Online Adwords Campaign vs. Offline Marketing

I am still a novice when it comes to Google Adwords advertising, but I have been learning for various projects. One such project is, and I have been actively spending money on keyword buys. I got some solid traffic as a result, although the cost was relatively high – somewhere between $.31 – $1.00 per visitor.Overall, the cost per click I am paying is $0.39.

This morning, I tried a more traditional approach, using offline marketing. I posted an advertisement on Craigslist asking for someone to hand out magnets in Central Park for an hour, from 8am – 9am, as dog owners can have their dogs off leash until 9am.   I know people keep this type of magnet, as I have very few things on my refrigerator, but there’s a 24/7 veterinarian magnet on it. She wished the dog owners a good morning and said something to the affect of “if you ever need a dog walker, please visit

During this hour, the person I hired handed out around 100 magnets or so. The total cost was $15, which was probably generous, since I had about 30 responses. I think I got what I paid for though because her personality was more than I expected. Anyhow, the total cost per interaction was $0.15 – over 50% less than the cost per click on Adwords.

The big differences are:

  • Adwords targets people when they need a dog walker
  • My Adwords campaign has not simply targeted cities where there are listings, although they should.
  • Magnets have more of a lifetime when they’re put on a fridge, and the interaction lets the person know about the site.

What this means to me is that I am going to be doing more magnet hand outs in parks across the city, and I may lower my rate to $10/hour. I am also going to change my targeting on Adwords and focus on dog owners in cities where I have listings. I will also target people looking to find dog walking jobs/work in a separate campaign.

As much as we spend a lot of time online, we can’t forget traditional marketing tactics.

On a separate note, Bruce Marler had a good post about drinking and driving today… be safe this holiday season.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Today I was sending some gifts via UPS & got to talking with the store manager about how she markets her business. They also offer Uhaul rentals and had been passing out flyers in nearby apartment/townhome complexes but noted many customers had found her store via Google maps. I mentioned she could utilize Google Adwords to target locals looking for Uhaul rentals but she was unfamiliar with the concept & concerned with how much it would cost. There probably are many small businesses which don’t necessarily have a website or knowledge of online marketing tools. Geo oriented websites can tap this sort of opportunity and be a valuable tool for such small businesses. The geo site owner generates traffic organically or via an Adwords campaign while the local business doesn’t have to pay for website development or maintenance or even CPC.

    In this case I have the .TV domain for a 150K population city. We’ll make it a 2010 project…

  2. Elliot,
    I have a good friend that owns the largest ecommerce site selling a specific piece of sports equipment. Google AdWords estimates a CPC of $.63 – .91 for his primary keyword. However, he never pays more than $.08 for a click because he won’t raise his bids above that level. Try lowering your keyword bids to .10 to see how it impacts clicks, you may be surprised!

    Thanks for the good columns and newsletters on


  3. You may also want to consider testing Google TV – for those of you not familiar with Google TV it is essentially like AdWords except you are bidding for real TV spots (not Internet TV).

    So I’m thinking you create a :30 sec spot for and run it on networks/shows like Dog Whisper (or whatever show they train dogs to behave), maybe even test HGTV network?

    At Prime Visibility, we’ve been able to get clients TV spots on major stations for under $80 a spot!

    Google also recommends to make a spot for you in case you are overwhelmed with the thought of producing the spot.

    Let me know if you have any questions – there is more info at

    PS – thanks for the intro to Patrick, we had a very nice chat friday….

    Stay warm in this blizzard…..

  4. The most important factor in pricing for your keywords is its quality score, mouseover just next to where it says eligible and you should be able to see the quality score of the keyword. it score from 0 to 10. the higher your score the cheaper you pay for the keyword. your goal is to get the keywords your targeting to be 10s, and like everything else the keywords in your domains ,content, , and title help.

    also having the keywords in your domain name means you will have a higher ctr for those keywords which is a big factor in pushing you up the ranks for cheaper by raising your quality score…anyone can get 5 or 10 cents clickthroughs for non competitive keywords, they’re non competitive because aside from branding its hard to monetize. hope this helps,

  5. about those magnets, whats on them ? Pictures of dogs ? dog people would love that,.. Id assume some of the people that visit the site through the magnets will be more out of curiosity from it sitting on their fridge, .for them give them something to look at maybe facts about dogs, dog profiles on breeds, you know dog stuff, you can make money from new revenue sources. – find a dog walker

    or you can be more than just walking dogs 🙂

    if you have any questions about the adsense my numbers on the sites, best times to call 3 pm – 4 a.m.

