From PURLs to Profit

pURLs are personalized URLs, not to be confused with these types of pearls!

In addition to Variable Data Printing, another form of one-to-one marketing is PURLs.

PURLs, or Personalized URLs, are website URLs that are customized with a specific prospect’s information. They often contain the prospect’s name as part of the URL and are a great way to target your marketing campaigns.

To be more specific, personalized URLs are custom web pages created for and directed towards the end-user, or prospect. When the prospect visits their specific link, the website is tailored to that person. The possibilities of customization are vast. You can include any information you have on your customer on this webpage: age, location, interests, occupation, etc. The more custom, personalized content you create, the more effective the campaign will be.

Often used in conjunction with direct mail pieces, pURLs are also perfect for use in email marketing campaigns since the link can be easily clicked from the email. This gives your prospect instant gratification and provides for instant capture of lead information. Even better, all of the activity from this specific webpage can be tracked, giving you an idea of where your users’ interests lie for future marketing campaigns.

One of the best things about pURLs is the “not-so-silent P”: Profit. A marketing piece that is much more targeted will yield more information, better results (and higher profits) than a generic link that is sent to everyone.

Multi-touch marketing campaigns are essential to increase not only your marketing ROI but also your company image. Simplifying and quantifying the marketing process is a key component for success and pURLs allow for just that.

TIP: Always be sure to work with a printer that has experience developing these types of campaigns so you can rest assured it will be done right.

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Variable Data Printing: An Overview

Variable Data Printing, also known as one-to-one marketing, is a form of printing in which unique data (text, graphics or images) is printed on each piece. It is achieved through digital printing.

How it’s Used

VDP is one of the most effective methods to use when implementing any direct mail or promotional campaign. Customizing each printed piece with personalized data adds a special touch to an otherwise generic mailing.

Why VDP?
1. Options

With Variable Data Printing, there are endless customization options. You can personalize a piece based on whatever information you have: your recipient’s age, location, marital status, gender, etc.

2. Profitability

It is ideal for small or large companies looking to get more bang for their buck (and let’s face it, who isn’t these days?) VDP campaigns are typically shorter print runs and because they are so targeted, they render higher response rates than mass mailings.

3. Eco-Friendly

VDP is inherently green. Unlike printing offset, it doesn’t take more energy to personalize a piece through digital printing – the process is essentially the same, just different data is used. Therefore a shorter print run is needed, resulting in less energy used and reduction of waste. Also, since mailing addresses can be printed directly on the piece it eliminates the need for a label!

The piece below is a Variable Data marketing piece we recently created. As you can see, the front is customized with the recipient’s name and the top right corner has data-specific text that pertains to this client.

The Proof
As is mentioned several times, variable data printing increases response rates. Wikipedia reports that the returns of variable print vary from double to 10-15 times the rate of generic pieces – pretty impressive.

The bottom line is, variable data printing is a great way to reach your customers and show them that you may know more about them than they think (or realize).

The key is to find a printer experienced in VDP who can guide you through the process, especially if it is your first time. After your first successful variable print campaign, there will be no going back. Not only that, but the door is also open for even more customization! pURLS (personalized URLs) and unique email addresses can be created using the same type of technology – but we’ll save that discussion for next week…