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Personalized URLs (PURLs) are web URLS with the customer’s name. Usually these PURLs are included in a direct mail piece as a way to get customers to respond. For example, say United Mail decides to start a direct mail campaign for our clients. We would send out a postcard to every single client with their name and address on them using our variable data printing, and on the postcard it would say “Get a free $5 Starbucks card if you watch our company video!” On the postcard, the URL would be: We would probably throw in a QR code leading to the same page for good measure.

PURLs increase the response rate of direct mail, but the postcard still has to be interesting. There’s hundreds of books and articles out there about PURLs and best practices, but we can tell you what actually works for our clients.

Offer Something Free

Recently, we had a client offer a two night stay in exchange for filling out a survey. It had an incredible response rate.

Don’t Do a Sweepstakes or a Generic Coupon

While junk mail is less in today’s day and age, coupons and sweepstakes are tossed before even investigating them.

Put Your Brand Front and Center

If you have a recognizable brand, or you’re marketing to existing clients, make sure that it’s prominent on your direct mail piece. If they trust you, then your direct mail piece might be worth reading.

Have a Good Landing Page

You want your customer to investigate other parts of your website, too, once they fill the survey out or watch the video. If your landing page is appealing, then it’s likely that a customer will click through to other portions of your website.

Collect Contact Information

When your customer goes their PURL, make sure to collect their phone number and email address for follow ups. This can be through a survey, for them to receive something for free, or have them download a white paper.

Make Sure To Include Google Analytics or a Similar Tracking Tool

United Mail uses tracking for all URLS so we can capture when someone goes to their link, and how long they stay on it. For you to use the information, you want to make sure you know where your customer goes after the landing page, and which ones looked at the page at all.

Follow Up

It’s not enough to just send a piece of mail…if a potential customer goes to their PURL, they’ve displayed interest. Follow up with them with an email or give them a phone call, since you collected their contact information on the PURL.

PURL’s are an excellent addition to a multi-channel marketing campaign. Do you have any suggestions or have had good luck with PURLs in the past?

By: Chase Kirkwood