We’ve all received invitations in the mail. Sometimes the invitation is to an elegant event. Other times it’s an invitation to an open house or a neighborhood barbeque. But these invitations have something in common: They all have an RSVP. The person (or organization) sending out the invitation wants to know what your response will be. Are you coming or not?
It only makes sense. If someone is planning an event, they need to know who will be in attendance. Plans need to be made. It doesn’t matter if the organizer is buying bottles of champagne or packages of hot dogs. He or she needs to know how to plan and prepare.
You may not think about your direct mailings as invitations—but in a sense, they are. At some level, you’re inviting people (customers, clients, prospects) to interact with you. Are you providing an easy and compelling way for recipients to “RSVP?” If you’re not, you’re wasting time and money mailing.
It used to be that formal invitations (for weddings and similar events) contained an envelope and a reply card for invitees to send back. Direct mail packages used to have something similar: response devices. Today when you receive a wedding invitation (or an invitation to some other event) you’re more likely to be asked to respond online. It’s faster and cheaper—and it allows the organizer to inform you of new information if something changes.
Your direct mailings should do the same thing. First and foremost, you need to have a clear call to action (a request to respond). You need to carefully think through exactly how you want people to respond. What is it you want them to do? Call? Request more information? Visit? Ask them to do exactly what you want. And then make it easy to do so.
One of the most effective ways to get people to respond is to direct them to your website. But if you simply send someone to your home page, you’ll lose them. Instead, create a landing page dedicated specifically to one purpose. If you’ve invited people to request more information (say an eBook), make that the only thing on the page. That makes it easy for them to respond—and they get instant gratification!
And what will you get? Not only will you get more responses—you’ll get better responses. A landing page that’s optimized for a specific request is much more likely to result in converting someone from a looker to a lead. If you’re interested in generating leads (and who isn’t?), check out 7 Reasons Landing Pages Convert Better Than Standard Pages.
What it all comes down to is that today people are wary of sales pitches. But they still like to be invited to participate in something that interests them. Use your direct mail efforts to invite participation—and make sure it’s easy for your recipients to RSVP!