How to Drive Traffic to lead Pages Using Print Ads

One of the most common challenges facing small business websites is that they don’t get enough traffic.

Many of the small business owners I’ve spoken with over the last twenty years told me their number one problem was low traffic… and they didn’t really know what to do about it apart from paying through the nose for ‘SEO’.

Well I’ve spoken at length about using Google Ads and other forms of online advertising.

But there’s one tactic I haven’t covered much — certainly not in enough detail to do it justice — and I’ll hedge a bet that hardly any of your competitors are doing this effectively, if at all!

Going Offline to Get People Online.

One of the best ways of getting an almost guaranteed and quite sudden rush of traffic to your web site is to run a print campaign.

Yes, I know – who would have thought that going offline would work these days!

However, in my experience, advertising in print is one of the most underused mediums for getting traffic to a web site.

It’s probably a huge opportunity waiting for you.

Here’s how to do it….

Step 1) Target a Segment of your Audience

Profile a very specific type of customer you want to attract with the campaign.

Step 2) Create something you can give away free.

This ideally should be something your prospects can download from your website.

For example, you could write a 3 – 5 page report in Microsoft Word, then turn it into a Adobe Acrobat PDF file.

Your computer may already be able to do that, but if not a quick search on Google for the phrase “PDF converter” should give you links to software you can use.

It’s easy and shouldn’t take you more than a day to create a short report that has good information in it.

Step 3) Create a lead page

This is a special kind of webpage that only has only a single page visitors see to start with.

That page simply offers the freebie — but before it gives the visitor access to it they have to enter their name and email address in a form.

In return you say they’ll be sent (by email) a link to download whatever it is you’re offering for free.

This again may sound technical but it’s actually quite easy.

You can use email services like the fabulous ConvertKit, which give you the ability to create lead pages very easily.

When someone visits your lead page and fills to their name and email address to request your download, the email service automatically sends an email to them with the download link to your free report or whitepaper.

It’s all fully automated.

Once you set this up you don’t have to do anything, but you automatically receive sales leads every time you run your advert.

One crucial aspect to this tactic is that your lead page should mention that after the download the free report they will receive additional follow-up e-mails from you… although you also say (on the lead page) they can unsubscribe any time they want.

It’s these follow up emails where you build a relationship with the sales lead and turn them into paying customers and clients.

Step 4) Promote your lead page in print.

Now this is the important step… you need to write an advert that talks only about the free gift you’re giving away.

Give them a link to the web site (your lead site, remember) — where they can go to get their hands on the valuable free information revealed in your report.

The result of that promotion should be instant traffic when the print publication goes out.

Now of course if you run only a tiny advert in the back of an obscure magazine then you obviously won’t get as much traffic as if it’s a full page advert in a magazine with large national or international readership.

When I first started with this tactic I ran tiny adverts in the back of newspapers and had a small amount of traffic and enquiries…

This ad first appeared in the UK’s ‘Sunday Times’ back in 2005

That was my first test of this particular traffic tactic. After that I gradually increased the size of my adverts, and tried different publications.

The first time I ran a full page advert in a print publication with a circulation of more than 200,000 small business owners… I got more than 1,000 small businesses signing up to receive my free download within 48 hours of the magazine being published.

Obviously I ran variations on this advert many times in the same publication, and each time I did I got an instant rush of traffic and my database of email subscribers mushroomed.

Here’s one of the adverts I ran—notice how the entire advert is all about the free download (although it does quite a good job of positioning me as one of the UK’s most highly paid marketing consultants too)…

FSB adert
I’ve redacted the web address in the advert because that advert was run a long time ago and the website mentioned no longer exists!

Now results will vary, but the simple fact is that if you get this right – and offer a download that your target audience like the sound of, and advertise it in a relevant publication then you should dozens, hundreds or even thousands of sales-leads, automatically, and in a very short time.

The key secret with this tactic is that the people who download your report have in effect told you they are interested in what you sell.

For example if you’re a tax advisor and offer a free report titled ‘The Top 3 Ways to Legally Avoid Tax’ – then everyone who downloads it will be a sales-lead for your tax advisory service.

Or if you are a fitness instructor, everyone who downloads your free report on ‘How to Get Super-Fit Even in a Lockdown’ after seeing an advert for it in your local newspaper is a sales-lead for your personal training services.

And so on.

So, once you’ve got people visiting your lead page and downloading your free report, you now need to…

Step 5) Use email marketing to communicate with the people whose names and emails you acquired in step 4.

This is where the rubber meets the road.

The whole point of doing the tactic is that you now have a list of people to whom you can send special offers and promotions, helpful hints and tips, recommend third party tools and resources and so much more.

In addition to this, your emails can contain links to pages on your main website – and I can again guarantee that sending emails with links to your website will almost instantly increase the traffic.

Chances are you’re reading this article because I sent you — and thousands of my other subscribers — an email with a link to it.

While they’re reading this article a percentage of my readers will ‘sidetrack’ onto other pages and buy from me.

All it takes is sending emails.

It’s not rocket-science — although some people make it sound like it is.

When you own a large database of active and interested email subscribers, you can use it to boost your sales and revenues substantially, on a regular basis.

Using lead pages in conjunction with print advertisements is one of the fastest and most reliable ways of boosting your email database.

Here are the steps again in brief…

1) Decide who you’re targeting (a specific type of customer or client).

2) Write a special report – something they’d find interesting and useful and which in their mind has a high perceived value.

3) Launch a lead page that captures names and emails in return for the report.

4) Promote it in a popular print publication that is relevant to what you’re offering.

5) Send emails to your growing list of subscribers.

And of course you can promote your lead pages in many other ways too — on Google and Facebook for example.

However, give this tactic a try. Print is a vastly underused way of generating sales leads and may be one of the best sources of website traffic you’ve ever had.

Happy print advertising,


Ed Rivis


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Ed Rivis