Email Marketing Feature Removed

After a trial period, we ended up removing the email marketing feature from Purlem.  We “soft released” the feature a couple months back.  We didn’t advertise it as a feature, we only listed it on the user’s dashboard.  It was a way to test if any existing Purlem users were interested in it.

We ended up having a grand total of 2 people want to use the feature.  And underwhelming result.  However, the “minimal” nature of the feature probably raised more questions for a users than providing an obvious solution.  To give this feature the opportunity it deserves, we would probably need to build a much more robust email platform.

So we’re not giving up on this idea yet.  If your interested in using Purlem to send out mass emails, contact us.  We’d like to hear from you.

Hiring. Maybe.

Delegating work is one of the hardest things for me. I’ve said before that it’s probably my worst trait as an entrepreneur. I know it’s the right thing to do. I know I should be doing more of it. It was even one of my new years resolutions. But there’s just something holding me back from being able to effectively delegate. I think it’s a couple things….

As an bootstrapping entrepreneur, hiring people takes money directly out of your pocket. Sure, your “re-investing” back into the company, but that is a tough pill to swallow (at least for me it is)

It takes a lot of time to teach somebody else how to do something. Way more time than just doing whatever it is.

And then you need to make sure that you have enough work to keep people busy. If your bootstrapping, and the money is coming directly out of your pocket, busy work doesn’t make sense. You have to make sure that your delegating work that is making a difference.

So far with Purlem I’ve been my only full-time “employee.” I’ve given it a shot here and there to delegate out work. But nothing has ever stuck, probably caused by a combination of the things above.

So I’m faced with two options with Purlem.

  1. Continue to path as a solo entrepreneur, and see how far it can take me. It’s done me well so far.
  2. Hire somebody that can help out with some of the things that could contribute to Purlem’s growth.

I’m leaning towards hiring somebody. There’s not enough work for a full-time gig. But there is certainly things that can be done. From improving the help section, to helping design and develop custom PURL landing pages.

If you know of an aspiring web design guy/gal, eager to learn, with a keen eye for clean design, let me know.

I know, this is probably one of the strangest job postings every. But hey – I’m being honest :)

Reddit: Can we talk about PURLs?

Psychdelight recently brought up a good question on Reddit regarding PURLs. I posted a response to the Reddit thread, but the Reddit gods, or psychdelight decided not to approve the post for whatever reason. But I thought my response was good! So I’ll post it here :)

I’m one of those PURL companies that “hopped on the bandwagon” several years back (not one of the companies mentioned here). You will not hear me tell you that “PURLs are all the rage and super effective,” nor will I be clamoring of your business. PURLs are, however, what puts dinner on my family’s table.

I’ve seen hundreds of PURL campaigns and techniques over the years. I have seen the fad come in go, specifically in the print world. During this fad, printers were ineffectively using PURLs as a gimmicky way to increase response (which doesn’t work). This fad is what led a lot of people to look at PURLs as “trite, inelegant and inauthentic.” Using PURLs as a gimmicky way to increase response rates obviously does not work, hence the busted dreams of so many printers, and the decline of the fad.

But as that fad declined, another, more strategic use of PURLs started to emerge. As ifeelhome mentioned – using PURLs as a means to track and follow up with prospects could be a strategic and effective way to use PURLs. Sure, there are many site visitor attribution tools out there like (such as al_manchester’s Woopra), but these tools will not tell you the exact name of the visitor, unless you somehow tell the tool who it is. With direct mail, your only option to identify visitors is by using PURLs (for now anyways).

So psychdelight, you can let you boss know that by themselves, PURLs will not make you a ton of money. They are simply a tool that has the potential to enhance a campaign, where it makes strategic sense.

Multiple Redirect Rules

Ok guys. This has been a feature you guys have been asking for a while now! As of today, you can now create multiple “rules” to redirect PURL visitors to specific pages, based on their answers.

I put together a quick video to demonstrate the feature:

And you can learn more on our support documentation: Advanced Form Submission Rules

Email Marketing with Personalized URLs

UPDATE: This feature has been retired.

Before today, sending out an email marketing campaign with Personalized URLs (PURLs), has been a tangled mess.  You would first have to upload your list of contacts into Purlem, export the list back out, upload your Purlem list into your email marketing platform, and “mail merge” the PURLs into an email template.  That, is not fun.

To get started, select the “Email All Contacts” link from the Contacts page.


Then, compose your email.  You can personalized the email with the “Insert” dropdown, just as you would the landing page.

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 4.00.56 PM

From there, we will personally work with you to test, send and track the email. The cost? 1¢ per recipient.

Personalize any web page with Purl.js

Purl.js is an easy way to personalized a website to the visitor.  Here’s how it works…

1) Use Personalized URLs to send visitors to your website. 

Personalized URLs or “PURLs” are simply a URL that is personalized to each recipient. (For example: or

The PURLs are used to tell your website who is visiting.  This technique requires that you have a list of knows customers/prospects that you want to personalize your website to.  With that list in hand, you can create PURLs for each recipient with Purlem.

2) Use Hashtags to Personalize your page.  

When a recipient visits their “PURL,” they will be taken to a website that is personalized to them.  You can personalize the page by placing variable Hashtags directly into the HTML.  For example, if you wanted to pull in the visitor’s first name into your website header, you would simply use #firstName.

In this example, #firstName is replaced with John.



Here is how to set it up…

1) Upload purl.js
Download purl.js, and upload the file to your server.

2) Add code to HTML
Add the follow code into just above the </head> section of your HTML.

