Ideal is between 55% to 60% of total visits. Direct Entries should be your most productive metric. Normal range is 50% to 65%. If below 50% then your offline advertising and/or email response is weak. If higher than 65% it is likely you are depending too much on one advertising source and therefore missing out on additional readership. This is the metric you have the most control over. For 15 years running it has been the most productive of ALL metrics for our customers.
What Is A "Direct Entry?"
Where Do Direct Entries Come From?
Those are the most common sources. There are many others.
What Do Direct Entries Show?
What To Do If Low
What To Do If High
How Do People Make A Direct Entry?
The address bar is where you physically type in Web site URLs. If you do not know where the address bar is, or how to use it, get someone to show you. Don't feel bad, I run into customers every year who do not know what an address bar is, let alone know how to use it. ( If you are using search engines to type in Web site addresses you don't know what an address bar is.) Since your Web site visitors know what the address bar is, and will be using it, you too need to know what it is and how to use it.
Why Direct Entry Is Important
But a Web site can handle it all !
This is why effective advertising today strives to drive people to the company Web site for details. Almost all advertising today depends on a three-step process; 1) advertising that drives people to a Web site; 2) people get details at the Web site; 3) people then either phone the company from the Web site or buy the product or service online.
All offline advertising should include your Web site URL. If your offline advertising is compelling people will look at your Web site. Weak offline advertising shows up as a low percentage of Direct Entries in your traffic report.
A diverse offline advertising program may include print ads, radio spots, TV commercials, brochures, rack cards, business cards, clothing, coffee mugs, and a long list of other things that can display your URL. I am surprised on a regular basis at how many of our customers do not have their URL displayed in a wide range of offline advertising. Not including your URL is wasting good opportunities!
Is The Culprit Email Or Offline?
If the email response does not have a good subject line it will not be opened. Since people get so many emails they decide what to open and what to delete entirely by the subject line. For this reason you need to be a master at writing good subject lines. If you can't, or won't, take the time to write GOOD subject lines stop wasting your time answering email leads.
If your email response gets opened but is too long, or not well written, then click through rates drop, which causes a low Direct Entries metric. Over the years we have polled our email leads senders asking them how helpful the experience of getting email responses was in making travel plans. The biggest complaints were "canned responses" that did not answer their questions, and responses that were way too long.
Our goal in polling our email lead senders was to get feedback from 1,000 of them. We got those 1,000 responses, but it took three years. These folks could call us toll free, or email. This is why we can say what people really want and expect in email replys from you.
Many customers forget that there will be at least 50 other competitors answering those email leads. People DO NOT have the time to read long email responses! Contain your urge to write more than a paragraph or two at the most. Yes, short compelling emails can be written. DO NOT send your whole web site, DO NOT send a bunch of photos. It is NOT what people want.
Regarding offline advertising, it all depends on what you are using. I can tell at a glance what the problem with offline advertising is. But that is a long subject for now. Call if you think this is the problem.
Why Do Email Clicks Show As Direct Entries?
Written August 2008 by Gary Cooley