As I wrote in my book Streetwise Low-Cost Web Site Promotion, most people who expect to make a fortune on the Internet have their dreams of overnight fortune rudely turned into nightmares. One of the reasons is that they don't hire the best Search Engine Optimization specialists. But there's a bigger reason. People rely on Google to do their selling for them. Google doesn't care about your sales. Nor does Google help you target your market. You need other methods, besides Google, to get people to buy from your website.
Once you put up a website, you have two problems. First, you have to get people to your site. Second, you have to convert them from Internet surfers to Internet buyers. Studies show that people make decisions about websites in about 7 seconds. One writer calls it "7 seconds until death." And if your website doesn't grab readers, they are not going to buy. They will just click away and never return again.
Direct mail offers you the perfect opportunity to create a marketing synergy. Direct mail brings in revenue and offers targeted customers a personal invitation to visit and buy from your site. People are multitasking these days. Fifty percent of Super Bowl viewers were on the Internet at the same time. So, in effect, advertisers were getting two hits for the price of one. For instance, direct mail postcards are generally received at the home or office where a computer is present, and if received somewhere else, the postcards are small enough to keep with you until you can get to a computer. This way, your prospective customer will be able to take the card right over to their desk top computer, type in your address and go right to your site. What could make more sense?
Direct mail allows you to target a specific market better than any other advertising medium. You decide who gets your message, when they get it, and where they get it.
A direct-mail piece can be as simple as the aforementioned postcard or as elaborate as a catalog. Sending a direct mail piece is much more likely to elicit an immediate response than television, radio, or newspaper advertising.
Direct mail can be one of the most efficient, cost-effective marketing vehicles available to build your website traffic. Even in this age of e-commerce, every marketing plan should include a direct-mail component to communicate a company's message. So what about the Internet e-mail database you've built over time. Use it of course, but remember this: consumers prefer personalized direct mail over e-mail.
Sixty-one percent of consumers in a recent InfoTrends study stated a preference for direct mail, nearly triple the amount who preferred receiving ads via e-mail. Personalized direct mail with messages and offers designed to reflect the consumer's needs and interests were most favored.
Some keys to making traditional direct mail and websites work together to equal more than the sum of their parts:
- Create an effective direct marketing plan
- Set a strategy for acquiring new customers.
- Gain insight into your direct marketing customer base by surveying your Internet customers.
- Leverage relationships with your existing customers
- Improve customer relations and decrease churn
Think of it. There are several million websites out there. How do you find them? How can you publicize your website? How do you get a person to go to your website?
Direct mail is the answer. Two companies who use the direct mail strategy are Omaha Steaks and Gevalia Coffee. Their mailings build on their websites and vice versa. Of course, most of us don't have the resources of these companies, but we can build on their ideas. For instance, if you run a pre-school, send letters to your potential customers and use the website to give them a virtual tour of your facilities.
Direct mail is the heart of target marketing. For example, a person who likes golf may receive direct mail for golf related products or perhaps for goods and services that are appropriate for golfers. Direct mail pieces, when they're compelling, draw your prospects like powerful magnets to your website and attract clients overnight, regardless of a "weak economy." A direct mail campaign coupled with a strong website can help you:
- build your business with a ridiculously low cost per lead
- flood your website with paying customers
- help you get get results almost overnight!
Marketing can't be a one trick pony. Build your business by using direct mail to build your customer base and your sales.