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…

happymarketer

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

PURL Adoption Funnel

My thoughts on PURLs have changed drastically in the last month.

I used to be of the mindset that PURLs were appropriate for a majority of direct mail and email campaigns.  After all, it makes sense to use a Personalized URL instead of a Generic URL.  It has the potential to increase the response/conversion rates, and allows you to track who’s visiting. Seems like a no-brainer… right!?

However, I’m now of the mindset that PURLs are appropriate for a minority of campaigns.  With this realization, I had to face the “brutal facts” that the potential market size for Purlem has decreased drastically.

PURL Adoption FunnelI know… this is not good news for Purlem. You may be surprised that I’m even brining this up.  I should be pushing the technology no matter what.  After all, PURLs are what puts the bread on my family’s table at the end of the day!  But I think it’s more important to share with you the reality, rather than pitch to you a bunch of BS on why PURLs should be used in every campaign.

The PURL Adoption Funnel is a visualization of the PURL usage to date (as I see it).  It started with the “The PURL Fad” where everybody and their mother wanted to use PURLs.  Then to the the “Realization” phase where we were all forced to look to the actual results of our PURL marketing efforts.  And finally to the “Strategic Users” phase – which is where we stand today.

Before diving into each of the phases, and where I see the market going in the future, I want to give a brief background of how I came to this conclusion…  At the beginning of this year, I set out to “scale” Purlem.  Up until this year, Purlem has been an army of one (me). My goal was to see if Purlem could scale up to a level that could support a team.  I knew I had a good thing going.  Purlem has doubled in size for the last 6 years of business.  I had a passionate user base, but also a problem with churn (the percent of users that cancel each month).

Bacon CampaignTo effectively scale, I first needed to educate prospects on the benefits of PURLs.  After some failed (and desperate – the bacon campaign didn’t turn out to well) attempts to educating people on PURLs, I realized that the technology was simply to niche –  I would need to expand Purlem’s offerings beyond PURLs, to attract a larger audience.  So we decided to take a step back and first approach those that have used PURLs in the past (successfully or unsuccessfully), to figure out how to better position Purlem to scale. For the last month I have been talking people from many different industries and positions that have used PURLs.  This is when I came to the brutal realization that PURLs are only appropriate for a minority of campaigns.  Thus, the PURL Adoption Funnel was born.

The PURL Fad

The PURL Fad started about 10 years ago.  We’ve all seen the case studies about the outstanding 40% response rate using PURLs. The technology was being touted by industry proponents as the biggest thing since the sliced bread.  It would be the savior to print providers everywhere looking to introduce marketing services.  Dollar signs flashed in our eyes.  We thought about the yachts we would purchase from placing a PURL on our postcard.  Business executives gave orders to “Place PURLs on every campaign – no matter what” (This is no joke).

Realization

Some things are too good to be true.  As results from the first few PURL campaigns came back, we were disappointed that we didn’t get that 40% response rate.  We may have squeaked out a few extra percentage points, but nothing to write home about. The dollar signs began to fade from our eyes as we realized that we didn’t have a silver bullet that would solve all of our marketing problems. Some of us decided to write off PURLs forever as being only a “gimmick.” The executives that required that all campaigns have a PURL, quickly retreated.

Another interesting thing happened in this phase.  Some decided that they didn’t want to have their marketing pieces tracked at all!  They would rather be blissfully ignorant to the actual response rate of their campaign.   If you think about it, many are given orders to simply “get the campaign sent out by X date.” The are judged by the creative of the marketing piece, and that it is delivered on time.  They point to their Google Analytics, look at an uptick in traffic, and say, “look – this must be because of that postcard we sent out last month.” Everybody is blissfully happy.  But now, using a PURL gives direct and immediate feedback on the effectiveness of an individual marketing piece. Now, those responsible for creative and sending out the campaign on time, were also being judged by the PURL response rate.  They would rather just remove that factor all together and go back to blissful ignorance.  I’m not saying this is a good thing. Simply a reality for this phase of the PURL adoption funnel.

Strategic Users

Today, those that continue to successfully use PURLs have a strategic vision behind their use.  PURLs are no longer thrown on every campaign haphazardly.  Strategic users start with the campaign.  They first perfect the list, creative and offer.  Then, this is key – they plan several follow up campaigns based on response.  Then, and only then, do they ask if a PURL is appropriate for the campaign.  Does the campaign have the right audience, the right creative, and the right offer for a PURL? Will responses from the PURL enhance future campaigns? 

