A good website is key to the success of your automotive business. A savvy marketing strategy should also include utilizing microsites, too. What’s the difference between them, though? What should they be used for? Aspen Automotive finds out in this microsite vs. website overview.
Differences Between Website & Microsite
Microsites and websites have a lot in common. They’re both web pages that you can view on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. They both require programming and feature a URL. They’re also tools that can be used to improve your automotive business. So, what’s the difference between them? Let’s dive in and find out!
What’s a Website?
If you’re reading this, you already know what a website is, but for the purpose of your automotive business, a website is where you help customers learn more about you and what you have to offer. From promoting your inventory to giving drivers a rundown of the services that you provide, it’s the foundation of your online presence.
Not only is it where interested consumers will learn about your business, selection, service, and financing departments, but it’s also a living extension of your business. A well-run website should check the following boxes:
- Be user-friendly
- Help you build your brand
- Drive your business
- Engage with customers
- Evolve over time
The most effective websites establish a consistent identity for your business. That should help with building brand recognition and establishing long-term success.
What’s a Microsite?
At first glance, a microsite looks an awful lot like a website. However, instead of surfing the world wide web, it’s more like surfing two or three pages. That’s because a microsite is a smaller website that only features a few pages, or sometimes just one page.
Not only is it more condensed than a full website, but it usually exists independently from other websites, too. For example, if you created a microsite for your business, it would likely be separate from your homepage and have a totally unique URL.
The main reason for this is that while your website is designed to promote all areas of your business, a microsite is usually built for a specific purpose, such as:
- Promoting a new model
- Scheduling a test drive
- Scheduling service
- Redeeming exclusive offers
Using Websites & Microsites in Direct Mail Marketing
While a direct mailing campaign and web design may seem like totally different endeavors, you can actually combine them to form a smart marketing strategy. A perfect way to do this is to create your mailers with the goal of directing people to your online presence. A couple of the tools you can include in your postcard, dimensional mailers, and letters that can do that include:
- QR codes
- Personalized URLs (PURLs)
Whether you’re driving leads or existing customers to your sites, these tools are quick and easy to use. Practically everyone is familiar with scanning and using QR codes after the last few years. Plus, PURLs are a perfect way to make something feel more personal for your recipient.
These tools can be used to bring people on your direct mailing list to either your website or a microsite that’s specific to your current campaign. For example, if a new lead wants to learn more, you could send them a postcard with a QR code that connects them to your homepage or About Us section.On the other hand, if you’re reminding an existing customer that it’s time for maintenance or that there’s a more recent model that they could upgrade to, you could provide them with a PURL that sends them to a microsite that’s designed to be a scheduling portal. They’re also a great tool for running holiday sales and limited promotions.
Learn More About Incorporating Microsites & Websites into Your Campaign
Aspen Automotive and Epsilon can help you assemble a quality mailing list that reaches the right people and brings them to both your website and any microsites that you want to design. Together, we can use both platforms to increase conversions and help you get a better return on investment (ROI). Contact us to learn more about microsites vs. websites and get started!