Your Site is all Direct Marketing
This may not be a popular view, but I think writing a web site is very similar to writing a piece of direct mail. I'm not talking about smash-and-grab fliers. I'm talking about those large mailings with brochures, a four or eight-page letter and a reply card.
And no, I'm not saying that the experience or the approach is identical. There are numerous differences too. But the similarities are significant, and can guide us in how we write for the web.
Here are some similarities:
1. We can guess that our conversion rate will be pretty low. In the area of one to two percent. More, if we do a good job.
2. We have very little control over the sequence in which people will read the information we provide.
With a direct mail piece, people might start with the letter, or the brochure. And who knows where their attention will settle first within either one. You never really know which part of a direct mail brochure people will read first. And the same goes for a web site. (If you have ever sat in on a web site usability test, you know what I mean. Sometimes it's hard to figure out why people choose particular links or pathways through a site.)
3. We know we are losing readers at every stage of the process and have to write in a way that is clear, engaging and compelling.
This is very true for both direct mail and web sites. Of the hundred people who start reading, we will lose the interest and attention of almost all of them before the 'task' is completed.
4. We can identify significant 'danger points' when it comes to losing a reader.
In a direct mail piece we know we lose readers at the end of pages...at the end of page one of a four-page letter for instance. Or after someone has completed reading a page in a brochure.
Online, we know we are losing readers when they read or skim a page and don't click forward one step closer to completing a task.
5. We know that we lose a significant number of people at the point of completing an application or purchase. They get that far and then back away at the last moment. This is very true for both direct mail and the web.
Now for one very significant difference between direct mail writers and web writers.
Direst mail copywriters KNOW all this and write accordingly.
- A direct marketing copywriter pays very close attention to the end of each page in a letter, writing in a way to pull people forward to the next page.
- A direct marketing copywriter looks through years of test results to write an application or purchase form that will yield the best results. (As does the DM designer.)
- A direct marketing copywriter writes in a way that is deliberately and carefully both compelling and informative.
A complex product takes several pages to sell. Knowing that, a copywriter needs to cover a lot of information for readers with a very fragile level of attention. The writer has to write in a way that is fluid, engaging, informative and persuasive.
- A direct marketing copywriter knows that key benefits and offers need to be repeated throughout the package. When you know that most readers don't read every word, you need to repeat key messages so that everyone gets to read them more than once.
What's my point?
I have two points to make.
First, there is a degree of sophistication in writing good direct mail that is rarely evident online yet. DM writers understand the nature of their medium and their readers in minute detail. At least, the good ones do.
However, online, while the quality of writers may be good, the sophistication with which they apply their craft just can't compete right now.
For instance, it's very rare to find a web page where you can see how carefully the writer and designer have worked together to maximize the number of people who click forward to another page.
In time, all this will change. It's just a factor of the relative immaturity of the online medium.
My second point is that DM copywriters live or die by results. Every single day. And to give themselves the best chance of success, they study the successful work of others, and they obsess over test results. DM marketers test everything and are always learning.
This is the second element that hasn't got up to speed online. It's so easy to test everything and anything online. We should be doing more of that and adding to our knowledge of what works best in given situations.
By way of wrapping this up, online writers can learn a great deal from DM writers. (The same is true for online designers, who can learn a lot from DM designers.)
Both media depend on action, repeated actions - whether it is paper pages being turned or links being clicked.
Good DM writers are masters at driving action. We should learn more from them.
Nick Usborne is a copywriter, author, speaker and advocat of good writing. You can access all his archived newsletter articles on copywriting and writing for the web at his Excess Voice site. You'll find more articles and resources on how to make money as a freelance writer at his Freelance Writing Success site.
