PURLs Are Too Specialized for Most Marketers
PURLs were about as popular in 2016 as they were in 2011 — which is to say, not very. With six in 10 marketers no longer using the personalized URLs, these vanity landing pages seem to have gone the way of the QR Code — a big deal there for a minute, and now only used for specialized purposes, finds Target Marketing research.
Mainly, marketers can use PURLs to track direct mail-to-landing page routes, a tactic that became fashionable in 2009. (Similarly, QR Codes can work well for that purpose, but many consumers aren’t willing to house the apps on their phones.) So, as the novelty of seeing PURL-sonal communication with their names affixed wore off for consumers, brands started using subtler ways to personalize marketing, according to “Marketing Mix Trends 2010-2016,” Target Marketing’s analysis of six years of “Media Usage Survey” data. The report examines this tactic from 2011 to 2016. The “Personalized/Persistent URLs (PURLs)” section is part of a benchmarking of marketing media channels, technology and tactics included in the Target Marketing/NAPCO Research study. Both Target Marketing and NAPCO Research are NAPCO Media brands.
Personalized/Persistent URLs (PURLs)
This excerpt from “Marketing Mix Trends 2010-2016” shows Target Marketing’s findings about Personalized/Persistent URLs (PURLs).
Personalized URLs (PURLs) were hot in the early days of the Internet. While marketers still use them, the six-in-10 who don’t as of 2016 have likely realized that: a) personalizing a URL isn’t as effective as personalizing offers or offerings to an audience and; b) the tracking data, such as source or other information which personalized URLs once provided, is now available through much more subtle and effective methods.
What PURLs can help with is creating a smooth transition between non-digital efforts (such as direct mail) and online channels. And if a target accesses online content via a PURL the marketer can draw on a database of knowledge (whether directly from an existing customer or overlaid, if the target is a prospect) to tailor the online landing experience. But even then, there’s risk of an ick factor — overfamiliarity, especially with someone with whom a marketer doesn’t have any history, can be a turnoff.