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Direct Mail to Online: Customer Acquisition Link 3

April 6, 2012 By Carrie Burns, Cynthia Tully and Dorothy Weaver
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[Editor's note: This is the second "link" in a 10-part series. The first, Do You Have Broken Links, appeared on Mar. 23. Check back Friday, April 13, for link four: Catalog to Online.]

We looked at eight direct mail pieces that we received in our homes during January, 2012.

Clearly direct mail has a cost, so having a solid mail-to-Web link is very important to capture customers and leads. Here’s what we found:

Direct Mailer No. 1: CapitalOne VENTURE card. Link: The comprehensive mailing package includes three ways to apply: phone, mail or online. The link goes to a page that captures a reservation number and access code that is printed on the application, so they are tracking Web activity from the direct mail piece. After entering the codes, you get a summary of benefits and the online app. Simple and easy to apply.

Direct Mailer No. 2: Macy’s Sunglass Hut store. Link: This self-mailer promotes Sunglass Hut glasses sold at Macy’s with a Valentine’s Day theme. The link takes you to the Sunglass Hut Store on with large, constantly changing photos. You could also watch a video for Versace glasses. Many catalogs drop you off at their landing page—this one gets you right to the Sunglass Hut page on

Direct Mailer No. 3: Compass Pointe NC resort community. Link: This self-mailer features an invitation to attend a presentation about this new community. The Web page is based on our location, so we are presented with a choice of four locations for the presentations, with an easy registration process consisting of only five data fields. Well done CAC and the Web page and conversion path supports the direct mail piece.

Direct Mailer No. 4: PODS. Link: When clicking on the link that’s printed on a bright red postcard with “Move It. Store It.” and a call to action for a personalized quote, we were taken to the PODS main page, which has a prominent quote form. This is exactly what we expected to see based on the direct mail piece.

Direct Mailer No. 5: New York Times home delivery. Link: The mail piece promotes the Weekender, delivery on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 50 percent off or $3.95 per week. The link takes us to a dedicated page for this offer with four easy steps to determine delivery availability, choose option, delivery address and payment. It’s simple and very well done CAC.

Direct Mailer No. 6: Worldwide Wholesale Floor Coverings. Link: The mailer promotes a “Zero % Sales Tax” through February 20, 2012. The link correctly takes us to their landing page, which boldly restates the sales tax offer and, in a very clean page, presents five choices. A second link on the direct mail piece ( invites us to schedule a free pre-measure, and that link takes us to a form and a link for a measuring worksheet PDF (nice touch). Excellent CAC example.

Direct Mailer No. 7: “The Best Man” Broadway Show. Link: Like many mailers promoting shows, this link takes us to a simple page where we enter a promotional code that is shown on the direct mail piece. Doing this brings up a window with all the ordering information for the play. Simple and elegant CAC.

Direct Mailer No. 8: Marymount Manhattan College. Link: A college mailer is designed to get prospective students to come visit and take a tour, which is what we believe all universities aim to do in their direct mail pieces. This one leads to a simple landing page that gives students three options: take a virtual campus tour, schedule a visit and a list of upcoming college fairs that MM attends. Very straightforward and effective CAC.

Summary and Conclusion: These direct mail pieces are excellent examples of well thought out CACs. Unfortunately, we came across many, many direct mailers who had poor CACs, where their landing pages had serious issues. If you use direct mail on a regular basis, look at your website to see where it can be improved based on these examples.

Next week’s article is about the catalog acquisition chain. Last week’s article concerned the print acquisition chain.

Carrie Burns and Cynthia Tully are vice president account directors and Dorothy Weaver is a vice president of digital marketing services at St. Petersburg, Fla.-based advertising agency acquirgy. Burns can be reached at, Tully via and Weaver can be contacted at


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