After all, I have spent the last 15 years insisting that writing for the web is different.
Well, I’ll happily defend both positions. Writing for the web really is different, in several ways. But also, it’s important to remember that the web is a direct response medium. Click or no click. Action or no action. Response or no response.
Therein lies the similarity. Just like with junk mail, a website can only claim success when its readers take some kind of action. If a visitor simply glances at your home page and neither scrolls nor clicks before hitting the back button, you have failed. You haven’t driven action of any kind.
Let’s look at the life of a piece of direct mail, from the moment it lands on your doormat, and see how that compares with a successful website.