business is the solution to that problem. Show them how you can be of service.