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PURLs of Wisdom

By Jun 01, 2010

It’s common sense to include a URL as a response mechanism in any direct mail piece to give recipients a quick and easy way to get more information or make a purchase.

Increasingly, mailers are turning their plain vanilla Web addresses into URLs personalized to the recipient. “They add relevance, and they engage the customer across multiple media for a longer period of time,” says Jesse Himsworth, channel marketing manager of AlphaGraphics Inc.

Himsworth shares a few reasons you might want to dress up your next mailing with PURLs:

The Wow Factor: Having their name in the URL is a great way to grab a prospect’s attention. Combine this with customized variable text and images, and your piece just might get read, rather than immediately tossed into the recycling bin.

Better Integration: If you time your mailing to sync up with efforts in other media, a PURL can help you better integrate campaigns across multiple channels.

Measurability: You can tell if someone has visited “their” site and set up a trigger-based e-mail blast to hit right after that visit.

But remember, while PURLs are great to have in your arsenal, they’re not a silver bullet. “When PURLs first came out, people thought that the prospect’s name [in the URL] was enough to drive someone to a site,” says Himsworth. “Now, the offer is critical. It needs to be part of a strong strategy.”