Saturday, April 24, 2010

Personalize to see an Increased Response

In my last post, I discussed the basics of mobile marketing and the benefits it offers businesses. There’s no doubt mobile marketing is on the rise, but it is most effective when used as part of a multi-channel campaign. Based on results from research conducted by InfoTrends, more than 60% of marketing professionals have responded that they have experienced increased customer response rates, acquisition, retention and satisfaction by using multi-channel marketing. Another easy way to help integrate channels such as print and web, is by using personalized URLs (PURLs).

What is a PURL?

PURLs are web addresses that are customized with a prospects name such as These can be included in the call to action on a direct mail piece or they can be sent in an email. The goal is to motivate either the existing customer or the prospect to visit the PURL. Once the user types or pastes the PURL into their browser, they are directed to a customized landing page. The landing page usually contains the users name on it and should also include targeted information specifically pertaining to their lifestyle, demographics, purchase behavior, etc. This is where the marketer can add value by using their database to really create a relevant message and connect to the customer or prospect. Any information that a marketer has in their database can be used to increase the relevance of their communication resulting in higher response rates and higher conversions.

PURLs increase relevance, raising response rates

The use of PURLs can benefit both the marketer and the customer. For prospects and existing customers, PURLs can help to increase brand loyalty by creating a unique user experience. Landing pages can be specifically tailored and customized, making the consumer feel like this offer is exclusively for them. This helps to strengthen existing relationships with customers as well as form new ones with prospects. For the marketer, PURLs can help to grow and maintain customer databases. If a business wanted to update existing information about their customers, the landing page can include a form for the user to make revisions to their own information and answer additional questions that the business might want to know. If the recipient of the PURL is not an existing customer, the landing page can serve as a way to obtain their information. This can be done by offering an incentive for filling out the appropriate sections or by asking for it in return for more information, to set up an appointment, etc. This automated data capture process can also greatly improve the quality of leads.

Another benefit to marketers is the high response rate PURLs generate. From the study previously mentioned, it was reported that compared to print only, a multi-media marketing campaign using print, email and PURLs was 35% more effective in generating responses.

Ways PURLs can work for you

An example of an effective multi-channel campaign might look something like this. A postcard is sent out to a prospect list inviting them to attend a seminar. Included on every postcard is a PURL with that prospect’s name asking them to visit that website to obtain more information and to register for the event. Once on the page, the user can confirm their attendance, update their contact info and can choose to opt-in to be reminded via text message 24 to 48 hours before the seminar.

PURLs can be used across all industries. In the automotive industry, you could send a personalized postcard with a PURL to customers whose lease us about to expire. Or send an email notification using PURLs to allow customers to schedule service appointments at regular intervals.

Colleges and Universities can boost enrollment by sending personalized communications with a PURL offering information tailored to the prospects known academic interests, gender, geography, extra-curricular activist, etc.

What information exists in your database that you could use to help make a more relevant communication?

Can you use that information to incorporate PURLs into your multi-media campaign?

If that data doesn’t exist, what information would you most like to gather?

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