Posts tagged landing pages

Integrate Direct Mail into your Marketing and Increase Response

1007487371 250x187 Integrate Direct Mail into your Marketing and Increase ResponseThe growth of modern online marketing and its integration with traditional advertising has created a communications overload, in which the average consumer may hear or see as many as several thousand marketing messages every day. Marketers and business owners looking to overcome this ground noise must develop effective cross-media strategies. Cross-media marketing campaigns use different products and properties to promote each other by way of multiple media. This might include direct mail, email marketing, radio, television, podcasts, social media posts, print ad campaigns, landing pages, and more.

The use of direct mail has shown significant positive feedback when it comes to measuring the response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns. According to a recent statistic in Deliver magazine, customers who were sent a printed catalog to the magazine’s website not only logged more time on the website, but also purchased 28% more of the product on average than customers who were not mailed a printed catalog.

This is not to say that direct mail should replace online marketing, but rather that the two should be integrated into a combined marketing campaign. Direct mail is most effective when it drives the customer to a website or landing page. Online marketing is most effective when the customer interacts with an online entity like filling out a form, giving the marketer or business owner product or service leads, or by sharing the site through social media. The key to the successful cross-media marketing campaign is that integration.

Increasing response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. Something as simple as direct mail postcards can help build a business when integrated with online marketing tools.

Two great ways to integrate:

1. Use a postcard campaign to collect email addresses and basic information
Email addresses are a cost-effective way to keep tabs on your current and potential customers and clients. Several popular email services, such as Mailchimp, even allow the user to track email openings and clicks, so the sender can better understand a campaign’s effectiveness. However, you can’t track email responses without obtaining emails and a postcard campaign is a great way to reach out to potential customers who would otherwise never know how or where to register.

2. Have postcards point potential consumers to a landing page
Landing pages are critically different than a website’s homepage in that a landing page lists only the information necessary for your selling point, whether it’s an offer, special, or product promotion, whereas a homepage often lists more products and information that might be otherwise distracting. Websites allow browsing, landing pages are a direct sales pitch; they guide the customer through a sale or intended interaction

The two major benefits of direct mail:

1. Ability to target the ideal consumer
Few products and services are attractive to everyone. By outlining the characteristics of a company’s best customers, a model of who best to target in a direct mail campaign can be achieved. This could mean targeting by gender, age, income level, and more, allowing a mailing campaign to reach the people who might be most receptive.

2. Increase your responses
While yes online marketing strategies are awesome, great response rates of cross-media marketing campaign consistently point to the necessity of direct mail. This is because direct mail continues to be opened at greater rates than email advertisements.

Whether you are in the marketing business or are a business owner looking to increase company marketing effectiveness, integrating direct mail and online advertising is the best way to influence response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns.

Why Marketing Artists and Marketing Scientists Need One Another

v. man 250x250 Why Marketing Artists and Marketing Scientists Need One Another

Mark McGuinness of Lateral Action guest posted a terrific blog at Copyblogger: Are You a Marketing Artist or Scientist? In it he describes two distinct tribes that most marketers fall into (1) the right-brain types that like to create and find inspiration in coffee shops journaling and brainstorming about their next blog, podcast, video or creation or (2) the left-brain types that are most on fire when they get to use gadgets to crunch numbers, run split tests or compare data sets.

McGuinness explains it matters not which camp you fall into. What matters is that both camps work closely together to achieve optimum marketing outcomes for your organization. While ethereal writers can create magnetic content in itself it isn’t marketing until the scientists optimize it to be found and shared on the web.

And while marketing scientists are terrific at setting up variable data projects,analysis models and optimizing content to be keyword and SEO rich and for capturing names and IP addresses via landing pages and micro sites, they aren’t good at creating copy or content that screams read me, share me, and use me to make your buying decision right now!

You Need Both Disciplines to Succeed

McGuinness goes on to say that while at one time you could succeed with just killer content or killer PPC, now you need a mixture of the art and science to succeed. Dave Reibstein, co-author of Marketing Metrics, agrees.

Read Reibstein’s full excerpt here about blending the art and science of marketing.

Allen Weiner of Gartner for Marketing Leaders shares three companies that he feels is blending the art and science of content marketing marvelously well. In his blog post, Understanding the Art and Science of Content Marketing, Weiner gives the thumbs up to Home Depot, Nike’s Better World micro-site and The Waffle Shop.

