Some marketers are still surprised at the staying power of direct mail. The Direct Marketing Association, however, isn’t surprised and reported that approximately 90 million Americans still make purchases from catalogs every year!
That startling fact, however, doesn’t mean that direct mail hasn’t changed over the years. It’s changed dramatically. One way direct mail has changed is how it encourages readers to respond. Not that long ago, the standard methods for response to a physical mailing were to either picking up the phone and calling—or using an included mail order form.
Today, customers want to be able to respond immediately. People who receive direct mailings want instant access to whoever sent them the mailing—whether it’s a catalog, a card, or a letter. They’re not always looking to buy right away. They may be after more information before making their buying decision. But they’re after specific information. They don’t want to wade through a whole website to find what they’re looking for.
That’s why landing pages are so important. They allow your prospects and customers to find the exact information they’re looking for—the information you mentioned in your mailing. Why does that matter?
Importance of landing pages
Maybe you’ve gotten driving instructions from someone that sounded something like this: “At the second stoplight, turn left and look for the green house about half a mile up, then turn right and follow the road until you see a big oak tree…” But when you start driving, there’s only one stoplight, a blue house, and a large elm tree. Nothing looks like you expect it to.
That can be how it feels for someone looking for information they want on your website after receiving a mailing. A good landing page takes away that guesswork. It takes mailing recipients to a specific page that talks exactly about what they are expecting. It probably shares graphic elements from your mailing, and maybe even has a headline letting readers know they have arrived at the right place. (Click here for additional tips on how to create a great landing page).
The point is that direct mail is really good at grabbing people’s attention and motivating them to action. But people want to respond on their own schedule, and they want it to be easy to find what they’re looking for.
When you use direct mail, make sure your website and direct mail are integrated. Then you will take respondents to the exact the information they’re looking for—without them wandering all over your website in search of it.