Diving for pURLs Without Drowning: 8 Lifesaving Lessons

pURLpURLS are pearls beyond price for the savvy marketer. Don’t let yours become just another chunk of calcium carbonate! How do you ensure that your pURLs will shimmer lustrously?

The acronym “pURL” — Personalized URL – refers to a personalized web address incorporating your customer’s name. When accessed, it is populated with salient facts gleaned from data you have collected about them, and therefore is keyed specifically to interest that individual. 

The benefits to such an approach are many:

  • Allure. When done properly, your customer finds it almost irresistibly easy to click yes, place an order, or take the desired action. Pre-populated forms, for example, get up to a 30% higher response rate; products presented can be geared to past purchasing habits; and studies show that people are just plain old pleased to see their names used.

  • Relevance. Today’s consumers are being bombed with so many marketing messages, your best hope is to be more relevant than any of the others. Personalizing the consumer’s experience can ensure you are.

  • Greatly improved analytics. If your customer clicks around but does not take the desired action, you can still learn a great deal about what makes him tick while you track his actions – and the savvy marketer then incorporates what’s been learned into future campaigns.

  • Multi-channel marketing at its best. As we’ve discussed previously in this blog, people are responding more positively to direct mail than they have in decades. pURLs allow you to use sophisticated marketing techniques to entice your customer to action while maximizing your use of direct mail inexpensively. A postcard is a great way to offer up a pURL – with your prospect’s name displayed front and center in the web address — without trying to reduce a complex message to paper.

So now you’re convinced – pURLs sound like a gem of an idea. But how do you ensure a successful pURL campaign?

  • Clean up your database. I shudder at the condition of some of the databases I receive from customers. Loaded with obvious misspellings, I can only imagine what other incorrect data must be lurking. Nothing could be worse than a personalized piece with a misspelled name, so start combing your database for errors, and institute quality control measures to keep it in tip-top shape.

  • Keep the pURL simple. You don’t want long, unwieldy, intimidating web addresses – keep’em short and sweet. And be sure to use a memorable address in addition to their name, so they can find you again even if they lose their pURL info. “Halfpricewidgets.com” is far better than a corporate name that few people will recall in a week or two.

  • Show that you understand your customer. As a savvy marketer, you know what makes your customers tick, what preferences each one has shown, and what behaviors they have demonstrated. Use this information to create relationships with them on their personalized page – but without being creepy. Don’t mention little Ashley and baby Justin by name!

  • Use freebies and other enticements to get your customer on board. When all is said and done, you still need to get your customer to look at the page. Tried and true marketing techniques like free samples, discounts, and contests, all of which must be accessed via their pURL, still work like a charm. Use whatever it takes to get them to look at their personalized page.

And if you are afraid of drowning in a sea of technical difficulties, don’t be! As with everything else digital these days, there are easy DIY interfaces as well as many firms willing to help you manage this quickly and easily.

So start diving for those oysters, and watch the pearls roll in!