  6. I would also investigate Google Local Business listings (and other things like Yelp, etc) You do have to have a physical presence, but honestly, if you can get your name up at the top next to a map, it’s probably worth the cost of taking out a mailing address or P.O. Box in your target cities. Your business can have up to ten listings, if you have “branches”. I’ve done this successfully for local businesses from ceramics classes to roofing. And all it costs is the time to do it (unless you do opt for establishing addresses) This also allows you to do things like coupons, where you can actually test the effectiveness.

    AdWords can also be effective, but you definitely want to set up geo targeting. If you create a campaign for a specific city, you don’t need to include the city names in the keywords, but you do want to include in your ad. You’ll find your costs should go *way* down this way.

  7. Living in a place like New York maybe you could work something out with the Pizza delivery guys to hand out leaflets when they deliver their pizzas ? The same people who are just too busy to cook may be too busy to walk their dog too 🙂

    Bumper / window stickers on cars or shop windows is a pretty cheap way of advertising locally…especially if you have loads of friends and extended family willing to put them on for free !

  8. The greatest thing about internet marketing is that it’s so easy to do it on a mass scale… Requires the same effort to reach out to 10 people, 1000 or 100000! Doing it the traditional and old school ways can be effective for start-ups but I wouldn’t even bother. Those that are utilizing technology properly have always came out on top 🙂

  9. That might be true in general but it really depends on what you’re trying to sell and who you’re trying to sell to.

    Would an enduser in new york go online to find a local dog walker or would they check the local newspaper ads, billboard in their vets or local pet shop first ?

    You also have to consider typical human behaviour into your marketing strategy.

    If I was an enduser I’d take the second option before going online

    for some people pets are like their children, they’re not just going to let anyone take them out. traditional and old school ways along with word of mouth may work better than online advertising in this case IMHO

    …yes, I am still a human the last time I looked 🙂

  10. Gazzip, there is more and more people who go online for everything and I mean everything but you do have a point which is valid too… Word of mouth is free and beats all advertising mediums, if you can get it going that is 🙂

  11. I dont understand why you are trying to bring traffic (and pay for it) to your website, before you have dogwalkers listed on it… I mean – you have only 2-3 dog walkers in all Manhattan…
    concentrate on dog walkers instead of dog owners. give a free first year listing and fill your site with dog walkers.
    look what National A1 is doing with – they let antique dealers list their business for free.

  12. Yaron,

    You bring up a good point about Adwords. I originally thought that dog walkers would see those ads, too (and I did get some registrations as a result) but the ROI wasn’t there. I’ve since changed the Adwords strategy as mentioned in my post.

    I’m not interested in giving away listings for 3 reasons:

    1) People are willing to pay $49 a year (almost paid development costs already)

    2) People have had some trouble siging up. I’m not sure if it’s a WordPress thing for some or if there are tech issues, but it takes a few minutes of my time on some listings. If I give away listings for free, it’s going to take up MUCH more time.

    3) I am about to announce a “deal” well – endorsement from one of the largest pet care franchises (with over 200 franchisees and 5k dog sitters/walkers) with a special offer for them. I am told that about 25% of their franchisees will probably sign up at a minimum.

    RE: – This is a huge domain name for them, but I would imagine the antique dealers listings is probably only one small revenue stream for them. They can probably afford to not make money and/or hire customer service staff to make sure everything is smooth… I can’t afford to make this a loss leader.

  13. Speaking of traditional marketing methods that are often overlooked- have some business cards printed and hire those same kids to drop them off at vets offices and grooming salons that allow you to leave cards in the waiting room or post them on boards. Pet stores too. Supermarket bulletin boards. That’s how the dog trainers get their customers. (The old Chinese menu method)

  14. Elliot, I believe you have to do all of these things that everyone mentioned, but there are alot of places on line to get a better ROI. Since you have helped us all and me, give me a call to go over the other ways and places to get a good ROI. It’s the least I can do for such a good friend as you. Happy Holidays everyone.


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