Marketing better with PURLS (personalized URLS)

What is a PURL?

PURL is short for Personalized URL. It allows personalization and tracking of direct mail pieces, email, magazine advertisement, and virtually any means of media. Customer’s appreciate and acknowledge marketing that seems to be about them (personalized) and their industry more than random bulk mail.

What is the Purpose of a PURL?

The goal of using PURL’s on your marketing campaigns is to increase response rate, track & test marketing pieces in real time, and create targeted and better focused campaigns for segmented lists.  All of these things will improve the quality of your customer database lists over a period of time.  The reason is because of the data that you will receive back from using the online method of tracking and requiring certain data to be filled out prior to receiving their intended item.

When you couple a PURL with Direct Mail what are the advantages?

Using variable printing, I have been able to switch out the imaging on every mailed piece along with the actual copy changing based on location, product of interest, or any cataloged item in my excel spreadsheet.  When you use four color presses this technology is not as readily available and certainly not at a low price. With variable printing and PURL’s the price actually drops lower due to the digital print along with bulk mailing methods. Even if you don’t have a lot of mail in one particular zip code, now marketing companies have so much mail going out, an individual company can qualify for bulk rates under the marketing companies rate. You just have to find the right company!

How does a PURL work?

  • With direct mail each piece is dynamically printed using variable data printing and an excel file.
  • Printing personalized information on the card or changing the message on the card does not change the cost of the printing
  • It matches a unique URL with the customer’s name at the end to a personalized website


Where is the PURL pointing to?

  • My PURLs are all being hosted on my vendors online system (there are several out there but if you need direction on where to turn, I am more than happy to refer you to the company I use)
  • This management software allows us to upload any html coding
  • Their system generates a PURL using our company’s domain name. (A quick setup was required by our IT department)

What hiccups did I encounter when I started using PURL’s?

In order to get high response rates and have qualified leads, the customer list is the most important piece of information for a direct mail campaign that uses a PURL. Since the goal of each direct mail piece is to get people to visit a “microsite,” where the most important information is located, the call to action is the second most important piece of information for a direct mail using PURLs.

So now, I am able to mail direct mail pieces that are more focused to a more qualified and targeted group of my list. This has allowed for much faster conversio in the lead to sale process.

1 Comment

Filed under Direct Mail, Marketing, PURL, Uncategorized

One response to “Marketing better with PURLS (personalized URLS)

  1. Pingback: Are you having trouble with your Marketing being creative? Try using PURL’s – they bring out the best in you! « Sylva Wilson

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