He says all three think like publishers in blending their content with proper workflow and outcomes. Home Depot succeeded by driving 29 million DIY-ers to a YouTube video on the forgotten art of whiskey barrel making. Many showed up in the store to buy materials and give it a go.

Nike’s Better World succeeded with its content by using HTML5 to present a scrolling storyboard explaining its company’s green initiatives and The Waffle Shop doubled connects with its customers through a live stream of customers sharing comments good or bad live at a Pittsburgh restaurant.

Is your marketing organization set up so the scientists can teach the artists and vice versus? Tell us in the comments section below.

Books Covers Use QR Codes to Increase Purchases and Page Turning

QR Code, 2-d barcode

Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks. Zig Ziglar, 82-year old motivational maverick, salesperson, and author just published his 12th book,  Find Your Success Code: Born to Win, which features a QR Code® that takes up one third of the front cover.

Ziglar is no doubt pulling out all the stops to hit another home run just as he did nearly four decades ago with See You at the Top, which sold 1.6 million copies and is currently in its 25th edition.

Like Madonna’s tactic of staying relevant by doing duets with Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera, Nicki Minaj, or Cee Lo Green, Ziglar is staying relevant by using today’s technology to drive his point home – find your success code. According to Publishing Perspective, QR Codes might become commonplace with publishers.

QR Code, 2-d barcodeVibe Magazine Tries to Push the Needle with QR

Last year, Vibe magazine introduced its first digital magazine, available only via a QR Code on the cover. Though the hip hop magazine had been featuring QR Codes inside for three months, this was the first time it graced the cover. Unfortunately, somebody forgot to test the code, which was without the http:// necessary for most readers to open the link in a browser.

Learn the lesson… TEST, TEST, and then RE-TEST with lots of different phones and in lots of different ways.



Other Uses of QR Beyond the Cover

If you are authoring corporate coffee table books, CEO biographies, company history books or success stories like Steve Jobs, there are many other uses of the emerging technology to consider.

Here are a few starts on how you can leverage QR codes in your publications:

  • Use a Twitter QR Code so readers are prompted to follow the author or tweet comments about the publication
  • Link to templates or applications for tracking personal improvements (think Self Help)
  • Link to a shopping list of ingredients the reader needs (think Recipe book)
  • Link to a map and describe the location (travel books)
  • Link to an audio file demonstrating pronunciation (think Language guides)
  • Link to a video demonstration how to perform what you’re describing (product guides)
  • Link to additional content relevant to the article, game, contest (think Facebook)
  • Conduct surveys, gather feedback (think readership studies on your corporate magazine)

Obviously as a marketer, uses of QR Codes are endless. If you decide to use them in your materials, here are the five golden rules.

  • Provide some instructions to the reader so they know how to use the code
  • Drive to mobile friendly content that enhances their learning
  • Include the URL in case the reader prefers to gain the information via a computer, not a mobile device
  • Add value to the reader by making the additional content relevant
  • Track the performance of your codes or what’s the point
  • Test the codes before publishing (do we really need to say why you have to test… see the Vibe comments above)

For nine more ideas on how to turn your book or magazine into a multi-media experience, visit Start a Wildfire.  Now take a 15-minute brainstorming coffee break to re-think and re-invent your existing publications and approach, just like Ziglar did.

QR Code® is a registered trademark of DensoWave.

He Who Personalizes His Incentives Tees Up for Success

teeing up for great direct mail and VDPIf we’ve learned anything in the past few years, it’s to give away information to nurture relationships. E-books, whitepapers, and reports have become a standard carrot on blog and website menus.

Any successful company has a content-rich digital presence with a highly trafficked download area that is quietly capturing and developing relationships with customers who are not yet ready to engage.

To differentiate themselves from the pack, companies in several vertical market segments are getting really personal with their prospects to earn their business by offering more unique incentives to reward the action they want their customers and prospects to take.


A Hole in One

Pinehurst Golf Academy, a golf resort in North Carolina, wanted to drive enrollment to its Golf Academy. In a multichannel marketing campaign, it mailed a postcard that drove recipients to a personalized URL to take them to an online self-assessment of their golf game. Almost 12% went to the PURL and 26% of them completed the survey.

