What’s in an E-Name?
It's no secret that personalization sells. From individualized direct mail to monogrammed pen sets, people have been making money off the human "Oh hey that's my name, how cool" impulse for years and years. What's slightly new to the personalization field, however, is the personalized web address, or "PURL." Much more than a monogrammed pen, PURLs can have an enormous impact on your business, especially in any print-to-web cross-marketing efforts.
How do they work? Why are they so advantageous for print products? How do you even get them made? Read on to learn all you need to know about PURLs and what they can do for your business.
WHAT THEY ARE
"PURLS" are personalized URLs that connect users to webpages designed specifically for them. They're similar to variable printing, where a list of names will be printed individually across an order, except instead of just names you're creating a list of individual, unique webpages. Examples of PURLs include: "www.irs.gov/StevenJenkins" or "www.mcdonalds.com/MarlaSmith." Once on that website, Steven or Marla would see a page made just for them, something like, "Welcome, Steven! Your taxes are late, please file online form 17-WJ for an extension."
Much like variable printing, part of the appeal of PURLs is that their personalization is a useful marketing hook to draw in users. But, PURLs go beyond the simple allure of personalization since they can offer a deep set of collected statistical and behavioral data about each user.
Since PURLs are webpages, they can make use of all the tracking tools available to the online world. Date, hour of day, how long a user spent on the page, what web browser the recipient was using—PURLs can gather all of that information with a standard web traffic metric program such as Google Analytics, let alone to what is offered by PURL providers. Because they're personalized, you'll have that data for each person who visits his or her specific site.