Having a clear and compelling call to action has always been of vital importance in direct mail. That’s something that hasn’t changed. It’s not enough to reach out to potential customers—you want to get them to reach back to you.
What has changed (dramatically) is how prospects respond. It really wasn’t all that long ago that the preferred call to action was a response card. Prospects who were interested filled out a card (usually with postage pre-paid) and mailed it back. That was slow and expensive and soon gave way to offering people the ability to call (toll-free, of course!) to make their request for information or to place an order. That, too, was costly and required having staff on hand to answer calls and manually enter orders.
Today, of course, the preferred call to action is to direct responders to a specific landing page on your website. When you’re creating your direct mail package (whether it’s a letter, a flier, a catalog, or a postcard) you want to make sure that your call to action is clear and absolutely simple to use (TEST it before you mail!). Don’t make readers look for it. Make it unmistakably clear and prominent.
One other thing that has changed with regard to calls to action is how you can enhance them. Years ago, mailers often used “lift letters”—an additional slip of paper in the mailing that reminded readers of the benefits of responding. Those can still work, but today you have additional resources. A series of tweets, follow-up emails, or Facebook posts can serve as a reminder of information that’s been shared—and should direct readers back to the same landing page. It’s important to integrate all of your direct marketing efforts with your mailings. For more information on how to integrate your direct mail efforts with your other marketing efforts, click here to download our free Best Direct Mail Practices in an Evolving Multi-Channel Marketplace eBook!
Calls to action aren’t what they used to be. They’re every bit as important today as they were in the past, but now you have more resources at your disposal—resources that are faster, easier, and allow you to better track your results.