Based on their answers, responders were sent an eight-page roll-fold brochure with personalized and customized information regarding the weaker part of his/her golf techniques. Imagine the engagement upon receipt to get a tutorial to help their swing vs. a generic image piece or whitepaper.


Best Seat in the House

The Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania executed a direct marketing campaign to sell tickets and solicit donations. Through a direct mail piece that incorporated more than 120 fields from the subscriber database, their campaign was a winner. It resulted in a 2,466% return on investment, 60% renewal rate and more than $661,000 in renewals and donations.

A color-seating chart was included so subscribers could view their seats and decide to upgrade or not. More than 5,000 different combinations were possible in the variable print piece. And though Fulton Theatre didn’t give subscribers a reward, they succeeded by personalizing the solicitation piece to the point each recipient had ownership in the Theatre and took pride in maintaining their stake in that season’s experience.


Designer Tees

NewPage, a paper manufacturer, wanted to drive attendees to its trade booth at the HOW Design Conference. Its pre-show mailing offered designers a free t-shirt that they could personalize with one of four phrases and choose male or female tailored styles. The result was 47% of recipients visited the landing page to complete the survey for the shirt. Response was off the charts. NewPage had to take down the landing page temporarily to order more shirts.

NewPage’s one size doesn’t fit all approach was a hit with designers who like any new means to express themselves.

At the same conference another vendor built customer relationships by doing a mailing that directed attendees to a landing page to sign up for a free ride from the airport to the conference. Approximately 214 people requested a ride from the airport via the Personalized URL. An additional 42 people signed up for a ride via other channels.

This demonstrates an incentive doesn’t have to be something tangible or even printable. A free ride is just as desirable as a t-shirt, upgraded seat or golf swing intervention.


Best Practices

Is your brain spinning with great personalization ideas? Use these takeaways from the personalized approaches above to connect with your customers this year.

  • Know your customer. Researching your audience and truly knowing what will move them into action is the key to your campaign.
  • Move beyond a first-name basis. Make sure you personalize your call-to-action pieces using rich variable elements far beyond a prospect’s first name. Your data field drop ins might be their favorite magazine, trade journal, years in the industry or golf club brand, the more you can speak to them one-on-one the better chance you have to hit a hole in one.
  • A good carrot gets eaten every time. While it’s easy to give customers rims of informational pieces on your industry or niche, take the time and spend the money to build an incentive that speaks directly to them such as a golf swing fix. There are hundreds of directions a ball can go upon being struck, but Pinehurst Golf Academy was fully vested in making sure their new member’s hit their ball straight up the middle.

QR Review: Two Home Runs, a Walk, and a Strikeout

Are you using QR Codes® in your direct mail and promotional materials because you think you should or to thoughtfully engage your prospect on a deeper level? Are you using these two-dimensional codes to engage your prospects on a three-dimensional level or are you just incorporating QR Codes® because it is the thing to do? The results I saw this week reminded me that not every marketer has a defined strategy for response.

This week I scanned four QR Codes® from promotions I saw on the street, in a newspaper, magazine, and on a postcard. Two of the codes led me to a URL that positively influenced my opinion of the company or produce, one led me to a web page that didn’t support my decision making, and the last led me to a disabled URL. Let’s take a closer look.


QR Codes, QR

Burlap Events — 5 Stars

In response to wedding budgets lower than Kim Kardasian’s, a video company called Burlap Events recently ran a well-crafted advertisement in a female dominant magazine with a QR Code® strategically placed beneath its phone number. With a quick scan, my smart phone redirected me to a mobile-compatible screen with a personality-rich video.  The experience made me want to give the company a try in future and refer it to my friends who might have a special event that’s worthy of a video.


Cates Auctioneers — 5 StarsQR codes, QR

Looking for repeat business, Cates stays in touch with real estate agents and investors. Cates sent a postcard that was well designed, just enough photos and text, and a QR Code® strategically placed next to its social media mentions. I scanned the code and conveniently was led to virtual tour of the home making me even more confident of the value and location of the property. Cates gets five stars for creating urgency and using both channels extremely well.


