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Opt-in-e-mail, Offline Communications

Opt-in email is a Web marketing term for email that recipients have previously requested by signing up at a Web site or special ad banner. Typically, Web users are invited to sign up for promotional information about one or more categories of products or services. Those who sign up have thus “opted in.” Anyone sending them email as a result hopes that the message will not be perceived as unwanted spam.

Several companies gather sign-ups at their own site or through specially-designed banner ads and then sell marketer’s mailing lists of those who have signed up in various interest categories. The marketer sending opt-in email may remind the recipient that they have previously indicated they were interested in receiving such email and that this is not spam. The recipient is given an opportunity to be removed from the mailing list if they so choose. The distribution model of sending unsolicited email (spam) and allowing the recipient to request removal is sometimes referred to as “opt-out.”

Offline Communications

Given the Internet’s tremendous rise in popularity, today’s marketers refer to other media channels that aren’t connected to the World Wide Web as “offline.” Offline marketing strategies utilize offline media channels to create awareness of a company’s products and services. These campaigns can include radio and print advertising – including billboards, signs and pamphlets – telemarketing, and television ads.

Companies large and small use offline media channels to build buzz about products or services. The strategies can be applied by companies of any size, from mom-and-pop storefronts in small communities to some of the largest and most renowned brands in the world. The companies developing offline marketing strategies fit a number of profiles, including:

  • “Mom and Pop” Businesses –Smaller operations that want to establish a name or foothold in a local community. Businesses such as family restaurants, local salons and boutiques, or independent photography studios can use ads in community newspapers or small, targeted direct mail pieces to establish themselves in the limited area they serve.
  • Regional and Mid-Sized Businesses –Companies with large customer bases that need to reach customers in a metropolitan area or geographic region. Construction companies, automotive dealers, and grocery store chains are among those businesses that can build familiarity with customers through traditional advertising means. Billboards, regional television commercials and radio spots can spread the word about a company and build its credibility.
  • Major National/International Companies –Large corporations with recognizable names and brand characteristics. Target, Applebee’s, Kohl’s, GoDaddy, Budweiser, Dick’s Sporting Goods – these are just a few of the major corporations that keep a regular presence in national marketing campaigns involving offline media channels. Each of these company’s campaigns features high frequency placement and a focus on brand awareness.

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