Some marketers think online, and offline tactics just don’t mix.
But this isn’t necessarily the case, especially when it comes to direct mail and websites.
Whether with email or traditional mail, directing targeted traffic to your website is all about building a list of people who match the profile of your ideal customer. If the offer is right, the people will respond, regardless of the medium. Some channels might prove more useful than others, in fact.
One of the most influential tools for generating leads and sales on any website is a landing page. This is a page that’s free of distractions. Ideally, it should funnel your visitors through to a single, compelling offer they can’t resist. The page should be structured in a way that causes the user to keep reading and scanning until they make a buying decision.
There are many ways to direct traffic to landing pages, but interestingly enough, direct mail can be a powerful tool for doing this very thing.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind when using direct mail to drive traffic to landing pages.
Direct Your Traffic to a Relevant Offer
Before you do anything else, ensure your offer is something your audience wants.
It’s easy to make assumptions about your ideal customer and what needs they have. But without talking to them, it can be hard to know what they want in a product exactly. You must develop a solution that solves a real problem they have, or they will not buy.
If you’re looking to generate leads and email subscribers, then offer a free course or eBook that provides your visitors with action steps they can take now to better their situation. If you want to sell something, then include customer testimonials on the landing page. Use video to engage visitors, and make it clear what they get when they buy your offer.
If no one wants your offer, you will not make any sales.
Make Your Visitors Feel at Home
Let’s say you craft an excellent direct mail piece with your branding, logo, colors, font, and so on. You entice your recipients with compelling copy. You make an offer they can’t refuse.
But what’s this…? When they arrive at your website, they’re not even sure what they’re looking at. They double-check the URL printed on the ad and confirm that it’s correct. But there’s a disconnect, so they click away and find something else to spend their time on, and try not to think about the 10 seconds they just lost.
Whether your landing page doesn’t match your ad, or your ad doesn’t match your landing page is irrelevant. If the users don’t feel at home when they land on your website, there’s a good chance they will bounce off of it before they read a single word.
Don’t panic. This is an easy problem to solve. What you want to do is use the same colors and fonts, same copy, same branding, and so forth, on both the direct mail ad and your landing page. This will mitigate that feeling of disconnection your users might otherwise feel when they go to your website.
A successful campaign begins with a compelling and relevant offer for your target customer. But making your visitors feel at home is just as important. Congruence is key.
Don’t Make Your Visitors Jump Through Hoops
It may seem basic, but another common error marketers make is sending them to a link that’s too tedious to type into their browser. If your link looks something like the following, you might be in trouble:
With so many link-shortening tools and plugins available (like Bitly), there just is no excuse for this. Your leads should not have to jump through hoops just to learn about your latest offer.
If you have a bit of a budget to work with, you might even consider buying a short domain name that closely resembles your business name, and use a tool like YOURLS to create short URLs.
Keep in mind that recipients of your direct mail ads can’t just click on a link to go to your landing page. They are required to type it into their browser. Your conversion rate will go up significantly if you make it a URL that’s short and easy to remember.
Hopefully, you aren’t sending your direct mail ads to random strangers. You should know something about them before sending them anything – preferably; you should have had an interaction with them already. They should have expressed some interest in your products or services.
With a personalized URL (or pURL), you can send your visitors to a page that speaks directly to them. For instance, the URL and the copy on the page could include their first name.
Many customers are coming to expect personalization as part of their buying experience. This isn’t to suggest you must use pURLs to succeed with your campaign, but they are worth experimenting with. Try it out and see if it increases your conversion rate.
You can apply personalization to a variety of areas on your landing page, whether it’s the headline, subheads, body copy, and so on. Just avoid the overuse of personalization. This can come across as creepy or too aggressive. No one likes to feel like they’re being pushed into buying something they’re not even sure they want.
Tell Them What You Want Them to Do
It’s surprising the number of web pages that do not have a clear call to action on them. If you’re going to put a lot of time and effort into generating traffic for your website, you should at least tell your visitors what you expect them to do while on your website. Otherwise, they may never return to look at your site again, and then you’ve lost them for good. At a minimum, you would need to spend money on retargeting ads to get another chance with them, when you could have had a chance at closing them sooner.
Your landing page should have a clear call to action. You should spell out exactly what you want your visitors to do while on your website. It’s okay to call them to action multiple times using different copy. But if the goal of the landing page is to sell a product, don’t confuse your visitors by baiting and switching. Don’t tell them to buy your widget, and then ask them to sign up for your emails list. Focus on one or the other and be consistent.
Use Sales Psychology to Your Advantage
You’ve spent money on your campaign. You’ve researched your audience, developed a compelling offer, written stimulating copy, designed your direct mail ad, and so on.
If you want to go beyond, then you should use sales psychology to increase your conversion rate and close more sales.
Make your offer a limited time offer. Or, limit the quantity of what you’re selling. Tell your leads they can only purchase at the current rate if they claim the offer in the next 30 days. You could even test a countdown timer.
Sales psychology works. It can move people down the funnel faster and cause them to buy now instead of later (or not at all), especially if it’s something they already want.
If at First You Don’t Succeed, Keep Testing
There’s always the chance your ad just doesn’t resonate with your audience. If you aren’t getting any traffic to your website, to begin with, it could be that you aren’t casting a wide enough net. It could also be that your offer just isn’t something your target customer wants. You can test different direct mail ad formats to see if that makes a difference, or you can go back to the drawing board with your product or service.
If you’re getting traffic, but you’re still not closing, there could be an issue with the landing page. Try A/B split testing different variables – headlines, button colors, images, video or no video, and so forth. Small tweaks do make a difference, and you won’t necessarily know until you try.
Conversion rate optimization takes a significant amount of time and effort. But going through this process can help you maximize your campaign and get a better return on investment.
Again, there are many ways to send traffic to your landing page. But per MarketingProfs, direct mail influences 76% of internet users to buy a product or service online. When used correctly, you can get a great deal of leverage out of direct mail.
Plus, in a time when people mostly communicate electronically, postal mail can help you stand out from the crowd and get noticed. If you’ve seen a direct mail ad come to your mailbox more than once, it’s probably because what they’re doing is working and is generating a profit. You could also be among those that are succeeding with direct mail.
Are you using direct mail to generate traffic to your landing pages? Have you had any success with mixing online and offline marketing tactics?
Let us know in the comments below.