Alibaba’s Cainiao and DHL combine parcel locker networks in Poland South China Morning Post
Surging E-commerce market to Increase the Valuation of Automated Material Handling Systems Market to US$ 81.8 Billion by 2033: FMI Presents Key Analysis - Yahoo Finance
Surging E-commerce market to Increase the Valuation of Automated Material Handling Systems Market to US$ 81.8 Billion by 2033: FMI Presents Key Analysis Yahoo Finance
Crurated’s wine platform uses NFTs and memberships to find a younger market Digital Commerce 360
The Trouble With Luxury E-Commerce The Business of Fashion
Online Retailer Das Kostümland Deploys Descartes’ Ecommerce Warehouse Management Solution to Strengthen Peak Season Fulfillment - Yahoo Finance
Online Retailer Das Kostümland Deploys Descartes’ Ecommerce Warehouse Management Solution to Strengthen Peak Season Fulfillment Yahoo Finance
INNOCOS Summit: Convergence of Beauty Retail, Technology, eCommerce and Experience - The Future is Digital (Berlin, Germany - June 1-2, 2023) - Yahoo Finance
INNOCOS Summit: Convergence of Beauty Retail, Technology, eCommerce and Experience - The Future is Digital (Berlin, Germany - June 1-2, 2023) Yahoo Finance
How To Use Pinterest For Ecommerce Search Engine Journal
Amazon and Alibaba lead in cross-border ecommerce Digital Commerce 360
Why small business now counts more than ever on B2B ecommerce Digital Commerce 360
Maersk goes greener on European ecommerce delivery Digital Commerce 360
Ecommerce Product Releases: February 1, 2023 Practical Ecommerce
How to monitor the carbon footprint of your ecommerce supply chain Digital Commerce 360
Retail and eCommerce news from the week beginning 30 January ... Enterprise Times
The future of ecommerce in Africa TechCabal
Ecommerce Rating and Review Tools Market is Going to Boom ... Digital Journal
Is e-commerce to blame for recent Louisville retail closures? (Access Louisville Podcast) - The Business Journals
Is e-commerce to blame for recent Louisville retail closures? (Access Louisville Podcast) The Business Journals
How ChatGPT Drives Ecommerce Conversions Practical Ecommerce
More core industries go hard core for B2B digital commerce Digital Commerce 360
Internal linking for ecommerce: The ultimate guide Search Engine Land
5 ECommerce Branding Mistakes You Need to Avoid StartupGuys.net
17 Most Valuable E-Commerce Companies in the World Yahoo Finance
Ecommerce CRM Software Market 2023| Statistical Analysis for ... Digital Journal
8fig Launches “Freight with 8fig” to Bring Competitive Freight Rates ... Global Trade Magazine
How To Create A WordPress Ecommerce Website Search Engine Journal
The future of B2C ecommerce - ThePaypers The Paypers
How to Optimize Your eCommerce Store for Maximum Revenue BOSS Magazine
Meesho, Snapdeal are trying to ‘democratise’ e-commerce The Financial Express
Looking at Ecommerce Returns in a New Light Multichannel Merchant
China’s e-commerce sector sees at least 89 platforms go under in 2022 South China Morning Post
Email Marketing Is Like Dating Practical Ecommerce
Why it's a great time to launch an ecommerce business The CEO Magazine
First Steps to Sustainable Ecommerce Practical Ecommerce
Retail and eCommerce news from the week beginning 23 January ... Enterprise Times
Charts: U.S. Retail Ecommerce Sales Q3 2022 Practical Ecommerce
15 Group Messaging Mobile Apps Practical Ecommerce
2022 US holiday eCommerce shopping exceeded expectations ... Enterprise Times
How to maximize your ecommerce campaigns with Performance Max Search Engine Land
Scaling eCommerce Should Not Crash eCommerce; SMBs Need a Platform That Grows With Them - Yahoo Finance
Scaling eCommerce Should Not Crash eCommerce; SMBs Need a Platform That Grows With Them Yahoo Finance
e-Commerce growth gravitating towards India’s tier cities Exchange4Media
12 new Google Analytics 4 ecommerce dimensions and metrics Search Engine Land
E-Commerce Operations Director, AU & HK job with Zimmermann ... The Business of Fashion
10 practical tips for setting up an e-commerce site - Small Business UK - http://smallbusiness.co.uk
10 practical tips for setting up an e-commerce site - Small Business UK http://smallbusiness.co.uk
TikTok's E-Commerce Management Structure Undercuts Claims of ... The Information
TikTok Parent ByteDance's E-Commerce Volume Surged in 2022 ... The Information
FedEx scales back Sunday deliveries again as ecommerce wanes Digital Commerce 360
Springwel Mattresses names Vinod Khandelwal as head of product and e-commerce - The Financial Express
Springwel Mattresses names Vinod Khandelwal as head of product and e-commerce The Financial Express
Shopify invests in US-based e-commerce analytics aggregator ... BetaKit - Canadian Startup News
How to grow your eCommerce business during a recession Elite Business Magazine
E-commerce boom spurs India’s electric three-wheeler market Automotive World
Retail and eCommerce news from the week beginning 9 January ... Enterprise Times
The Next Evolution of E-Commerce Progressive Grocer
7 E-commerce trends to look out for in 2023 Alibaba.com
5 Content Marketing Ideas for March 2023 Practical Ecommerce
How Brands Can Ready E-Commerce for 2023 With AI Total Retail
NEXUS Automotive International Creates Ecommerce Business Unit AftermarketNews.com (AMN)
How Merchant Accounts Can Save You Money
We all know that accepting credit cards is the key to online sales. Unfortunately, most merchants are unaware that acquiring a merchant account can actually save them money.
