Three P's you should understand: postcards, personalized URLs and profits

Brian
April 26, 2009

postcardPerhaps you've heard of personalized URLs, or PURLs, highly effective direct marketing tools that take the one-to-one customer marketing experience to a whole new level, especially when used in conjunction with direct-mail marketing campaigns. In fact, research indicates that more than 42 percent of direct-mail respondents go online to take action, making postcard-to-website marketing perhaps the best strategy for robust return on investment. Personalized URLs take it one step farther by not only tailoring your website landing page to your postcard offer, but also to each specific customer. Here's how it works: You send a targeted postcard to your mailing list directing customers to visit your website to follow-up on your offer. They're given a personalized URL (www.yoursite.com/theirname). Once they log on, relevant and personalized data from your database is dynamically pulled in to your web template, helping each individual customer find exactly what they're looking for. Let's say, for example, a grocery store we'll call SmartMartGrocery is offering online orders for local delivery. SmartMartGrocery decides to run a postcard-to-website campaign to promote the service. The company masterfully creates a compelling postcard with a wonderful offer of $50 in free groceries on orders of $100 or more. One of the postcard recipients is Mary Wallace. A local soccer mom, Mary is a member of SmartMartGrocery's Smart Shopper Club, which rewards her with a discount every time she swipes her club card (and tracks her purchases). Her postcard directs her to visit www.smartmartgrocery.com/marywallace to redeem her special offer and start shopping. Intrigued, Mary visits her personalized URL and the web page loads products, specials, offers and text that complement Mary's purchasing habits. Mary is more likely to buy because her offer isn't just targeting local soccer moms; it's targeting Mary Wallace as an individual and helping her find things she already wants to buy. The company does this for every customer on its mailing list (the entire process is automated, so it can target many different types of customers in one mailing). The result? Massive profits for SmartMartGrocery. Smart indeed. Have you tried postcard-to-personalized URL marketing? What were your results?

Brian's picture

About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

PURLS
(Personalized URLs)

The Personalized URL (PURL) is a very powerful Direct Marketing tool. Used in conjunction with Variable Printing Data, PURLs can help you surpass your most ambitious marketing goals. A PURL is really just a simple, personalized website. By adding a PURL (such as CustomerName.GrowYourBiz.com) to a Direct Mail piece, you can create an incomparable cross marketing campaign. As noted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), a PURL can:
 Increase response rates by as much as 400%
 Reduce cost per lead by 50%
 Secure invaluable information about each customer
 Convert prospects into loyal customers
 Enhance your Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
 Equip your sales force with highly qualified leads
 Track and measure campaign responses in real-time

Additionally, recent industry studies reveal that nearly half of direct mail recipients prefer to respond online. In fact, one quarter of recipients will only respond on line. Metro Data & Mailing can help you capture these valuable leads by creating a PURL to reinforce every direct mail piece created through our Variable Data Printing.

Considering their widespread reach, PURLs are certainly one of the most cost effective means to increase response rates. In fact, they can easily fit into virtually any marketing budget at just a few cents apiece. Metro Data & Mailing can help you create hundreds or thousands of customized PURLs in record time utilizing your customer database or mailing list.

PURLs will also help propel your marketing efforts to the next level. You can secure information not available through conventional campaigns with a single, general web site link. And you can use this information to determine the effectiveness of your marketing, learn more about your customers, provide your sales force with hot leads and grow your business.
Two Great Resources for PURL’s are:
www.metrodm.net
www.pennyapurl.net
These systems are far more sophisticated than other software out there, fully customizable, and far less expensive as they are the creators, not distributors.

Brian's picture
Brian January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

Thanks for the great information, Anthony! There are actually several PURL services available, and the technology is still evolving so I can't say there's a conclusive front-runner in this industry. You might also want to check out:

http://signup.easypurl.com/

http://www.customerparadigm.com/index/9/Personalized_URL_system.php

http://www.intimis.com/

http://www.postalsystems.com/purl.html

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

In distributing postcard marketing campaign material, you can promote your business in an hassle free and effective way.

Brian's picture
Brian January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

You're right, but it takes more than simply distributing postcards - you have to take the time to research your market and develop a great mailing list.

You also have to come up with an exceptional offer and powerful call to action. Understand features and benefits, and the differences between them.

Package all of these with great copy and dazzling design on a professionally-printed postcard, send it to a well-targeted mailing list, and then you can expect a solid return on investment.

And always remember to TEST, TRACK, AND TWEAK to come up with the most effective marketing strategies for YOUR business. There is no one-size-fits-all.

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