Multichannel: PURLs of Wisdom

Hewlett-Packard, Intel and JDA Software Group created a direct mail-to-PURL campaign to sell their software suite. "The Moment Has Arrived" saw a 9.2 percent response rate that yielded 171 leads and $13 million in sales.
Direct mail-to-landing page campaigns are getting PURL-sonal

For companies that had their heads in the clouds when it came time to upgrade their computers, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and JDA Software Group thought it was time for some skywriting. The technology firms sent out personalized direct mail pieces that featured a man with his arms spread upward, experiencing an epiphany due to these fluffy words forming above his head: “Bruce Schwartz, The Moment Has Arrived.”

In reality, the direct mail piece that The Mahoney Co. of Santa Clara, Calif. designed for the trio didn’t come from out of the blue—it arrived in prospects’ lives very much on purpose. After determining customers’ upgrade schedules, Mahoney sent personalized direct mail and e-mail, complete with personalized URLs that led recipients to personalized landing pages. There, recipients learned all about how hardware from Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP and Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel would support software from Scottsdale, Ariz.-based JDA Software Group. The $50,000 campaign’s yield: a 9.2 percent response rate and $13 million in sales.

Results like these are causing many marketers to consider direct mail-to-landing page campaigns, and some to drill down further and provide PURLs. Marketers say the direct mail captures prospects’ attention, and the landing page holds it by providing more details. Then the personalization, minimally, provides leads and, optimally, creates relationships.

The PURL’s Moment Has Arrived
“I would say just about every single campaign I do right now [with clients] has a PURL on it, where I drive people back to that PURL,” Mahoney Co. President John Mahoney says. “We’ve since taken that PURL concept, and instead of it just being a campaign landing page, we’re creating an ongoing engagement with people, where we drive them back to the PURL.”

Mahoney’s philosophy really took hold after the “The Moment Has Arrived” campaign. PURLs were essential for the conversations that started in fall 2007 with prospects who were considering buying $500,000 to $1.5 million software suites. Customers revealed more information about themselves each time they visited the PURL, which allowed HP, Intel and JDA to reciprocate and “really nurture them throughout the sales cycle” so when customers were ready to buy, they bought the software suite the trio was offering, Mahoney says.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.
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  • http://MarkPivon Mark Pivon

    Readers of this article might be interested to know of an open-source (free) version of software that accomplishes the creation, delivery and tracking of personalized URL campaigns. The current platform delivers much of the required functionality, plus a few extras. Download it via Sourceforge ( – search term ‘purls’) or through the website<br />