5 Ways to Get Your Website Up to Speed
The objective of a website must not be to compete with direct mail, agrees Bloom. "Rather, websites must enhance the consumer's multichannel experience." He mentions that while the golden ticket for each company always should be to increase the consumer's total engagement across all marketing channels, it's vital for companies to track the performance of each channel in contributing to that engagement. One easy way to track the impact of direct mail on website traffic is by including a specific source code or tracking number on the direct mail piece, which consumers then must type in to the website to "unlock" valuable rewards.
3. Go Beyond the URL Callout
Prominently calling out the URL multiple times in the direct mail piece is important, of course, but there are other strategies for promoting website traffic. "Offering desirable website-only ‘rewards' certainly captures everyone's attention," mentions Bloom, who says such rewards can be discounts, coupons or exclusive offers available only on the internet. "What's really happening here is that the companies are using their websites as a real draw to get consumers excited in coming to them and then reward them [for their visit]," he describes.
"The role of the website is to provide additional information that can't be condensed into a [direct mail] piece or, for example, to provide access to field visit reporting, emergency situations, etc.," states Nadine Rosenbaum-Lehrer, assistant director of direct marketing at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, which features its website address on all its direct mail pieces and designs all reply devices to promote a special donation form where donors can make secure gifts online.
For nonprofits, you can invite mail donors to make their gifts online. "More and more mail donors like to give online, at least some of the time," says Swenson. "Emergencies and disasters often drive mail donors to an organization's website to ‘put their money to work immediately.' You can create a special donation page for each direct mail letter so that you can track mail-to-web donors." But she does warn that many mail donors just search for the homepage rather than go to the specific URL that you sent, so your general website remains paramount.