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Using PURL Redirects to Enhance Your Direct Mail

We just recorded another video. Our goal is one per month — and so far we’ve been able to keep on pace in 2013.

Today’s video is about personalized URLs. The traditional way of using PURLs is:

PURL –> Landing Page –> Thank You Page

Well, in the video below, we introduce you to another application called the PURL redirect. And for further reading, this blog post gives you even more information on the topic.

Video Transcript

Hey everyone, this is Ryan Cote and Matt Cote with a new video for our blog. In today’s video, we’re going to talk about personalized URLs, and we’re going to talk about a special application for PURLs called the PURL Redirect. We’re doing more and more of them for clients, and we think they have lot of potential. So we’re putting together this video to educate you on the marketing technology.

OK, so we’re going to do a comparison of a normal PURL versus a PURL redirect. And my amazing sketch here shows you the normal PURL, which is usually how they’re done. You’ve got the PURL that takes a person to a personalized land page where you can swap out copy and images and a prepopulated response form. And when they submit that form, it goes to a thank you page. So this is traditionally how personal URLS are done, and they can be very effective.

A PURL redirect is a much more simpler version. It’s less expensive. That’s one of the benefits. Basically, you’ve got the PURL, and when a person visits their PURL, it just redirects to whatever URL you want. That can be a page on your website. That can be a special offer or landing page that you’ve created for your campaign. But PURL just redirects to the URL.

Much more simpler, less expensive, and the way we like to describe it is if you’re just using a normal landing page on your direct mail piece versus a PURL redirect. They basically do the same thing. They go to an end destination, which is a URL.

But with the PURL redirect, you’re getting the tracking data. So with the normal URL, you can see how many people visited your website if you have analytics installed. But with a PURL redirect, you can see who those people are. And that reporting makes it very powerful, especially if you have some sort of follow-up system in place for phone calls or emails or what have you.

There’s a few different ways you can actually get your PURL onto your mail piece. The first way is to digitally print them, advantage being that you can actually reverse out of a solid, or you can incorporate it into the actual artwork better than the other technologies. The second way is to do inkjet. You have the ability to do duplex inkjetting, which is on front and back, and also simplex inkjetting.

The third is to do laser, and you can either do that cut sheet or continuous. The benefit again is you can put the actual PURL on multiple spots on the actual mail piece. And the thing you want to consider when you’re doing all these different technologies is the spacing you allow for the PURL. You can either design around that, or you can design the PURL truncated to the amount of characters you can fit onto the actual mail piece. So that’s just a little bit about the technology behind getting the PURL onto the mail piece and one major thing to consider when actually putting it onto the mail piece.

And I’m going to jump in with one point also to add onto that. We usually recommend that the PURL goes on its own line so that it stands out more. Anything you can do to draw attention to the PURL will help drive people to it.

OK, so that’s it for today’s video. If you have any questions that PURLS or PURL redirects or direct mail in general, just get in touch with us via our Contact Us form. Thanks for watching. Have a great day.



#1 Ted Grigg on 04.23.13 at 7:05 pm

If you are referring to a static URL for a special landing page, how is this actually personalized?

We track different lists and creative executions by appending a unique, static URL for each test cell.

In one test campaign, for example, we created 10 unique URLs for each test cell that allow us to track unique visits for each test cell for tracking purposes.

Does this describe what you refer to as a PURL redirect? Please clarify.



#2 ballantine on 04.24.13 at 7:59 am

Hello Ted – a PURL redirect is only personalized in the URL itself. When this personalized URL is visited, the person is redirected to whichever URL you specify. If you wanted to track across multiple lists, that wouldn’t be difficult — you would just need to have a column in the mail file that identifies which list that person came from. And then when you’re looking at the response report (and for the PURL redirect this is defined as those that visited their PURL), you simply sort by the list identifier column. Does this make sense?

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