Marketing · Online advertising

Proven techniques to bring readers of printed ads online?

John Zhu Can help MVP development in exchange of sales expertise

June 5th, 2015

Current, I am planning, for a client, a (postal) mail campaign to reach potential buyers at their homes. The targeted audience includes female home owners of 30-45 years of age. Besides the design of the printed material (imagery and contents), the client also requested adding to the printed material "components to encourage and make it easy for readers to visit my website". The purpose is to bring these (offline) readers online, and manage the relationship with them online as much as possible.

Besides making the content interesting (we are working on it), what can I do to fulfill the requirement: "encourages and makes it easy for readers to visit my website"? What techniques do you have experience with, and what are the results (data points)?

A few tricks in my bag now:

  1. QR code for the website;

  2. Shortened URL, such as ""; and

  3. Acquiring a special URL for this campaign to make it easy to remember, then forward traffic to this URL to the customer's website.

What else should I include and test?

James Dean President & CEO at Unique Media House Inc.

June 5th, 2015

Hello Zheng ...

Ask yourself these questions:
  1. What is my important message?
  2. What is my irresistable offer?
  3. Why would my prospect send the link to another person?
  4. Is my campaign ... fun, playful, cool, useful?
  5. How will you authentically demonstrate that you truly care about the prospect?
  6. How well do you know my problem? Is my problem the same as your problem?
  7. What is their sense of urgency? Are they actively looking for a solution?
How are you satisfying these basic needs:
  1. Will it save me time?
  2. Will it save me money?
  3. Can I make money?
How are you satisfying "what's in it for me" ...
  1. Do you really care about me? Prove it.
  2. Will this make me look like a hero to my friends and family?
  3. Will this allow me to move up the Social Ladder (Social Status and bragging rights)?
  4. Is this good for me? Why?
  5. Is this good for my friends and family? Why?
  6. Will it help me belong (or join) a coveted Tribe?
There are many more basic questions ...

Zheng, ask these questions of many people to help you decide which content (and method) to employ to optimize your response, engagement and success.

James Dean Waryk

Brent Wittke CEO, Co-founder at Resale Therapy

June 5th, 2015

Zheng, I would be curious to see the results of the test you have currently designed. If your conversion rates are higher than 2% I would be surprised. I say this only because: if the consumer is actually reading print media and exposing themselves to print ads chances are low that they go online at all. Akin to attempting to get a fish to breathe out of water, there is oxygen in both locations but the medium is not what they are accustomed to. Brent Wittke

Jeremy Grodberg Web CTO & Software Architect - Available

June 5th, 2015

Zheng, the techniques you listed cover the "make it easy" part, but they do nothing to encourage people to visit the website. You need to focus on making a compelling offer that requires going to the web site to take advantage of. Could be a free download of an eBook, could be a coupon, it depends on what you're selling.

Once you have the reader motivated to go to the web site, then having both a QR code and a memorable URL will be all you need. (Even though you have a QR code you still want a memorable URL, and you still want a memorable URL because they are much easier to type even if you have the URL printed out in front of you.)

As for using an URL shortener, only use it if you can still make the URL memorable, e.g. instead of

Ami Vider Content Writer / Editor at Satellite / Hardware startup

June 6th, 2015

Zheng & Bret. & all, this is an excellent topic. People for years have been trying to "bring the old school" to the "online world". I just finished work with a man from very classic background. He has not made the "shift to digital" and tried very much (not just in print) to move e-mail readers to social-media, also to webinars, then to demos of all kind. Nothing really gave even 2% conversion rates. He still insists on "bringing in" the old lost flock to the new age. It seems like people who are using one form of media are unlikely to shift to another format. Print to the web is a huge shift to some. Please write about your results and give examples once you are done. [Jeremy's suggestions are excellent]