Over the last several weeks, I’ve been stirring conversations about personalized URLs, getting printers and marketers talking about what works and what doesn’t. There was a fascinating discussion here on Digital Nirvana. Plus, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from discussions I’ve started in digital printing and database marketing groups on LinkedIn.
Although I drew very similar conclusions in “Personalized URLs: Beyond the Hype” (the fourth in my Marketer’s Primer Series now available from the What They Think store), it was fascinating to see printers and marketers reiterating and expanding upon those conclusions in such a powerful and detailed way.
If I had to come up with three summary bullet points of those discussions, it would be these:
1. Have a purpose for your personalized URLs.
One of the greatest values of personalized URL campaigns is the ability to survey your respondents. Make sure you have a well-defined purpose and maximize your real estate on the site to gather the information of most value to you. Are you trying to find a customer pain point? Identify the timetable for capital investment? Showcase your capabilities or reinforce branding? Until you know what the survey is supposed to accomplish, it won’t do you much good.
2. Remember that the personalized URL is not the end goal. It is simply the beginning of the conversation.
If you aren’t going to take that information and use it to deepen your relationship with the respondent, you’re missing the point—and wasting your money.
3. Response rate is a poor measurement of success.
Too many marketers have gotten used to using response rates as the measure of success, but that doesn’t work with personalized URLs. Personalized URLs are merely a response mechanism — much as 800 numbers are — so a “response” doesn’t mean much unless it is converted into a high-quality lead or a sale. So “cost per qualified lead” or “conversion to sale” is a far better measure.
Also remember that because the personalized URL is only a response mechanism, the success of the campaign starts with getting people to log into the PURL in the first place. That means that you need to have all of the basics of good marketing down before applying the personalized URL. This means having the right list, good creative, the right incentive, and great messaging. Otherwise, the personalized URLs will be all dressed up, but won’t have anyone to play with.
“Personalized URLs: Beyond the Hype” is available at the What They Think Store. Printers and marketers can also purchase licenses to distribute them across their enterprises and use the content for internal training, PowerPoints, customer distribution, and other marketing and educational uses. Licensing can only be purchased from Digital Printing Reports.