<script src=”/path/to/purl.js”></script>

3) Add jQuery
Purl.js requires jQuery.  If you don’t have jQuery on your site, you’ll want to include it as well. Below is the Google hosted library for jQuery.

<script src=””></script>

4) Add Hashtags
Add the variable hashtags into the HTML.  You can see Purlem’s variable hashtags here.

Zapier Integration

I’m really excited to announce that Purlem now integrates with Zapier!

Purlem Zapier Integration

For those unfamiliar… Zapier is a tool that makes it easy for non-developers to share data between web applications.

What does this mean to you?  Lots!  Here are some ways you might use Zapier to connect Purlem with your favorite apps.

  • Update a Salesforce contact when a PURL is visited.
  • Send a Slack or Hipchat message with the PURL visitor’s details.
  • Move a contact to a different MailChimp list when they visit their PURL.
  • Trigger a tag to an Infusionsoft contact, after a PURL is visited.
  • And the list goes on and on…

With thousands of Zapier apps to choose from, the opportunities here are endless.

Purlem’s Zapier integration is currently invite only.  Contact me if you’d like to try it out.



Tend – A New Life for PURLs

I’m absolutely ecstatic to ring in the new year with a major announcement that has the potential to change the way PURLs are perceived and used… forever.

In the past, PURLs have largely (unfortunately) been used as a gimmicky marketing tactic to draw attention and entice some sort of response. If a PURL campaign does not increase response, or don’t increase the response enough, they are assumed to be a failure.

Early last year I started to notice a trend with many successful PURL marketers.  These marketers weren’t counting on PURLs for increasing response rates at all.  Rather, they were using PURLs to permanently identify their website visitors.  Once identified, they continued to track and marketing to the them through a multi-touch campaign.

It makes sense right?  After all, we all know that it’s going to take several marketing “touches” before our prospects take action.  By using PURLs to identify website visitors, marketers can track the effectiveness of all their future campaigns, across any channel, down the the individual level!

But here’s the rub – as you can imagine, executing a campaign like this is no easy task.  To pull this off, marketers would need to hack together several services and hire a full-time developer to manage it. Although this is possible, it’s simply not realistic for a large number of small businesses out there.  This is where we saw a huge opportunity…

Introducing Tend.  When combined with Purlem, Tend will track all of your marketing campaigns, across all channels, down to the individual PURL visitor.

For example, say that you send an email out to Joe Prospects with a PURL (i.e.  When Joe visits his PURL, he sees a page that is personalized to him.  At the same time, Tend starts tracking Joe. Forever!  If Joe comes back tomorrow through a Facebook campaign, Tend is tracking it.  If he comes back in 3 months from LinkedIn, Tend is tracking.  If he comes back in 2 years, yep – Tend is tracking.


All of this gives you, the marketer, power to see who your hottest prospects are, and precisely which marketing efforts are delivering the biggest bang for the buck, over a given period of time.

We have a special offer for all Purlem users:
Try Tend free for 60 days, when you sign up in the Feb 1st!  
Start converting your gimmicky PURL campaign, into a strategic PURL campaign within minutes!


Study – Marketers are unhappy because they can now measure their performance

One great reason to use PURLs is the ability to track your marketing effectiveness down to the individual. PURLs allow you to see exactly who is responding to your marketing message, when they responded, and any activity they took once on your website.  Pretty cool right!

You’d think marketers would be delighted at the ability to track their marketing efforts down to individual responders, but that isn’t necessarily the case…


This morning I was listening to Growth Hacker on my run with Dillon.  The book mentioned a Harvard Business Review study, that found that 80 percent of marketers are unhappy with their ability to measure marketing return on investment (ROI). Which is no surprise.  But here’s the kicker…. the study points out that marketers aren’t unhappy because they can’t measure marketing performance. They’re unhappy because they now can—and they don’t like what they see.

Marketers are seeing for the first time that their marketing strategies, the same strategies that they have been pushing for decades, are simply don’t work as well as they thought they did.

The study’s findings are exactly on par from my experiences. Recently, I’ve been trying to get out of the office more and talk with PURL users (or past PURL users).

One agency that I met with recently convinced one of their long-time clients to give PURLs a try in one of their campaigns.  This particular client has been sending out the same direct mailer for years.  The only way they measured success was by the number of people that hit their home page.  If they saw an uptick in visits during a particular campaign, they would attribute the increase of visits to that campaign.

When the client sent out the campaign with PURLs, the response was actually much lower than they expected it to be.  Needless to say, there was a lot of finger pointing. At the end of the day, the client decided to discontinue the use of PURLs, and stick with being blissfully ignorant of their campaign’s response.  I’ve seen this situation play out over and over again.

So what is a marketer to do?  My suggestion would be to shift focus from the quantity of responses, to the quality of responses.  It’s far better to have 10 high quality responses, than 100 that don’t mean jack.  Treat those 10 quality responses like gold.  Then, this is very important… Create a plan to continually track and market to those individuals until they are ready to buy. Shifting focus from the quantity to the quality of responses will help set expectation for both you and your client.  It will also pay dividends as those high quality prospects that your paying so close of attention to, being to convert into paying customers.

New Industry Templates

Schools want to boost enrollment rates.  Hospitals wants to improve patient communication. Nonprofits want to increase donations. Auto dealers want to sell more cars.  Whatever industry your in, PURLs can help you reach your goal.

Purlem’s new industry specific templates incorporate the best practices of PURL landing pages to  jumpstart your campaign.  Make the Templates your own by easily adding your images, logos, colors, and content.

Our templates are free for all Purlem users. Enjoy!

PURL Templates