5 Ways to Get Your Website Up to Speed
For many, that inevitably, usually sooner than later, involves the website, perhaps moments after prospects get the mail piece. Here are six ways to get ready.
1. Dig the Demographics
"Demographics of your customers must be considered," urges Hennerberg, who believes parents of baby boomers tend to be readers and will continue to read direct mail. Meanwhile, they aren't known to be web-savvy, so they rarely may consider using the web to conduct additional research and transact business.
Baby boomers and younger are a different story. "Boomers are more likely to blend direct mail and the online experience," says Hennerberg. When the web was just getting going, many marketers mistakenly bought into the belief that web shoppers and buyers were an entirely different group than direct mail shoppers and buyers. "That is certainly not the case anymore, as traditional direct mail buyers are clearly the very same consumers who are now also shopping online via websites," states Bloom.
"Meanwhile, the younger the individual, in their 20s and 30s, the more likely the web is where they go for community, social interaction, shopping and entertainment, and they do research before they buy something offline," notes Hennerberg.
2. Strive for Consistency
According to Bloom, direct mail works most effectively with websites when the offer, creative and engagement processes are consistent across the multiple channels. In some ways, it's remarkably simple: Consumers driven online by direct mail are most likely to convert on website offers when the look and feel of the website experience is consistent with the look and feel of the direct mail experience.
In the nonprofit world, many prospective donors get a piece of direct mail, or even a telemarketing call, and go to the organization's website to check it out, see what work it does, look at the financials and the staff or board list, etc. Before they decide to give, the website often is visited carefully, almost vetted. "If you're doing a big acquisition mailing, it's good to have a graphic or news item on the homepage that deals with the same issue or positioning as the mail so that direct mail prospects see some continuity if they come to the site," suggests Mwosi Swenson, vice president of Donordigital, the online fundraising arm of Mal Warwick Associates.