Tips for Using Direct Mail to Boost Website Traffic

Marketing Profs published a great article about generation more online traffic using direct mail.

Online and offline media work well together. An integrated approach can work wonders.

We told you about how 76 % of internet users were directly influenced to buy an item or service thanks to direct mail Better still, direct mail remains the one medium that gives you direct and reliable access to nearly everyone in your target market.

Tips to drive Web traffic with direct mail

  • Make a compelling offer. Give people a powerful reason to visit your site—a compelling and valuable offer, such as a free trial, seminar, white paper, savings coupons, or sample. It must be something they want, not just something you want them to see.
  • Use an easy-to-type address. Unlike email, where you can include a clickable link to your landing page, in direct mail you can only print a URL. Your prospect must type it into a browser. The shorter and easier it is to spell, then, the easier it will be for people to visit your page. If you create a separate domain for the promotion, try for a short easy URL.
  • Build a special landing page. Generally, it’s not a good idea to drive traffic to your homepage. There are too many choices on those pages and too many ways for prospects to get lost. By creating a unique landing page and driving people to that page, you can control the message, track response, and collect information for follow-up and future direct marketing efforts.
  • Consider a personalized URL (pURL). A pURL gets extra attention and creates curiosity. They are easy to type and allow for tight integration of the direct mail piece and landing page for tracking.
  • Personalized copy. Just as a pURL gets attention, personalized teasers, headlines, subheads, and body copy attract attention and encourage reading. Use personalization with restraint—to avoid the appearance of an over-the-top sweepstakes mailing.
  • Issue a clear call-to-action. People are more likely to respond when you specifically tell them what to do.
  • Push response with a deadline. As in most direct marketing situations, people are more apt to respond immediately when they know they have a limited time for doing so. With whatever offer you make, state a deadline near the call-to-action.
  • Test various formats. Because of printing and postage costs, many people use postcards to drive Web traffic. But you can also test self-mailers, flyers, and envelope packages. The amount of pre-sell required should dictate the format. The simpler and more valuable your offer, the less pre-sell you need. Only testing can show you for sure.
  • Capture contact information. A one-time visit offers limited value. Good direct marketing practice dictates that you use a first visit to begin a dialog. And to do that, you must at least ask for the visitor’s email address and maybe first name (to personalize future communications). Depending on the value of the offer, you might also be able to get full name, mailing address, and other information to build your own database.


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