One of the biggest strides in direct mail over the last decade and a half is the advent of the “direct mail to internet” combination.
In the past, marketers would use what’s called a “one two” mailer to tease interest. For example, you might offer a free guide or report to be sent to someone. You mail that offer to a large list, then cultivate a smaller list of people who responded. That second list of responders gets marketed to much more heavily.
The downside to this previous “one two” method is that it’s very costly. Not only do you have to do an expensive direct mail campaign for a free product that you’re not making a profit on, but you also have to send the free product and then more mailers until you have a sense of whether or not the campaign was a success.
The internet has changed all that. Now, you can do almost exactly the same thing, much more efficiently and for a far lower cost.
How the Direct Mail to Internet Combo Works
The direct mail to internet combo works like this. A direct mail piece is sent out as a teaser. The direct mail piece has a strong offer (with a benefit statement or promise), along with tons of proof and testimonials.
Instead of asking someone to mail back or call for a free report, they’re sent to your website instead. Each direct mail piece has a unique code, such as “8YF64TK6″ that the user needs to type in when they get to the site to get their freebie. They must also give you their email address to gain access to your free offer.
Once the code is typed in, you’ll know exactly who typed it in and what their address is, based on your mailer’s database because you will “keycode” each name with a unique code. In other words, you can look them up by their code.
You now have a “hot” lead. You have someone who’s expressed interest in what you’re offering, someone who’s much more likely to buy.
The Magic of this Direct Mail to Internet Combo
What really makes this combo tick is how much cheaper you can do it than the traditional way.
It doesn’t take that much to get someone to go to a web address. On the other hand, it takes a huge amount of effort to get someone to mail back a card. Almost everyone is on their computer at some point every day!
That means that instead of having to do a two-page or a seven-page mailer, you can often get profitable results with just a postcard. A great postcard can drive a lot of people to your website, cutting down the price per mailing dramatically.
This technique opens up a whole host of other media that you can try out. You can try half page or even quarter page ads in magazines profitably, for example.
This internet-based “one two” mailer is much more cost effective than the traditional method. It also tends to convert better, as people today often feel more comfortable entering personal information online than on a direct mail form. As you follow up by email with more and more valuable information, you will increase the likelihood of that lead becoming a customer for life.
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