One of the most impactful tactics in communication and in marketing is the use of personalization. We’ve known this for centuries. The only thing that changes are the tools we use to communicate. Whether it be written, visual, audible, digital or physical you can add personalization that will produce better results no matter what the desired outcome is for you and your organization.
What we’re going to talk about specifically in this article are PURLs, or PURL Marketing and PURL Direct Mail with when fully spelled out and not used as an acronym is Personalized URL Marketing and Personalized URL Direct Mail.
What is a PURL?
A PURL is a Personalized URL or more specifically a Personalized Uniform Resource Locator. A PURL is used by companies and marketing agencies to create a unique, branded and efficient experience for those who engage with the link. Some people will call Personalized URLs vanity URLs which is technically true but in most cases vanity URLs are simply the use of a domain name purchased exclusively for a marketing campaign. So they are similar to PURLs but have that nuanced difference.
The structure of a PURL is commonly built as follows https://www.domain.com/PersonalizedPart or https://PersonalizedPart.domain.com
Either structure works it’s just one PURL uses a subdirectory and the other uses a subdomain for the Personalized part of the URL.
*Just a quick note PURL actually stands for Persistent Uniform Resource Locator, but Personalized makes way more sense under the use cases we describe and how you’ll be using them. And we don’t think you’ll be confused at this point but we’re not talking about PURL in knitting.
What is PURL Marketing?
PURL Marketing when you use a Personalized URL on any marketing channel, then when clicked, typed or scanned will bring you to a unique landing page that has been created specifically for that PURL. You’ll typically find PURL marketing being used on printed materials such as promo products, swag bag contents, postcards and direct mail.
You can get really creative here because if you put in the time a PURL Marketing effort can not only use the PURL for personalization, but you can also include that same personalization on the landing page. Think about using variables such as first name, last name and other variables specific to the customer or prospect.
You’ll find that PURL Marketing will generate better results.
You can also apply this to any number of recipients whether it’s 100 or over 1 Million recipients. If you are using first name and last names you’ll obviously run into duplicates such as www.domain.com/JohnSmith PURL software can recognize that and create numbered versions to differentiate such as www.domain.com/JohnSmith2 , /JohnSmith3, etc.
This also allows you to track your performance better and more granularly.
What is PURL Direct Mail?
PURL Direct Mail is form of PURL Marketing but specifically focused on the direct mail aspect where the recipients are getting postcards, brochures and letters in the mail. Imagine getting a printed card in the mail with some offer and the offer states that you can claim it now by going to www.domain.com/YourName. This will catch the attention of the recipient and get them to visit that URL more than a non-personalized URL.
We do have to mention that you can also do this with QR Codes. Those same PURLs on the direct mail piece can also be embedded in the QR code so it generates a frictionless personalized experience.
The cost to run PURL Direct Mail doesn’t have to be any higher than other direct mail methods. There is software that makes this very simple.
PURL Software Options
While it is possible to create PURLs manually, if you have a lot of different PURLs to create then you have to use PURL software to make it happen. So why should you use PURL software? Because it makes the process easier and more cost efficient.
Here we’ll look at a number of PURL software options that you could start using today.
- EasyPurl ( www.easypurl.com )
- Boingnet ( www.boingnet.com/purl-software/ )
- PURLem ( www.purlem.com )
Any of these PURL software solutions will work well for your needs. There are other options out there but many are tied to those who print and we doubt you’re looking to work with competitors.
The main takeaway here is that PURLs are an easy way to generate better results in your marketing. Go do it!
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