Easily Personalize Your Direct Marketing Campaigns with Personalized URLs for Each Recipient

one to one marketing guy Blase Ciabaton, The DirectMail Man, Teaches a New Way to Do Some Real One-to-One Content Marketing

In order to generate measurable marketing response, you may well continue to rely on direct mail.  Although it may be less effective than in pre-Internet days, direct marketing does work with the right targeted message to the right audience. 

You can optimize your efforts by using a tool suggested by Blase Ciabaton. It’s all about PURLs that let you get personal with your prospects.

As a content marketer, you can target prospects individually with the use of PURLs, which are ‘personalized URLs.’  Thus, a 10,000 person direct marketing campaign would generate 10,000 PURLs which serve as individualized landing pages and can even greet the direct mail recipient by name.

This approach also enables the sender to track activities driven from that landing page precisely because it is attached to a unique individual.

According to Blase, here’s why this approach is so valuable:

“PURLs represent the future of direct mail marketing.  For those already using direct mail successfully, PURLs are very likely increase the response rate.  For anyone who’s avoided direct mail because of the difficulty in measuring response rate, then PURLs are the ideal way to leverage direct mail and have an accurate understanding of response.”

If you are still wondering how you might use this approach, Blase provides the example of a university prospecting for its new Freshman class:

A local college sends out a targeted direct mail campaign to attract rising high school seniors to apply.  Interested students enter their personal URL from the mail piece, and are welcomed by name to their custom landing page.  A very brief survey that’s on the landing page asks the students to select from a list of possible degrees or majors, and then asks for their preferred method of contact while collecting this additional contact info (cell phone @, e-mail address, etc.).

Direct marketing lives on. It fits well within our content marketing universe when the messages we send and the PURLs to which we send our prospects accurately reflect our understanding of their individuality.

You can learn much more about how to put PURLs to work by checking out what Blase has to say at TheDirectMailMan

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  1. Posted March 15, 2010 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    A client of mine has pre-paid postcards that they want to send, but lately, direct mail hasn’t been as effective as online ventures. This might be a great solution. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Newt Barrett
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Kathleen. I do think this could be helpful for them. Now you just need to be certain that you are making them an offer they can’t refuse.

  3. Posted March 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I thought I heard something about PURLs last year, but I can’t find where now. Most of my clients have abandoned direct mail in favor of email marketing/newsletters, but this is good to know in case a new client wants direct mail. It effectively solves the lack-of-tracking issue that email marketing exploited to gain prominence.

  4. Posted March 18, 2010 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    *tinfoil hat on*

    As an added bonus, anyone who sees the postcard (or starts making guesses based on the pattern of the purl) can type in the purl and obtain personal information about other people…

    The same is true for e-mail campaigns with custom urls that point to landing pages that have a prepopulated form. Depending on the list source, not every recipient is the intended recipient, but whoever receives the message can view this personal information. Guess the url pattern and information about a lot of people can be obtained through manual typing or harvested en-masse with a script.

    Be cautious about what info you include on the prepopulated form or landing page, or perhaps require that a specific piece of info (not included in the direct mail piece or e-mail) that would be known to the recipient be entered for the rest of the form to prepopulate. In the case of an e-mail, this could be something like a street name.

    *tinfoil hat off*

  5. Newt Barrett
    Posted March 18, 2010 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Thanks for adding to the discussion with helpful advice for PURL practitioners.

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