11 Ways to Perk Up Your pURL Strategy
One “urban legend” in direct marketing is the story of the direct mail campaign with an online call to action that completely fails. Certainly you’ve heard horror stories about testing a URL call to action, in hopes that, like an 800 number, the URL will boost response. Yet, when the results come in, the mailer is several percentage points below its expected response levels—perhaps even lower than previous non-URL campaigns.
What happened to the unaccounted responses? Are they unconverted sales from people who visited the URL without making a purchase? Without proper tracking, the campaign manager cannot know. The tale ends with the marketer, laboring under the misconception that online calls to action don’t work in direct mail.
“A lot of companies call us and ask, ‘What’s a pURL, and how does it work?’ And we explain it to them, and they reply, ‘Really? It’s just putting a Web address in a direct mail piece? We’ve tried that before, and it doesn’t work,’” said Rio Longacre, co-founder and VP of operations for New York–based Indros Group, a developer and reseller of pURL software solutions. “The dirty little secret in the interactive world is that every time direct mail goes out, there’s a spike in Web leads. But, no one knows where they’re coming from because no one puts in their key codes,” he added.
Using pURLs, mailers can avoid the unknown and measure every response. “The mailers themselves will be able to tell for the first time every single person who’s going online, how often and everything they’re doing—even if they’re not doing anything,” Longacre shared. So, those missing percentage points in the sad story earlier can be accounted for as inactive visitors, or nonvisitors to the pURL—both valuable pieces of information.
“I think pURLs are innovative and a new method of interacting and engaging at a deeper level with a customer or prospect, but really it’s simply an evolution of direct marketing strategy. Many of the things we do as direct marketers can be improved by using this strategy,” said Jeff Haggin, CEO and president of Haggin Marketing in Mill Valley, Calif. Here, Haggin and other leading pURL marketers share best practices and strategies to help build successful pURL campaigns.