Personalized URLs, or PURLs, have become an important part of customizing marketing campaigns to specific people, and all sorts of businesses are taking advantage of the benefits. As reported by the Miami Herald, the Miami Heat basketball team uses PURLs for each of its season ticket holders to access their account information through the Heat’s web site.
PURLs can provide a variety of benefits to both your business and your customers. PURLs often include the name of the recipient, such as www.xyz.com/joesmith. This makes it easy for Joe Smith to remember the URL and be more likely to navigate to that site. This is especially important when using URLs on print media, where the recipient can’t simply click on a link. People like seeing their name in print, especially on direct mail pieces.
On the other side, your company can provide targeted copy and images to Joe Smith when he visits his PURL. This could be based on his past purchasing history, or based on demographic information contained in your mail file. You can also track Joe Smith’s activity on his PURL. For example, did Joe Smith respond to your call to action? Did he make a purchase, or provide the requested information? This analytical information can help you tailor your follow up strategy accordingly.
PURLs don’t always have to be directed to a certain person, either. For example, you can use personalized landing pages in your marketing efforts. These types of URLs might not be personalized to the individual like a PURL is, but they can still be effective because they are customized to the offer.
- A marketing campaign that includes a specific message on a specific media, such as a billboard or a radio advertisement, can include a URL to a specific landing page that continues the message found in the original media.
- A direct mail brochure that features one of your product lines can contain a URL that brings the recipient to the web page for that specific product line.
- A radio commercial with a specific offer can include a URL with the radio station call letters that links to a web page where the special offer can be found.
The performance of each individual marketing media can be characterized by the activity of these URLs.