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August 2, 2011 / jasonpinto

Can Direct Mail Help Your Website?

The mail

A recent report from GI Insight provided a couple of statistics to reinforce the effectiveness of direct mail.

While those with “ink in their veins” may wish the percentage was higher, I think that seeing this stat is fairly encouraging: “47% of UK consumers said that they are ‘more often than not’ driven to a website by something they have received” in the mail.

I also enjoyed this one: “43% said that they kept direct mail around the household in order to remind them to visit the company’s website in future.

Yes, while social networks, emails, mobile, and other channels will continue to also drive people to the web, those channels may not necessarily have the ability to “stick” around someone’s house to remind them to visit a company’s website at a later date.

Of course, marketers may ask this question — how do I know if my direct mail efforts are driving traffic to a website?

Three Ways To Track Direct Mail and Its Impact On Your Website

Use Google Analytics to Benchmark Direct Traffic

Prior to sending out the direct mail piece, monitor and record the Direct Traffic that Google Analytics reports on your corporate website.

Then, monitor those numbers as the direct mailer starts to land in people’s mailboxes. While this is not going to tell you exactly how many people hit the website because they saw your URL on the mail piece, this approach may help you to gauge if the needle moved at all.

Yes, it may sound simple and less than scientific… but it’s something that should and can be done by anyone.

Use Personalized or Unique URLs on the Direct Mail Piece

Rather than printing your corporate website URL on the direct mail piece, use a custom or unique URL that will only be promoted to the people receiving the direct mailer.

That URL may simply serve as a redirect to the corporate website once it’s entered. Or maybe it points to a landing page that is embedded into one of your site’s pages.

This activity should help to serve as a good indicator if the mail piece made an impact.

Ask People!

This approach is often simple to execute and can result in solid data… but it’s often overlooked. In the contact forms that are provided on your website, add a question that asks people how they heard about you.

Also, train and encourage sales reps to ask new prospects that request more information if they received the mailer and then record it.

Moving Forward

Of course, direct mail’s impact isn’t necessarily measured only in the few days that it lands at the recipient’s house. As the 43% statistic above shows, people may store and return to that mailer at a later date — perhaps even weeks later. Thus, keep an eye on website traffic over the long-term to see if the impact of the mailer is still being felt.


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