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PURLs: What They Are and How To Use Them

Posted by on September 11, 2011 under Direct Mail and Sales & Marketing

How to Use PURLs

What is a PURL? No, the kind we’re talking about is not the sound made by rippling water, nor is it a stitch used in knitting. PURLs, or personalized URLs, are web addresses personalized for each visitor. Often used in direct mail marketing campaigns, they are a valuable, unique form of communication useful for any organization. Here’s the scoop on PURLs.

What They Are, Exactly

PURLs, as I’ve already stated are personalized web pages. While unique for each client, they often follow a similar format. First, a landing page which often times has the personal touch of a client’s name featured in the banner. The landing page links to a survey page—which gathers more information regarding individual preferences. The survey page then links to an information page containing potential services for that individual based on their survey answers. A thank you page frequently follows, thanking clients for taking the time to visit the site and take the survey.

How You Can Use Them

PURLs allow for your organizations to track your clients’ usage of their sites. Each time they enter their unique URL, data can be collected and reported back to you so you can continually refine and enhance your site’s content based on what’s most popular for that client.

In addition to the data collecting aspect of PURLs, your organization can use PURLs for event planning. Clients can respond to event invitations and fill out registration or payment forms on their PURL. Offering discounts or rewards for responding via their PURL adds incentive for them to use it.

Why They Work

Because PURLs offer unique destinations for each direct mail recipient, content is consistently relevant to individuals. Personalized web addresses lead to increased response rates for surveys and other promotions, studies show. Compelling content tailor-made for your clients will keep them coming back to their personalized site.

AlphaGraphics, MindFireInc. and MailPrint offer software and expertise on the subject. Check out Personalized URLs and see how they can help your organization connect to clients on a new level.

How else does your organization use PURLs?

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