Study: Marketers see 50% Improvement with Personalization

imagesAccording to a new multi-client study from InfoTrends, Marketers reported an average improvement of close to 50% for personalized multi-channel campaigns over static print-only campaigns.

Another great study to add your arsenal when trying to convince your client/boss to use PURLs!

Effect of Personalization on Click-Through Rates

This is a bit of an older study – from 2002, but still thought it was quite interesting and worth sharing.

YesMail completed a survey that shows how response rates increase dramatically with personalization. As the number of personalized elements increases from one to seven, the click-through rate more than triples, increasing from 4.7% to 14.8%!

Another good reason to add Personalized URLs to your direct mail and email campaigns!

Effect of Personalization on Click-Through Rates

Personalized vs Static Response Rates

Every have a client that whats some hard facts about how Personalized URLs will increase their response rates?  Look no further.  Caslon just completed a study that compared results from PODI’s personalized case study collection to the DMA’s Response Rate Report.

In a nutshell, the study found that personalized campaigns will on average outperform static campaigns by 4 times!  

Below are a couple charts that break down the research by objective and industry.  This is exactly what you want to show your clients and prospects to convince them that spending a little extra on personalization is worth it!

Personalized vs Static Response Rates

Personalized Response Rates by Objective

Personalized Response Rates by Industry

Personalized URLs are an easy way to easily give your static campaigns the personalization and relevancy the market is demanding.  Anyone that tells you that Personalized URLs are difficult, and/or expensive is lying to you!

The Future of PURLs in Europe

InfoTrends just released a new report that showed how print volumes associated with cross-media will dramatically increase within two years.  Here is the question from the report:

Q: What percent of your print volume contains cross-media elements, e.g. Personalized URL or QR codes?


DMA Response Rate Report w/ PURLs

According to the DMA’s 2012 Response Rate Report the average direct mail response rate was 3.4%.  Thats more than 30 times the 0.12% response rate for email.  Although direct mail has declined over the past several years, the study proves that it is still an effective marketing vehicle.

Here is a breakdown on responses rates for specific direct response vehicles:

  • Letter-sized Direct Mail: 3.40%
  • Oversized Mail: 3.95%
  • Postcard: 2.47%
  • Catalog: 4.26%
  • Email: 0.12%

It is also worth noting that email’s ROI was 28.5%, compared to only 7% for direct mail.  When taking into consideration the costs associated with direct mail, the costs-per-sale/lead for direct mail and email are about the same.

The report also noted that the average cost-per-order/lead for direct mail campaigns is $51.40.

With all this in mind, and to help wrap your mind around these numbers, I created an example direct mail campaign that used the averages presented in this report…

Example Direct Mail Campaign:
Sent to 1,000 people
Cost per order: $51.40
3.4% of people respond =  34 people
34 people * 51.40 = $1747.6 Campaign costs
7% ROI = $122 Profit

Now what if we added a PURL?
Let’s take a look at what happens when we add a Personalized URL (PURL) to both the direct mail and email campaigns. Let’s assume that PURLs will increase response rates by 50%.  Using the average response rates from the report, we would end up with:

  • Letter-sized Direct Mail: 5.1%
  • Oversized Mail: 5.92%
  • Postcard: 3.70%
  • Catalog: 6.39%
  • Email: 0.18%

To look at this objectivly, we also need to consider the additional costs associated with adding PURLs to the campaign.  PURLs, on average, will increase the cost of a campaign by 10%.  With this in mind, we create our example direct mail campaign w/ PURLs.

Example Direct Mail Campaign w/ PURLs:
Sent to 1,000 people
Cost per order: $56.54 ($51.40 * 110%)
5.1% of people respond =  51 people
51 people * 56.54 = $2883.54 Campaign costs
7% ROI = $202 Profit

What does this all mean for you?
By leveraging the higher response rates PURLs provide, it resulted in a 60% increase in profit!  ($122/$202)  It is true that PURLs add to your campaign’s total costs, but at the end of the day they put more money in your pocket.


Personalization – The Marketing Trend of 2011

In a recent study, DirectMarketingIQ named Personalization & VDP (Variable Data Printing) as the marketing trend of 2011.

“We’re always on the lookout for the latest big trends that affect mailers,” said Ethan Boldt of DirectMarketingIQ “After looking at data from the beginning of 2009 until nearly the end of 2011 (until October), it became clear that the personalization/VDP (variable data printing) trend is not going away.

The study identified that in 2009, 28% of mail pieces were personalized. In 2010, that figure jumped to 34%, marking a remarkable 21% increase.

The fact that personalization is increasing in usage and popularity only means one thing – it works!

The Who’s Mailing What! Archive is a database of over 250,000 pieces of direct mail that has been collected over the years.  I have personally subscribed to the archive, and I can say that it is a great resource if your looking to see how others (and maybe even your competitors) are using direct mail.  From what I have seen, it is the only database of its kind.

How much should PURLs Cost?

The overall cost of your PURL campaign is greatly dependent on the software you choose.  As the founder of Purlem, I’m obviously a biased to what I feel is the best & most affordable PURL software.  But I will try to give an overview of the different software options that are available, and the PURL cost associated with each.  Also, since the “other guys” hide their prices, I will only be able to give an approximate PURL Cost from research. You can see the links I used in the asterisks below.  If you have any further insight, please share!

Licensing Fee Per PURL Cost (100k PURLs)
Purlem* $0 0.5 cents
Mindfire** $9,500 2 cents
EasyPurl*** $2,500 4 cents
interlinkOne**** $0 2 cents
Dukky***** $0 2 cents

Obviously, each of the above companies have slightly different offerings and features.  It would be up to you to research each company and decide which is the best for your you.

Other costs associated with a PURL Campaign you should be aware of…

Other than the software, you are likely going to also have to purchase a domain name and hosting account. Domain name’s typically run at $10/year and basic hosting accounts start at just $5/month.

Many of the above PURL applications provided landing page templates that are included in the fees. However, if you have a specific design in mind, there could be time and costs associated with creating the Landing Page design. I can’t speak for the other guys, but at Purlem a good ball-park for the design of a custom Landing Page is $1,000.