PURLs of Wisdom
One of the best ways to get the attention of current and prospective customers is to use a personalized URL, commonly referred to as a “pURL.” A pURL usually contains the name of a prospect or customer within a web URL and directs that person to a web page or microsite that is tailored to them, such as with prepopulated fields containing their contact information or purchase history.
An example of a pURL is www.ABCCompany/joesmith, where “Joe Smith” is a recipient who receives a direct mail piece or email message encouraging him to visit the web page. The web address is unique to each recipient, as is the content of the web page, making customers and prospects feel that the company knows them on a personal level. In this way, pURL help to create a unique experience that is much different from what many other companies provide.
Techniques for creating pURL are similar to those used in variable-data printing. When prospects visit their very own personalized landing page, information is taken from the company’s database to personalize the site to the particular person who is viewing it. Often, variable-data printing and pURL are used together to boost the effectiveness of an integrated direct marketing campaign.
Once a prospect visits the web landing page, the website can then track his or her activities and even capture additional information. The information collected can help a company understand its customers’ wants and needs more thoroughly, resulting in a more effective provider of goods or services.