July 18, 2013

4 tips to boost online actions with direct mail

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Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators,Web publishers, digital marketers.

John HaydonDirect mail seems to be a common way for nonprofits to promote their events and fundraisers. But it’s rarely connected to their online counterpart.

Following are four ways to integrate the two:

Understand your audience

1Who is receiving the direct mail piece? Are they current donors? Are they volunteers? Or are they simply names from a rented list?

Once you know who will be receiving the direct mail piece, you can better understand what messaging will encourage action.

Use fewer words

2Don’t print all the information about your event in an expensive direct mail piece. Instead, print just enough information to entice visits to your website, where they can read the balance of the information – and take whatever action you’d like.

Create dissonance

3One powerful feature of the human brain is its consistent need to resolve dissonance. For example, try singing the ABC song and stop on P. Notice the feeling of dissonance – the desire to get to Z – in your mind.

In the same way, you can create dissonance with your direct mail piece. For example, a mysterious question that can only be answered by visiting your website.

Measure conversions

4The problem with direct mail is that it’s hard to measure, unlike the Internet. The solution to this problem can be easily resolved by creating a unique URL that you can track with Google Analytics.

Alternatively, you could use UTM tags.

One last thought

Direct mail is often treated separately from online media. But you can get more out of each channel when they function as a unit.

How do you integrate direct mail and social?John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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