I Got Personal with PURL

Joe Mehl presents on the topic of PURL

Joe Mehl presents on the topic of PURL

Attendees got personal with PURL at the Manufacturers Association on February 19th when Joe Mehl of Dispatch and George Sackandy of Intelmarx spoke about the benefits of combining PURL with traditional direct mail marketing. But let’s not jump into the benefits until we uncover what PURL is and how it even works. 


What is PURL?

PURL, also known as a Personal URL, is a Web page address that has been personalized to a specific recipient using their name.  The idea being that a person is more likely to visit a Web page that is personalized with their name in the URL out of curiosity of what information is there. Once they go to that web address, the information is tailored specifically to them based on data the organization already has on file. For example, women may see more humanistic language and images verses a man who would see more competitive/methodical content.


How does it work?

According to Joe Mehl from the seminar, these are the steps taken in the PURL process:


  1. Contact receives a direct mail or e-mail message describing an offer enticing them to visit their PURL (ex. http://www.gettingpersonal.com/CathySmith)
  2. The welcome screen on the web page is directed to the recipient using their name
    An example of what a Login Page would look like

    An example of a Welcome Screen

  3. A contact information page is pre-populated with any data that may already exist and is relevant to the offer
  4. The prospect is asked to complete a short survey probing them for more information
    An example of a survey page

    An example of a survey page

  5. A marketing message or offer is given
  6. A thank you page appears providing other links and downloads to the viewer
  7. Follow up happens immediately whether it is an e-mail or a phone call
  8. Now the sales process on this individual can begin


Okay, now that we have figured out what PURL is and how it works, it is time to look at how PURLs can be beneficial.


Why use a PURL?

According to George Sackandy, CEO and Founder of Intelmarx, the direct mail industry has a response rate of only 2 percent. This means that the non-response rate is 98 percent! We receive thousands of marketing messages each day and only respond to few and far between. So, how do marketers grab the attention of their prospects? They use PURL in combination with mailing pieces to attract customers!


One case study conducted at Albertson College proved that by incorporating PURLs and variable data printing in their recruiting materials, the school could increase their response rate by 18.7 percent. The school was originally sending large packets of information about every program to all prospective students. This was a lot of information to juggle through and not personal in any way to the person opening it. Prospective students were not responding because the packet looked just like all of the others they had received from other colleges. Albertson decided to get personal. They used information that had already existed about prospects in order to send them a direct mail piece including a PURL. When students went to their PURL, the page was catered to the individual based on their interests, activities, and future major of choice. Albertson took a few extra steps to change their recruiting using PURLs and what a difference it made. Now this gives plenty of reason to use PURLs in any marketing campaign! By using PURL you can increase response rates, leads, and overall profit. Why not give it a try for your business?


For more information on Intelmarx click here

For more information on Dispatch click here 



2 Responses to “I Got Personal with PURL”

  1. 1 Anthony Casimano July 15, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    (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:
    These systems are far more sophisticated than other software out there, fully customizable, and far less expensive as they are the creators, not distributors.

  2. 2 Marty Thomas November 18, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Hi.. I would encourage your readers to check out http://www.purlem.com. It offers an extremely simple way to get up and running with Personal URLs. And you can try it for free…

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March 2009

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