Friday, March 20, 2009

Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend...Sometimes.

…and sometimes it’s PURLs!

PURLs (Personalized URLs) are the latest and greatest marketing tool to hit the street this decade. And that’s saying a lot.

It works like this: a savvy marketer (OK, we’ll assume it’s you, wise and wonderful friend) has asked Paul&Partners to help you (that’s the part that makes you both wise and wonderful!)

First P&P sends a letter or postcard to your intended audience. The card invites the recipient to “go to this website I’ve created for you” to learn more about blah blah blah.

The invitation P&P has created for you has the recipient’s name in color so it’s very obvious. (Remember, people always love to see their names in print. Color ensures they will see it.) So the curious recipient checks it out. Voila! He’s entered the wonderful world of PURLs.

On his personal URL, you greet him by name. You give him content of value—something of real interest and benefit (read the previous article on marketing to Gen-Xers). Maybe you ask a couple of questions that are apropos to your better understanding his needs (ie “I’ll be ready to buy this item in 1 week…1 month…6 months”). Maybe you give him a link to your main web page where he can get more in-depth information. Certainly you ask for any contact information you don’t have embedded in the PURL site already.

So far so good, right? I’m just getting started.

Assuming he answers some of your questions, he’s giving you important marketing intelligence so you can tell how to better approach him next time.

If he didn’t answer your questions, you can at least see what he read and how long he stayed on your site. So you can ascertain his level of interest and in what specific areas he has interest.

Tres’ cool, indeed. But it gets better.

When he logs off, you know instantaneously who has visited, what list he’s from, what he read, how long he stayed, if he linked to your main webpage, and if he answered any of your questions. In other words, you know a lot about your visitor.

He’s left his footprints for you to follow. He’s telling you what you need to do to address him more pertinently in the future. He’s started a conversation with you, and now it’s up to you to respond appropriately.

But wait! There’s even more!

If you’re a certified number-crunching marketer then you should be delighted to know that the P&P’s PURL software can also give you the statistics you want…and can give them to you real time. So you know how many people have responded from each list…what the percent return is for each list…how many people say they want to buy your gizmo in one week…etc.

But perhaps you’re not selling gizmos. So what can you use a PURL to do?

Track alumni…accept contributions…make reservations…solicit volunteers…determine interest levels for various projects and programs…get people motivated and involved in a cause or issue…or just about anything else that could benefit from an informed two-way conversation between you and your constituency.

It’s useful for anybody who has something to market; it’s a good information exchange for the recipient; and it helps to build your relationship.

Do PURLs increase response rate? Absolutely! We’ve seen responses of over 4% on cold prospecting, and triple that on a housefile project.

Are PURLs expensive? Depends on your perspective. To get your usual predictable response rate, you can mail smaller quantities, so you save on production and postage. Or you can send more and see more results. But of course, setting up a PURL campaign does have a cost. Duh.

Want to know more about how PURLs can boost your marketing efforts? Curious about integrating PURLs into your marketing toolkit? Call Paul&Partners (703-996-0800) for the word on this newest direct marketing technology.

PURLs, anyone? They can be worth their weight in gold.

43670 Trade Center Place, Suite 150, Dulles, VA 20166
Phone: 703.996.0800 Fax:703.996.0888 sales@paulandpartners

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