Today, marketers know that an integrated campaign, using multiple channels, is a more effective campaign. In a stressed, economic age that’s full of prospects less willing to spend, donate, to sign up, each of these advertising techniques need each other. And while closely coordinated direct mail and email campaigns are both popular and successful today, perhaps one of the most effective demonstrations of the offline-online combo are personalized URL (PURL) campaigns.
A personal URL (PURL) is a unique and personalized landing page created specifically for each recipient of your company’s direct mail or email marketing campaign.
Say John Smith goes to the Internet and fills out a mini application a job driver site. His application is sent to trucking companies that are searching for drivers, and those companies now have some of his information from the mini app (name, address, phone, etc…)
With this information, a trucking company can send out a direct mail piece directed towards John. John will receive the direct mail post card in the mail with his name and his specific PURL (i.e. hightoweragency.com/John.Smith). Now, John can type in his PURL that he received by direct mail and taken to a landing page that is personalized to him.
At this time, John’s activity is tracked in your company’s dashboard where all of this information is stored, and you are instantly notified of his visit and any information he submits through the landing page. Pretty cool, right? Let’s dig deeper.
The Perks of PURLs
Typically, Personal URLs are used in conjunction with a direct mail campaign, or with email marketing. By using PURLs in your driver recruitment campaign, your trucking company will benefit from:
- Increased response rates
- The ability to track responses in real time
- Engaged potential drivers at a deeper level by collecting valuable information from your prospects, and using that information to make other marketing campaigns even stronger.
Designing Your Landing Page
You have about five seconds to give your PURL visitors a reason to stick around. The design of your landing page has a lot to do with how your visitors perceive your message. If the design isn’t eye-catching and clear, you could potentially lose your visitor.
Here are a few tips when creating your landing page design so you don’t lose them:
- Personalize the page to the visitor by using their name and other relevant information.
- Make sure your application or offer stands out and is above the fold – whether it is to fill an app, take a survey, download a white paper, schedule a free consultation, etc… make it easy to find so they can take action quickly.
- Remove all navigation and links that can take the visitors away from the offer.
- Keep a strong, consistent design theme – The main headline, offer, and overall look should match the promotional piece that drove them to the PURL.
- Only ask for information you need and will use. Too many unwanted fields can take too long, resulting in a potential driver to leave your application.
The Five Second Test
As we mentioned, the visitor should know within five seconds of visiting your website what you’re offering. To test this, use the five second test. Have somebody take a look at your landing page for five seconds then take it down. Ask them what the website was about. If they can’t tell you, your message needs to be more clear.
Make your titles big and bold – it’s the first thing people see when they visit the site. You want to make it as obvious as possible what your site is all about, and the next steps your visitors should take.
Personalize the Offer
So what can you do right off the bat that will cause the visitor to take notice? Use their name! “John, we are so glad you stopped by.” A name increases engagement and makes him or her feel special, therefore improving your campaign’s results.
Direct Mail Aspect
PURLs can be printed on a piece of direct mail sent to driver prospects. The process of printing a unique PURL on each piece is referred to as Variable Data Printing (VDP). The printer will take the information given and use it to print the unique PURL onto each piece. The result? A personalized landing page in the hands of each recipient.
Email Marketing Campaigns
It is extremely effective when adding PURLs to email marketing campaigns. PURLs simply need to be included as a custom field in your preferred email marketing platform.
Most platforms allow you to upload a spreadsheet of contacts; in that spreadsheet you would include a column called “PURL.” Then you can add the PURL column as a custom/new field. Now that your email platform knows each contact’s PURLs, you can pull each PURL into the landing page just as you would their first name.
The more you know about your visitors, the more you can deliver a message that causes them to act. This is where the power of the “Feedback Loop” comes into play. By receiving immediate feedback on your campaign, you can use that information to change future campaigns, thus making subsequent campaigns more effective.
With PURLs, you have access to real-time results tracking who visited, when they responded, what they viewed, and what they have shown interests in.
A practical application of the Feedback Loop is to use the results to partition your list. For example, if you send out 1,000 postcards (with PURLs), and 50 people visit the PURL, you know that these 50 are somewhat intrigued by your trucking company. You may want to move these 50 contacts into a separate list; let’s call it the A list. You may market a little harder to the A list, and provide even more relevant content to them based on their past visit. All of this is possible with PURLs, and should be leveraged in your campaign.
What a fantastic marketing strategy when it comes to recruiting drivers!
By using PURLs, your recruiters can be notified in real time when a prospect has visited their landing page. This specific, targeted recruiting strategy truly works. If you’re interested in PURL campaigns or other recruitment advertising services, get in touch with The Hightower Agency for a free consultation.