At first glance, a website’s landing page and a piece of mail don’t appear to be too related. One is an interactive section of a website designed as a transitional part of the conversion funnel for a potential customer, and, well, you know what a mail piece is, it’s a static design meant for a whole bunch of things. But when applying design principles to a landing page or a piece of mail meant for an advertisement of some kind, the process is remarkably similar. They are both halfway points for a potential customer, between first contact and an actual sale. It comes down to the three core ideas a marketer should have in their mind when creating any kind of advertisement: what is the offer, how do I get it, and where do I go to get it? These three questions need to be answered as quickly as possible or else the user will quickly grow bored and move on, regardless of whether they are on the computer or at their mailbox.
In both mail and digital, the offer needs to be the most noticeable part of the design. If the user has to hunt around for what the design is about, they will click away from the page or toss the paper away even if they would have been interested in what was being advertised. Not only does the offer have to be clearly visible, but also needs to be clearly stated and simply explained. Professional, clean design with minimal clutter also immensely helps, as people can often be skeptical about things they receive on the internet or through the mail.
So you have a well-designed, properly laid out offer, which is great. The next step is to make sure the user knows what to do next. An offer means nothing if the user doesn’t know how to take advantage. Explicit directions guide the user to the next steps while getting them further interested in the product or service. An important note is to make the next steps as painless as possible, things like auto-populated boxes with their info, easy to use QR codes, or simple codes can go a long way in pushing the user to further explore the offer.
A coherent call-to-action (CTA) is critically important for both mail and landing pages, because both are meant to drive the user further down into sales process. The user knows the offer and what they need to do to get it, now they just need that final push. While the CTA might be different on a landing page (a button, link, email, etc) than a mail piece (a phone number, a QR code, a reply postcard), the principle is the same: an obvious final step for the customer to take action on the offer and to put the ball back in your court.
In the end, a mail piece and landing page are designed for the same thing, as stepping stones designed to intrigue and delight the customer. If these three simple ideals are followed, they can be powerful tools for marketers and salespeople to further attract business.