Strategic users are the passionate Purlem users I mentioned above.  These users are the ones that consistently send out successful PURL campaigns because they have a strategy behind them.  I also mentioned above the Purlem has had a issue with churn (the percent of users that cancel each month).  Typically, those that cancel have no long-term strategy behind their PURL campaign. Many still have the dollar signs in their eyes hoping for the silver bullet. I see it happen over and over again.

Future PURL Adoption FunnelThe Future of PURLs

So where are PURLs heading?  We’ll… I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy. I’d like to think that we are all learning how to appropriately use PURLs.  We went through the phase of trying simply to plop a PURL (ha – “Plop-A-PURL” – I should use that more often), on every marketing piece.  We realized that wasn’t the best approach.  We also realized that the 40% response rate is not a realistic goal to have.  And that winning campaigns have a long-term strategy incorporating many different touches, based on past responses.  With this new knowledge, hopefully, some of those that have given up on PURLs in the past, will come back around with a strategic vision. These are the “Future Strategic Users” that will help increase the adoption of the technology.

In a way, it reminds me of the Dot-com bubble.  Nobody really knew how to make money from the internet, but everybody wanted a piece. This resulted in an artificially inflated market that eventually crashed, leaving behind only the best to survive (egh hmm.. Amazon).  This is where the PURL market is today.  Only the best are using PURLs.  Eventually, the stock market recovered, armed with a new found knowledge of how to make the internet work for them.  This is where we are with PURLs today – at the bottom, but poised with a new found knowledge.

The truth is that PURLs work when applied strategically.  For every person out there that say PURLs are a “gimmick” and should rot away in technology hell, there is a person that swears by PURLs as integral part of their overall campaign strategy. If some people are able to make them work so well, we would be ignorant to write off the technology forever.

If your interested in learning more about how to apply a strategic vision behind your PURL campaign, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter.  You won’t be disappointed.

Will Amazon’s FireFly give QR Codes a new life?

feature-firefly._V349252144_Amazon’s new phone has a feature called FireFly that allows you to scan QR Codes (and much more) with a click of  a button.

I have never been a big supporter of QR Codes.  I reluctantly added QR Codes to Purlem’s feature set because of customer’s requests. Give the people what they want, right!?  I have often told customers/prospects inquiring about using QR Codes in their direct mail to expect ZERO people to scan it. Sure… there are some cases that QR Codes have been used with some level of success.  But generally speaking, don’t count on QR Codes generating any responses in your direct mail campaign.

The complaint from QR Code users has been that it simply takes to long to download/open the app and then scan the QR Code.  I know.  This is silly that it probably doesn’t take more than 10 seconds.  But in today’s world, it’s 10 seconds to long!  FireFly removes the 10 seconds it takes to download/open the QR Code app.

Obviously, to hit a critical mass, other smart phones (egh hmm – iPhone), will need to introduce a similar technology.  But the technology does exist, and I think it does have  potential to give QR Codes (specifically in direct mail campaigns) a new life.  I’m not so sure I’d write QR Codes completely off just yet.

What do you think?

PURLs Work for Nonprofits

Tightened belts and an endless list of nonprofit organizations have seemingly made fundraising more difficult than ever.

How do you cut through the noise to make a meaningful impression on your prospective donors?

How can you be sure you’re asking for support from a relevant audience?

PURLs are a ridiculously effective way to reach both future and past donors alike, especially those in that coveted demographic of ages 20-39. These sacred millennials are not only more likely to respond to your PURL campaign, they’re frequently revisiting their personalized landing page so they can share it with Facebook friends or Twitter tweeters.

The more you’re able to reach donors on a personal level, the more likely they’ll be to spread the word, tell their friends, and, of course, pledge their sacred monies to your organization!

From political campaigns to charities to religious organizations, Purlem can help execute a fundraising strategy perfectly tailored to your cause.

Our business philosophy ensures that you won’t find a more cost effective and direct PURL provider out there. From pledge drives to event invitations and so much more, let Purlem help you cut through the noise and achieve the results you’ve been dreaming of.

Download our free Ultimate PURL Case Study Directory to the right, where you’ll find nonprofit case studies that exemplify how PURLs can make good campaign great. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter, which includes exclusive deals on Purlem’s services, as well as new case studies and much more.

Need ‘em. Want ‘em. Purlem.

Higher Education Marketing with PURLs

You want to boost enrollment rates. You want to make a pitch for your school that isn’t stale or ineffective. You want the ability to engage with prospective students through event triggered marketing.

These wants are more possible than ever thanks to the infusion of PURLs (or Personalized URLs) in highly targeted direct mail campaigns.

