Monday, March 24, 2014

Use Direct Mail to Drive Web Traffic

Reuters research shows one of the best ways to build business is by using direct mail to drive prospects to your website. It’s the combination of direct mail with a website or landing page that packs the heavy marketing punch. Even Google uses direct mail to drive business. One of Googles direct mail pieces offers prospects $100 worth of free advertising. By mailing these offers directly to businesses, they are able to reach a different audience. And this kind of promotional direct mail works.

Study after study has shown that people put greater trust in information they get by mail than by email. They're more likely to read physical mail than email, which gets deleted before it’s even seen. If direct mail didn’t work, Google wouldn’t use it. Google wouldn’t use it if it was not profitable.

If you think this approach, using direct mail to drive prospects to a website or landing page, could be promising for your business, here are a few things that will make it more effective.

1. Present an interesting message. The message must capture prospects' attention and interest them so they'll stop whatever they're doing to go visit your website. The best kind of direct mail delivers a powerful message using minimal words. The headline must immediately arouse curiosity and promise a benefit of some sort. Then you have to offer an excellent reason to go to your website. The offer should motivate them to take the action that you want such as download a free report to get them to enter their contact information, or watch a video that will reveal the secret to a better life to get them to click a link to purchase. The piece must look effortless. However, writing it will require savvy communication skill. Put your biggest effort into coming up with the messaging that will move prospects to act.

2. Furnish a clear call to action. Now that you have their attention and they're ready to act, you have to provide a focused crystal clear call to action. You want them to visit your website site, so don’t provide alternatives or make them search for the web address. Attention spans today are very short, so if they have to put any effort into finding your web address or figuring out what to do, they will get annoyed and give up. You want them to move in the right direction, so make the next step simple, clear and easy to follow.

3. Use an easy URL to remember. Going from direct mail to a website requires typing the URL. They can’t just click a link, so don’t use a long, complicated URL that requires too much effort to type in. Make sure it’s memorable so if a computer isn’t close by, they will remember it when they are near one.

4. Give them a reason to opt in
. Capturing contact information is one of the most critical reasons for getting prospects to your website. You want them to opt in. But they won't unless you provide them some kind of incentive to do so. Maybe they'll receive a bonus whitepaper, or a valuable promotional code. Keep opt in web page copy short with clear, simple instructions for how to opt in. Some of the best opt in pages only have ten words on them.

5. Create a persuasive sales web page. When they opt in and your sales page comes up, you want them to be willing to watch your video, read your message or do whatever you’ve got there for them. The web page has to be interesting and appealing with easy to read lists of benefits and reasons to take action that can be viewed at a glance.

6. Provide a synchronized message. Successful campaigns have consistent messages and branding. The look of the direct mail piece and the web page should be similar and coordinate with each other presenting a clear unified message. The offer and the call to action should be identical for the direct mail piece and the web page. If the direct mail piece is humorless, don’t create a whimsical web page; make the web page humorless too.

The possibility of a positive response increases exponentially when all the pieces work in harmony with one another.

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