PURLs of Wisdom
These little gems put a little personalized shine on a cross-media campaign.
To understand the benefits of personalized URLs (PURLs), companies must comprehend what they are and how they work.
"PURLs, microsites and landing pages are special purpose Web destinations that allow us to continue a personal dialog with customers and prospects within the constructs of the campaign," said Laura Terry, CEO of Rockford, Illinois-based Trekk, Inc.
A more in-depth explanation: PURLs are personalized microsites or landing pages that are used for marketing and data collection and supplement any type of campaign. For example, let's say a company is launching a direct mail post card campaign to a data list of targeted prospects. PURLs build a dynamic landing page driven from that list and postcards will be printed via variable data printing directing your prospect to visit his/her personalized website. When the person arrives at the page, a site greets a visitor by name and presents him/her with products, services and information based on a database of preferences.
The company records the person's visit and any other information obtained. The visitor's information often is then collected and stored in a custom PURL database to be used for future campaigns.
A common example of a PURL is a web page with a URL such as www.xyzmagazine.com/jilljones. "Jill Jones" is the receiver of the message, either via e-mail or direct mail. Due to this personalization, campaigns that contain PURLs often have much higher response rates compared to more traditional direct mail or e-mail campaigns.
James Michelson, founder and principal at Indianapolis-based JFM Concepts and author of "Cross Media Marketing 101: The concise guide to surviving in the C-Suite," said it is important to remember that even if a prospect visits a PURL but does not take any additional actions, details of the person's visit can be tracked specifically.