Accept Credit Cards Online Without A Merchant Account
It is often assumed if you want to accept creditcards on your website that you must have a merchantaccount. This is not the case.
How Measuring Key Performance Indicators Can Improve E-Commerce Strategy - Part One
The problem with most e-commerce marketing strategy today is that companies don't understand how they use things like web analytics. Most e-commerce directors or web marketers are given a budget and told to stick to it, and good analytics don't usually come cheap.
How to Gain Your Visitors Trust
If you are serious about selling on the world wide web and being successful, your number one priority must be gaining your visitor's trust. Without trust you won't sale much and that's really being optimistic.
How To Start An Internet Business - Site Layout
The fourth step of how to start an Internet business involves the layout of your site. When organizing it, two audiences must be considered.
Products for a Successful Web Business
There are F words in business. We have seen many small businesses on the internet flourish and fulfil their dream, but sadly we have seen some flounder and fail because they had the wrong product.
Select a Niche Market for Ecommerce
Choosing a carefully pinpointed niche market should be one of the first steps that an internet business owner has to take. A very common way of describing a niche market is 'a targeted group of individuals with very specific and similar needs or interests.
Is ClickBanks Popularity Drawing To An End?
ClickBank is the Internet's most popular payment processor for online payments but with many rivals appearing on the scene is ClickBank's popularity drawing to an end?ClickBank allows website owners to accept credit and debit card payments online and then deliver the products to their customers instantly. Since August 2005, ClickBank has integrated with PayPal so that people who either do not have a credit or debit card or choose not to use their cards online, can now pay using funds from their PayPal account instead.
To conduct business on the Internet, whether informal, one-time only transactions between two friends, or a full-fledged business selling products or services, payment arrangements have to be made. Before 1998, this often meant either checks sent through snail-mail, or very expensive, and often hard-to-obtain, merchant accounts for online credit card processing.
How To Prevent Your 3rd Party Merchant Account From Suspension
What would you do if you were sent an email from your online credit card processor telling you that your account has been suspended or frozen?How are you going to pay the bills in the meantime?It is extremely important for you to familiarize yourself with the terms of your contract with your credit card processor.As long as you comply with their set regulation and guidelines to maintain your account in good standing you should have no problems.
Rules for Achieving Online Success
The Internet brought a great deal of benefits to our life. Access to a lot of free and useful information is, probably, one of the most important out of them.
How to Generate Cash from Your Web Site
The Internet has changed the way people do business today. Most business owners don't have to rent an office in order to run their business.
Shopping Carts and the E-Aisles
Have you ever gone to the store and thought you only needed a few things so you didn't grab a cart? The next thing you know your hands are full and groceries are crashing everywhere making a big mess. If only you had gotten a cart.
Is Your Business Afraid of the Internet?
My Business is Afraid of the InternetBill Gates, CEO of Microsoft, once said that there would soon be two types of businesses, those online, and those out of business. Those words still ring true today, and many small businesses are missing a huge boat by not getting online.
The Check is in the E-mail
Have you ever had someone who owed your business money say, "the check is in the mail." Well now there is an answer to that old tired way of brushing you off and not seeing that check come in the mail week after week after week.
Turn Your Rusty Junk Into eBay Gold
Often times people to stop to realize the income potential of their "junk". And, when they DO decide it might be worth selling, they never give eBay a second thought.
Developing a Winning e-Commerce Strategy
One bright spot on the economic horizons around the world seems to be continued consumer spending and e-commerce is clearly a part of this, with sales estimated to be in excess of $9.9 billion in the next three months according to ACNielsen.
Projecting Your Image
Whether you sell a product or merely sell time to your employer in your labor, your main product is you. You sell yourself with every move you make, every word you speak or write, every attitude you display.
Ecommerce Marketing Plan
Concept of ServiceThe current work deals with marketing offer of e-commerce service. It highlights the essential steps of marketing of a brand-new firm offering services of website construction, design, programming, development, and promotion.
Grow your Business with Emarketplace - Part III
Increase Company ProductivityAfter years of hard work, finally your business started to pick up. You are selling more products then ever! You have lined up a good number of suppliers and buyers.
|home | site map|