Personalized URLs...a great direct marketing tool

Fri, 09/17/2010

So what the heck is a PURL? Besides those white orbs from oysters...


Well, PURL stands for “Personalized Uniformed Resource Locator”.


…what does THAT mean you ask?


It’s simple really – a URL is a pointer to a “resource” (or page) on the web and a PURL is a personalized pointer to a personalized page.


…still don’t follow?


Ok, let’s put it in terms of you, the Consumer.


A direct mail postcard comes in the mail. The card announces a new resort in Las Vegas….with a URL so you can find them on the web. The web address is generic and just goes to their home page….you maybe spend 5 seconds looking at where it is on the strip and the pool. Yawn. Not any different than had you typed their name in a search engine.


The next day another direct mail postcard arrives from a well-established resort in Vegas but this time – the URL isn’t generic – it’s got your name in it!

“A web page all of my own? Interesting!” you think and promptly type it into your browser.

Whoa! The home page is like you created it yourself! Pictures of the spa you enjoyed last time you were there and a special coupon offer if you come again during certain dates. All you have to do is enter some info into a survey…and ah, cool most of it’s already filled out, address, etc – you just have to hit click to submit. Nice & easy!


Make sense now? Good, now let’s break it down to you, the Marketer.


Basically, what a PURL can do is almost endless but here are four basics:


1.     Response rates increase for your campaign by adding the personalization.

·         People are curious – they are going to want to see what typing their name in on the web will bring!


2.     Conversion rates multiply by pre-filling information.

·         People are busy – fill it out for them so they don’t have to!


3.     Quality Data is gathered by tracking them.

·         People are particular - at an individual level you’ll gather intel on how to target them specifically in the future. At a group level if an offer isn’t working you can test & change for what does.


4.     Flexibility with your messaging.

·         People are excited for new things - PURL pages allow for changes and the home page can remain static to your brand standards.


So, next time you’ve got a direct mail project, consider the power of a PURL.



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