blog

October 28, 2015

Digital Marketing: pURLS 101

 

digital marketing

pURLs are a smart way to blend traditional and digital communication channels in a powerful marriage of marketing tactics. Here’s what pURLS are, and why you should consider using them in your next direct marketing campaign.

pURLS 101

“Okay, I’m interested – tell me more!”  

Evoking such a response is a primary goal of almost every prospecting effort, and pURLS are perfectly suited to answer this critical customer inquiry. A pURL (personalized URL) is a unique website landing page generated for everyone in your digital marketing campaign. pURLS work perfectly with either direct mail or email marketing campaigns – or a mix of both, if you are integrating digital marketing with print.

After being directed online by either a mail piece or an email, the user “lands” on a web page greeting him by name and with a tailored offer based on that consumer’s data. pURLs are highly customizable; they’re fantastic for collecting data; and, pURLS quickly supply your customer with important information and a clear call to action.

Additional benefits of pURLS include:

  • Increased direct marketing response rates
  • Real time tracking, allowing you to keep a finger on your campaign’s pulse
  • Ability to send internal email alerts, allowing for instant follow-up by sales
  • Ability to shoot out external emails, prompting customer action or supplying more info
  • Smart reporting – allowing for cleaner, more relevant future campaign data

pURL web page design tips

We can sum up pURL page design with: Grab them quickly, and keep them there!

Thanks to variable data printing, you can address the customer by name and quickly capture his attention. Don’t waste words … jump right into your offer. And don’t add any external links to your pURL page that could lead your visitors astray.

A good pURL will also closely match the look and feel of the promotional piece sending customers online in the first place: Consistency of branding and messaging is an important part of the user’s experience.  

Finally, don’t ask for any information you don’t really need: Keep the experience streamlined and simple for your customers.

Instant electronic action

With pURLS, it’s easy to tie an automated email to a website visit: When a prospect visits his landing page, you can instantly ping him with a followup message. But, just because you can email him doesn’t mean you should … there’s a line between proactive marketing and being perceived as spam.

Some uses of marketing response emails, triggered when a pURL is visited, include:

  • Thank yous / notifications of info received
  • Sending new information based on responses recorded on the pURL
  • Sending additional offers and coupons
  • Sending your prospect links for file downloads

Many marketers also opt to automatically notify their sales teams, who follow up with a prompt and well-timed phone call – striking when the pURL is newly visited and the iron is red hot.

How pURLS work > A peek at data mapping

It’s pretty simple, actually: You send your data file to your printing partner, and they import and merge it using variable data printing. Here’s a simplistic example of mapping your data to predetermined fields, creating a basic landing page outline:

A row in your data file might read:  

Trish Smith | 5/05/1975 | feline | Sparky | last in office 2.2.2014

Your printer plugs this data into a field with a designated spot for a first name, a spot for a pet name, and the type of pet.  A call to action is added, and you have the basis for a variable data-created pURL:

Hi Trish,

According to our records, your cat Sparky is due for an annual checkup. Please give us a call, or use our calendar below to schedule an appointment. Thanks!

Real time campaign metrics

pURLS offer digital marketing campaign managers the ability to see who visited what, who viewed what, who responded to what, and when they did it. This rich and useful data leads to smarter, more accurate future campaigns.

Say you send out 500 direct mail pieces, and 50 people visit your website as directed by the mail piece. Now you have two data groups to work with, moving forward: Your original list, and a valuable new list of highly qualified, potentially hot prospects.  

pURLS unite the physical and digital marketing realms, offer a richer user experience, and supply marketers with insightful real-time data. Consider putting pURLS into your marketing mix as you build your next direct marketing plan