The Key to PURL Success: Landing Page Integration
The following is an excerpt from the recent Direct Marketing IQ report "PURLs for Profit: Your everything-you-need-to-know guide to personalized URLs, including: Best Practices on why they work, campaign strategy, multichannel creative, analytics, and 10 Case Studies."
The key to any successful marketing "conversation" and PURL campaign is its creative, of course. Does the copy and design engage the prospect? Does it grab her attention right away with the right combination of copy and images? Does the PURL stand out? Does the creative behind it prompt the prospect to visit her PURL?
And once the prospect does land on that PURL, does it seem like she is on the same continuum, with similar engaging creative? Is there enough engagement on the landing page to get the prospect to take action?
Yes, those are a lot of questions, but it's the skillful management of the mail piece/email integration with the PURL landing page that will make or break your PURL campaign.
"You'll want the mail piece and the landing page (or email and landing page) to look similar so that the recipient knows they're part of the same campaign," explains Crystal Uppercue, marketing manager at Rockville, Md.-based direct marketing services provider EU Services.
Also, it's recommended that the copywriter remain involved with both the print/email as well as the landing page. "It would appear that too many marketers have one set of talent charged with online and a different set of talent dedicated to direct mail, and that no one is managing integration," describes Gary Hennerberg, president of The Hennerberg Group, a direct marketing company based in Colleyville, Texas.
Indeed, if not handled properly, "both websites and PURLs can actually be a barrier to sale when they are not prepared to carry out the original intent of the marketing program," claims Keith Goodman, vice president of corporate solutions for Modern Postcard.
Goodman gives an example of a marketer trying to get leads for sales reps: A website allows prospects to get information that will allow them to make a purchase decision without ever speaking with a sales rep. "If you are going to send somebody to a site, it should be with the specific intent of following the line of the campaign - i.e., buy a product, generate a lead, download a whitepaper," he recommends.
And just as testing remains a key to successful direct mail, the same is true with PURL campaigns. Testing here should still apply, yet it's a step that is often ignored, to the detriment of the campaign being run.
For example, a test showing that conversion rates were much lower than anticipated usually points out the landing page wasn't synced properly with the direct mail piece, and that could extend to the data, the personalization, the creative or the offer. "Not syncing the landing page with the direct mail piece that brought the prospect there is the No.1 destroyer of conversion rates," affirms copywriter Bob Bly.
Ethan Boldt is chief content officer of Direct Marketing IQ, the research division of the Target Marketing Group. For more information about "PURLs for Profit," click here. Ethan Boldt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.