We’ve just put the finishing touches on yet another pURL marketing campaign, and as we sit back and wait for the response results to come in, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on a few things we’ve learned along the way. You can greatly improve your own pURL marketing by taking advantage of these three simple, real-life lessons.
Lesson 1: Never Print Your Direct Mail Piece Before Your pURLs are Ready
In most cases, the printing is more expensive than the actual pURL creation, so any mistakes there will really hurt your ROI. Always make sure your pURLs are ready and accessible before sending your mail piece off to the printer.
We’ve had one client who decided on a great URL for their pURL campaign. It was highly targeted, easy to remember, and even with the pURLs added it was still short and sweet. They sent their piece off to the printer, then they sent us the information to begin the pURL creation process.
Unfortunately, when we went to register their chosen domain name, we discovered it was already taken. And before they were able to notify the printer, the printing process was already well under way. The presses were running and a few thousand postcards had already been printed. Needless to say, those postcards ended up in the trash, and we had to start the process all over again.
Typically, we handle the entire URL registration procedure for our clients, but we have one client in particular who likes to control their own domain names. Since this is a repeat client who is already familiar with pURL marketing, we didn’t question anything when they gave us the name of their new domain. In fact, we even updated the mailing list with the full pURL – domain name and everything – to be sent to the printer. We didn’t even notice until it was almost too late that the client registered the wrong domain name. (We got lucky in that case, since the printer hadn’t started printing yet.)
Since the printing is usually the most expensive part of your pURL campaign, and since it’s generally impossible to fix printing errors, it’s best to make sure that every detail is 100% accurate before sending anything off to the printer.
Lesson 2: Don’t Fall Flat With the Personalization
One of the great aspects of pURL marketing is the ability to personalize and customize every last detail. I’ve seen pURL landing pages with a headline that reads “Welcome Johnny” but then the rest of the site is generic and impersonal.
Remember, every tiny bit of information that you have about your customer or prospect can be incorporated into his pURL website. His name can (and should) appear in the browser’s title bar. Every page (not just the home page) should be customized with his own personal details. Why not mention products that he’s purchased in the past? Tell him how to get to your store from his exact location? Have feedback forms and surveys that are pre-filled with his data? Show images and graphics that related to his particular demographics? The power of the pURL is in the one-to-one customization and personalization, so why not take advantage of it?
I’m convinced that most marketers aren’t fully aware of all the things that can be done with pURL marketing. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve asked a client “do you want to do such and such” and the response is “I didn’t even know we could do that!” If you’re new to pURL marketing, spend some time discussing the technique with your pURL provider. Chances are, they have some great ideas for you.
Lesson 3: Never Start a Campaign Without a Follow Up Plan
I sat down two weeks ago with a new client who is new to the concept of pURL marketing. When starting any new campaign, we like to map out or storyboard the entire flow, from the start of the campaign all the way until the very very very end. And by very very very end, I mean until it has been totally determined that every single prospect on the list has either responded adequately, or will never ever respond no mater what we do.
We end up with a kind of a mind map type document that looks almost like an organizational chart. We start with step one: prospect receives the direct mail piece. And from there we branch off into two directions – the prospect visits his pURL, or the prospect doesn’t visit his pURL.
When I asked the client where we’d like to go from there, they gave me that deer-in-the-headlights look. They hadn’t considered the “what comes next” phase. They figured some prospects would visit their pURLs, and of those that visit, some would perform the desired action, and the campaign would be over and done with.
But they weren’t taking into account the nature of pURL marketing. Since pURL marketing has such incredible built in tracking capabilities, there is no reason to simply end the campaign after the initial response phase. The beauty lies in the ability to see exactly who visited their pURL page, exactly who didn’t visit, exactly who performed the desired action, exactly who went where within their pURL website, etc.
So, for this particular campaign in question, we decided that anyone who did not visit their pURL page would receive a second invitation. If they didn’t visit after the second invitation, they would be dropped from the mailing list.
But now here’s where it gets really good. Since we could see exactly who performed the desired action on their pURL page, those prospects would be labled as “hot prospects” and receive a personal follow up phone call.
And anyone who didn’t perform the desired action but visited at least 4 pages of the website would be labeled “warm prospects”. The warm prospects would receive another direct mail invitation to another pURL page – only this time, since we determined that these prospects are relatively interested in what we’re offering, the pURL message would be a little more urgent and “pushy”. Depending on their response to the second pURL, we would hopefully be able to move them to the hot prospects category.
The prospects who didn’t perform the desired action but visited 2 or 3 pages of the website would be labeled “luke warm prospects”. They would receive another direct mail piece inviting them to another pURL; but their pURL would be less pushy. It would be designed to pull them through the website and present additional pre-sales information designed to convert them to hot, or at least warm, prospects.
And the final group would be those who visited their pURL homepage but didn’t click through to any additional pages on their website. They would receive a postcard inviting them to visit the second pURL which would offer information about a free report they could download. After downloading the report, they would be placed into the drip marketing system and receive automated email updates. The email updates would present pre-pre-sales information and gradually move the prospect through the marketing funnel. Depending on his interaction with the email campaigns (certain predetermined click throughs and responses) he would then be sent another pURL invitation at a later date.
The point I’m trying to make is that the extreme potency of pURL marketing comes from knowing exactly who to follow up with and how to follow up with them. Don’t stop your pURL campaign short or you’ll miss out on most of its effectiveness.
So there you have it, 3 simple and easy to learn lessons you can use to improve the results of your own pURL marketing campaign. And by the way, if you don’t have a pURL provider yet, we’d love to talk to you. Give us a call at 847-857-PURL.