We’ve compiled a handy data sheet on the effectiveness of PURLs in Higher Ed Marketing, which highlights such topics as:

- Boosting response rates via increased personalization

– How PURLs can severely reduce your marketing costs

– Creating landing pages that blossom into enrollments

– Building a donor base with PURLs

– and much more, including some helpful graphs

Simply download our “Education is Personal” two-pager to the right to learn more about how PURLs are changing the game.

We also have a monthly newsletter you can subscribe to, which includes updates on Purlem, exclusive case studies, and discounts available only to subscribers.

You can even takes us for a Free 30 Day spin as your PURL provider to see what the fuss is about. Drop us a line and we’ll set you up today.

Need ‘em? Want ‘em? Purlem.

Josh
support@purlem.com

PURL Power in Real Estate Marketing

When it comes to buying a new home, personalization matters big time. Case studies continue to tell us that prospective homeowners respond enthusiastically to a highly personalized marketing campaign.

Including Personalized URLs (or PURLs) in your next mailing campaign is the perfect way to make an immediate impression on your readers. When they receive your mailer and see that you’ve set up a unique website just for them, they instantly become more likely to hop online and check it out.

Here’s an example of what a PURL looks like: “john.smith.yoursite.com” or “yoursite.com/johnsmith”

What’s more, you can easily design John’s personal landing page to welcome him by name and entice him with a special offer, both of which are awesomely effective ways of initiating a solid engagement.

To show you just how effective PURLs can be in your marketing campaign, we’ve provided an exclusive case study of a real estate firm called Tampa Homebuilder. Spoiler alert: In the weekend after they launched their PURL campaign, they tripled the number of homes they sold!

Just fill out the top form to the right with your name and email address, and the case study is immediately yours for free. Please feel free to sign up for our monthly newsletter as well.

Once you check that out, we can answer any questions you might have about getting your PURL campaign on. We’ll even throw in a free 30 day trial so you can see what the fuss is all about, no strings attached.

Need ‘em? Want ‘em? Purlem.

How We’re Saving Our Client More Than $100,000

Purlem has no sales staff. There’s no single person here vying for commission or fees or end of the month bonuses. We’re an all-hands-on-deck company where everyone’s working towards the same goal: To revolutionize and simplify the PURL industry, which is a scenario where every party benefits.

By removing the need for greed and, instead, being wholly transparent about the simplicity of our services, we can focus on offering an equitable, freakishly affordable price to you.

We recently saved our biggest client more than $100,000. Here’s how.

  • Our client’s order was ginormous. They were looking to create 30,000,000 PURLs for an epic direct mailing blast.
  • We’d heard of USPS’s Personalization promotion for May 1 – June 30, which provides a 2% postage discount for any mail that includes PURLs.
  • Typically, mailing out 30,000,000 postcards would have cost this company $753,000. But by informing them of this somewhat new promotion that would save them 2% on postage, we ended reducing their postage cost by $15,060.
  • We then started to think about how we might save our client even more on previously extraneous costs, which is when we came up with Creating PURLs on the Fly, which essentially boils down to only charging you for PURLs that are visited by your contacts.
  • At our competitor’s cost of $0.02 per PURL, this would have typically cost our client $600,000! Because standard response rates to PURL promotions hover between 12% and 26%, we can predict that our client will save much more than $100,000 using PURLs on the Fly.

We’re cracking the mystique of PURL pricing wide open, and it starts by looking out for you every step of the way. Doing anything else just feels wrong to us.

Drop us a line anytime. We’d love to show you how much money we can save you compared to other PURL providers. Money like that is money worth saving.

The Ultimate PURL Case Study Directory

Whether you’re launching your 1st or 47th campaign using Personalized URLs (PURLs), case studies can offer indispensable insight into what works and what doesn’t. That’s why we’ve compiled the most complete directory of PURL case studies to date.

Introducing the Ultimate PURL Case Study Directory, and it’s yours to Download for Free today.

Inside this campaign compendium, you’ll find more than 150 PURL case studies sorted by industry, with an easy to read overview of each campaign’s Goal, List, Offer, and Creative content.

What’s more, we’ve included each campaign’s Response and Conversion Rates to show how effectively each one performed.

Industries you’ll find included in the directory include:

– Auto
– B2B
– Construction
– Education
– Entertainment
– Financial Services/Banking
– Healthcare
– Hospitality
– Manufacturing
– Non-Profit
– Printing Services
– Publishing
– Restaurant
– Retail

With this birds-eye view of the best and worst of PURL campaigns, you can navigate the choppy marketing waters with a steadier hand than ever.

We hope you enjoy The Ultimate PURL Case Study Directory– and please let us know how it treats you!