May 07, 2013
Research has shown that using direct mail that encourages people to go online to do business with you can be extremely effective, with shoppers who receive a direct mail piece that points them to a website spending an average of 13% more than people who didn't receive the printed piece. But just including your URL on a postcard is no longer enough. With a population that's increasingly on-the-go and connected (mobile Internet use is expected to overtake desktop Internet use by next year), you need to integrate tried-and-true direct mail with effective mobile websites.
Why you need a mobile website
Consider this scenario: You send a postcard invitation to an upcoming event. You include a phone number for people to call and RSVP, as well as an email address and the URL of your mobile website. When recipients visit this URL on their phone or tablet, they'll see a clean, easy-to-navigate website that mirrors the branding on the postcard in their hand (so they're sure they're in the right place) and which allows them to RSVP for the event with just a couple of clicks. They can do this right away, while standing at the kitchen counter, before they get distracted and the postcard gets lost. You'll see better response rates and your recipients will have a positive experience from the get-go.
Now, imagine a slightly different scenario: You send out the exact same postcard – same messaging, same call-to-action, same mailing list. But instead of including a link to your mobile-friendly website, you include a link to your old website, which isn't optimized for mobile devices. When people visit that URL on their phone, they find a site that's nearly impossible to navigate and doesn't display correctly. They quickly leave your site (so you get fewer conversions). Worse, they may now have a negative perception of your brand – that you're out-of-date and not responsive to customer needs. Not the impression that anyone wants!
The take-away? A mobile-friendly website is a must-have in today's environment. And it's easier to create one than you may think.
Easy mobile website solutions
If you don't have the time or the budget to redesign your entire website so that it works on mobile devices, you can start small (Click2Mail makes it easy with our mobile website design tools). Consider creating a mobile site that just offers key information, like business hours and contact details, or a microsite or landing page for a particular campaign. The latter option is especially smart if you're just getting started with mobile, since you'll be able to look at analytics and see what devices your customers are using and how they navigate on the microsite, information you can use if you create another mobile site in the future.
Consider these examples of how people have successfully combined mobile websites and direct mail:
A health insurance consulting firm creates a white paper explaining how small businesses can prepare for their new responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act. They send a letter advertising the white paper to a list of small business owners, and include the URL for a landing page (designed to work on both mobile and traditional devices) that will allow people to download the white paper after providing their contact information.
A non-profit is looking to boost donations for a specific campaign. After realizing that Click2Mail offers free mobile websites for non-profits, their marketing manager goes online and develops a microsite for the campaign in a matter of minutes. The website looks great on both iOS and Android phones, and features a prominent “Contribute Today” button that leads visitors to a secure donation form. A postcard promoting the campaign included a QR code linking to the donation form, so all recipients had to do was scan the code to get started on the donation process.
In the second example, the non-profit opted to use QR codes in its campaign. QR codes are a popular way to get direct mail recipients to visit your website; some people think they're effective, but others don't. The best way to tell if they'll work for you is to test. Send one mailer with a QR code, and one without, and measure which gets a better response. Even if you decide a QR is right for you, don't neglect to include your phone number, email address, or URL on your mailpiece – since some of your recipients will prefer a more traditional way of getting in touch.
Finally, when creating an integrated direct mail and mobile website marketing campaign, keep your brand and messaging consistent. Use similar colors, taglines, and pitches on your website, direct mail and other marketing efforts. That consistency will make it easier for your prospects and customers to understand who you are and what you offer. When you have that, you'll be fostering a true brand experience.