Increasing the response rates from your direct marketing campaigns is an ongoing project for most marketers. Direct mail works best with mailing lists you own, such as existing clients or people who sign up to receive your promotions, but even if you use rented lists there are ways to maximize the return on your investment. One of these ways is to create a microsite for each campaign:
So what exactly is a microsite, and how does it differ from a regular ol’ website? First, it’s smaller—a microsite can be a single webpage or a collection of two or three pages. Second, if you have a full company website (which you should) it’s like a subsection or a “site within your site.”
A microsite is focused specifically on a campaign, an offer, a category or a specific topic. Its function is to drive sales or education and often its existence is short-term. It’s dedicated to serving a single purpose and to do so by eliminating all the noise and distraction of the broader company website. Microsites “drill down” into the subject matter, and the focus is uninterrupted by the multitude of options on a regular website design.
Using it for a Direct Mail Campaign
Most successful direct mail campaigns these days have a cross-channel or multi-channel component to them. One of the easiest ways to add such a component is to create a microsite focused on the campaign topic, where you can direct users for more information.
Set up your microsite to:
You can even use it as an online ordering facility, if your product or service warrants it.
If setting up a microsite for every direct mailcampaign you run sounds like a lot of work, consider these additional benefits:
SEO Value: Every microsite can have its own, unique domain name and URL. It’s also another opportunity to a) add fresh content to your main website, and b) use your primary and secondary keywords in context. This contributes to your ranking in search.
Branding Value: When you promote a new product or service, it can be difficult to make it stand out from the umbrella brand you offer. With a microsite, you can avoid the confusion that comes with explaining how it fits into your product range. Simply promote the product independently with its own branding and identity.
Production Speed: Setting up a company website can be a huge task, even if you aren’t doing it yourself. Just putting together the information, deciding on what has to be included and how you want it to work is a major undertaking. A microsite, on the other hand, is quick and easy to design, has only a few pages and can be put together in a matter of hours by an experienced website designer.
Home Page Value: When you have a new offer out, you want people to see it when they come to your website. That often means finding a way to put it on your home page, which results in home page clutter. Keep your home page clean and simple, and direct trafficto the microsite for the duration of the campaign.
Financial Benefit: Setting up a microsite is far quicker, simpler and less expensive than creating a new website. Even adding a temporary section to your existing site incurs costs in developer time, to set it up, to integrate it into your navigation and to pull it down when you’re done, without breaking any links. With a stand-alone microsite, all you need to do is hit the ‘Delete’ or ‘Unpublish’ button and voila! You’re done.
Using a microsite can give your direct mailcampaign an edge you haven’t used before. Don’t waste the opportunity!