Jane Iredale Makeup — 2 Stars

Flipping through a woman’s magazine I’m surprised to find only one ad in 140 pages with a QR Code®. The advertisement is for a makeup line that is highly buzzed about for its natural ingredients, natural look, and is only carried in high-end salons. I scan the QR Code® in hopes to learn more and fall upon the company’s home page, which is not optimized for my small smart phone screen. Nothing references the ad and there’s no offer, just a couple of You Tube videos demonstrating how to apply the makeup.

I would have expected more for the price point of this makeup. Even hosting a video showing before and after shots of a woman wearing the makeup would have been more persuasive. Nothing deterred me from the product but nothing moved me further down the sales pipeline either.


Subdivision Notice– No Stars

Walking my subdivision, I decided for the first time to swipe the entrance sign. Perhaps I’d learn information about my property value, when the next community get together was, or something else of importance. The QR Code® took me to a URL that no longer existed. No confidence boost there. Perhaps I should notify my homes association or the developer.


It’s interesting to see how different companies in different industries are using QR Codes®. Check back for another QR code® review – good, bad, or ugly. In the meantime, remember these four important points before you publish a QR Code® in your marketing materials.

  1. Test the code. Sounds obvious but make sure it works and continue to check it on a regular basis.
  2. Give the prospect a payoff. A coupon, video, juicy information they normally would have had to work really hard to get qualifies.
  3. Mobilize the experience. Make sure the QR Code® leads to a landing experience tailored to a small screen size. Dropping a customer on a flash-heavy, slow to download page is counterproductive.
  4. Track the scan. Which ad pulled your prospect through to the landing page? If you’re going to use a code, measure the response.

QR Codes® are another tool to allow us to think through the experience and give our customers one more reason to work with us or buy our product. Otherwise, what’s the point?



QR Codes® are a registered trademark of Denso Wave.


Are You Sticking Your Landing?

landing pages, PURLS, purlA gymnast who dismounts off the balance beam and sticks her landing—no bobbles, wobbles, or falls—usually earns a perfect score. In the world of marketing, the marketing officer who finishes his campaign effort with a well-constructed landing page that encourages customers to sign up and stick around, usually earns up to 40% more email captures than marketing officers who don’t point prospects to a landing page.

A landing page (also known as a squeeze page, jump page, PURL or a microsite) is relatively simple to build. Most companies should have at least one landing page for every product or service. A landing page should serve a purpose— to gain customer information so you can develop a relationship with him or her over time so they will trust you and buy your products. The cardinal rule is never send ad traffic to your home page where they might get lost and never return.

Building a landing page that gives the prospect clear value increases the likelihood of getting their contact information. But here’s the rub, you only get 56 seconds to persuade them to do this, according to data from Nielson. To optimize your chances of success, here’s a simple checklist to follow:

  • Make sure the call to action is clear
  • Make sure the headline is strong and matches your advertising promise
  • Put the important content at the top, so there is no need to scroll
  • Make sure your landing page loads easily and quickly so you don’t lose your prospects
  • Include links to your contact page and privacy policy in the footer
  • Don’t ask for too much information in your opt-in form (name and email are standard)
  • Give clear details of what they’re getting, when they’re getting it, and what to expect next
  • Include the copy, pictures, and when applicable, video, necessary to earn their trust
  • Testimonials that reinforce the benefit to opting in work wonders

Building strong landing pages has enough curriculum online to be parlayed into a college degree. However, if you don’t have time to go back to night school, just watch The Art of Crafting Effective Landing Pages by Daniel Johnston.

In case you don’t have time to watch all of Dan Johnston’s presentation, let me point out the four worst things you can try to do with your landing pages.

1.  Throw in the Kitchen Sink. Trying to cram as much as possible onto one page puts the burden on the respondent to sift through it. Stay focused on the one action you want them to take and why they should take it.

2.  Rush to get their number. Landing pages that immediately ask a visitor to complete a form, fail. Build up to it, then ask for their email or number.

3.  Optimize too much. Test which combination of headline, image, and offer button works best, but don’t waste a lot of time on minutia or microscopic tweaks.

4.  Not honoring brand. Just because landing pages are quick and cheap to build doesn’t mean they should look cheap. Make sure the image your page presents is professional and matches your brand.

We hope this gives you plenty of ideas to run and execute in the New Year with your landing pages. Build many, attract many, measure always, and remember to stick your landing for the best direct marketing results.