How To Use PURLs

22 Jul

When integrated with a well-designed mailing campaign, Personalized URLs (PURLs) can give a huge boost to your response rates and customer message retention. Bottom line, well-executed PURL campaigns generate more money than standard mail.

Use an Immaculate List

When sending a personalized mailer, it is impossible to over-emphasize the importance of having a well groomed, up-to-date list.  In PURL mailers, the major attention getter is likely that your customer’s name is integrated into the piece, and even part of the URL.  This is extremely powerful – unless you get their name wrong.  Then your target audience feels like the piece in their hand was intended to go to someone else.

Build the PURL Into Your Marketing Strategy

A PURL should never be thrown into a piece as an afterthought.  While you’re planning the layout and content of your campaign, think about how the PURL enhances your communication strategy.

  • How does it make responding easier?
  • How does it solidify the information you intend to convey?
  • How does it make the campaign more engaging?

Design the Mailer to Direct them to the PURL

A gorgeous design isn’t always enough to move prospects through to the PURL.  Make sure you give your readers a reason to visit the PURL, such as a contest, white paper, or more information.

“Visit for your FREE whitepaper on the effects of PURLs and Variable Data campaigns in modern marketing!”

Keep Form Fields Short

People hate filling out forms, so make sure whatever you have them fill out is absolutely necessary.  If it’s possible for you make the conversion without asking for their address, then don’t.

Some common mistakes are to ask them to enter their first and last name (which you should already have in the PURL), or to ask for city, state and zip code in the address (if you have their zip code, you already know the state and city).

Tailor the Message

Spend some time getting to know your target audience.  Find their demographics, lifestyles, hobbies, etc.  As often as possible, the text and images contained in the PURLs should be variables that change for each customer.

Use a Confirmation Page

This is a basic concept, but it’s surprising how many companies still get this wrong.

If your PURL is a form field, order page, or any other page that elicits an action, you must have a confirmation/thank you page.  Without one, your customers may not know whether or not they have successfully completed the action you’ve asked them for, and may become frustrated.


Hopefully these best practices have helped guide your efforts for your next PURL campaign.  If you need more in-depth coaching, we’d love to help!
Contact us at and we’ll have you campaigning in no time.

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