Have you checked your mailbox today? Can you recall the warm feeling that crops up whenever you receive a personalized piece of mail? In earlier years, people would approach the mailbox, or sometimes snag the postman before he even made it to the mailbox, to see if there was a letter for them. There's a sense of excitement and appreciation for physical letters.
Personalized letters mean that someone, somewhere, took the time to write, print, address, stamp and mail a letter specifically for you. Physical mail is actually coming in vogue again because of the feeling it gives people. Why do you think we still receive wedding invitations in the mail? These forms of mail will always mean more than an email marked urgent that you receive instantaneously.
The reason why direct mail marketing works so well is because it makes your letter's recipient feel important to you.
How can you use direct mail marketing to your best online advantage?
There are three online tools that you can include in your direct mail that will provide your customers an extra sense of importance, as well as access to bonus information. By linking these sources with tracking information, you can monitor the effectiveness of your direct mail campaign. No more blindly mailing to a mass.
Personal Universe Resource Locators (PURLs)
PURLS are web addresses created especially for the customer. Personalized web addresses use the recipient’s name to create a unique experience for the customer. This use of the customer’s name in the URL adds to the feeling of importance that happens when a customer sees his or her name in the title, since there is not doubt the site was crafted with them in mind.
Similar to a concierge service, PURLs act as a way to provide information specific to customers and measure their reaction. Providing a PURL in your direct marketing campaign will add that extra touch. Furthermore, without seeing it in their direct mail piece very few customers will know to visit their PURL. You can assume that whoever accesses the PURL took it from your direct mail. The higher the access numbers the more effective the direct mail PURL campaign was in attracting customers to your site.
A landing page is a page on your site crafted to advertise a specific product, service, event, beta list, or something special about your company. They showcase something about your business rather than forcing customers to weed through the copious offerings or excessive minimalism of your homepage.
Why send customers to a landing page instead of sending them to your home page?
Using a landing page will help your customer locate the information communicated in your direct mail campaign. Landing pages tailor a web experience to your campaign, so if they click in your mailer about your call recording software they are directed to a page about that specific product rather than navigating through a homepage showcasing four different types of software you offer. Landing pages are sales letters, leads to great resources on your site, a place to provide exclusive discounts, and a fantastic way to track how users navigate your site so you can tweak it to optimize conversions.
Include the link to your landing page in strategic places throughout your direct mail communication. The layout of the landing page should match the direct mail format and should guide the customer in the manner explained by the direct mail communication. If the direct mailer got their attention, the landing page should follow that narrative and seal the deal.
QR codes are special block symbols that encode information to be read by QR readers on smartphones. QR codes can save image information, website URLs, coupon codes, links to infographics, email addresses and more. If it can be digitized, it can probably be stored in a small code. An average QR code is about one-inch by one-inch. Very little page real estate for such a strong marketing tool.
With the boom of smart phones, QR codes have become increasingly popular. QR codes can be useful on direct mail communications offering a quick way to access the information that is targeted at your customer. For example, using QR codes, you can link your customers to maps to help them locate your store, videos describing your product, drive them to your landing page, directly dial a number, or send an email.
QR Codes allow many opportunities for your customer to connect with our company in a fast an easy way using their smart phone. It also allows you a way to provide as much information as you would like using the most cost-effective direct mail communication for your company, including postcards for direct mail pieces.
Combining Online Tools to Create a Unique Experience
Using the methods described can effectively create a personalized approach to your direct marketing campaign. The great thing is that you are not limited to one method; use a personalized URL that directs your customer to a landing page, the QR code to direct the customer to your landing page, or all three together. These tools provide unique opportunities for driving your customers to your door, whether physical or virtual.