Use to supercharge your PURL Campaign

PURL Social Sharing

I recently came across for a client’s project.  The goal was to integrate social sharing into their Personalized URL (PURL) Campaign.  The process would go something like:

  • Marketer sends a email/direct mail to Person with PURL
  • Person visit’s their PURL
  • Person shares to Facebook/Twitter etc
  • Friend sees the post and visits a “generic” landing page
  • Friend enters their name & email
  • Friend is immediately redirected to their PURL
  • Marketer collects the Friend’s information and tracks who referred them

The PURL the friend sees is the same as the original PURL shared, but it will be personalized to the friend!

Here is how we accomplished it…
This does get a little technical, so if you need helping executing a campaign like this contact us.

1) Sign up for a account

Go to

2) Add Social Sharing Code to PURL

Add the sharing code provided by ShareThis to your PURL landing page (index.php file)

3) Add Open Graph Meta Data

Add the following meta data between the <head> tag in your PURLs index.php file:

<meta property="og:url" content="
r=<?= $visitor->firstName.' '.$visitor->lastName; ?>"/>
<meta property="og:title" content="YourPageName"/>
<meta property="og:description" content="YourPageDescription"/>

4) Create Generic Landing Page

Create a generic landing page to collect the “Friend’s” information.There is a tutorial on doing this here:

You’ll want to add an additional hidden field to track the referrer:

<input name="customID" type="hidden" id="customID" value="<?= $_GET['r']; ?>" />

Where the customID, is the ID of the customfield in Purlem where you would like to referrer’s name to be stored.

Add the following meta data to the Generic landing page between the <head> tag:

<meta property="og:title" content="YourPageName"/>
<meta property="og:description" content="YourPageDescription"/>

5) Create PURL & Redirect

When the Friend enters their information on the generic landing page you created in Step 4, a PURL will automatically be created for this friend.  To immediately redirect the Friend to their PURL see the comments here:


Now this is cool!

Landing Page Designers

Are you a landing page designer looking to gain some notoriety?

Purlem is looking for a few designers to create a new Purlem Template.  The template will be available for Purlem users to download and use in their PURL Campaigns.

In exchange, your profile and link will be placed alongside your template on the Purlem website.  It will be a great way to showcase your work and dig up some new business.

If your interested please contact us.



Sneak Peak at at 2013 Purlem

Purlem is going to get a new look for the new year.  Here is a look on the new account page:

Purlem Account Page

Over the past few years, and after talking with hundreds of Purlem users, I’ve been able to identify a few improvements to the overall design of the dashboard.  In geek talk… were going to be making some major improvements to the UX!

Among the many improvements will be…

  • A fresh and more consistent look
  • Improved navigation between client accounts and campaigns
  • Ability to update design template sof a live campaigns
  • A more robust and efficient API



Time Aware PURLs

Recently a Purlem user shared a their PURL landing page with me that personalized the greeting to the time of day – The landing page would greet the visitor with “Good Morning,” “Good Afternoon,” or “Good Evening” appropriately.  How cool is that!

Here is how you can easily accomplish that with your next PURL landing page:

The following assumes that you would be using Purlem’s No Template option so that you have full control of the HTML of your PURL landing page.

Place the PHP code where you would like to greeting to be displayed in your landing page’s HTML:

Then view your PURL landing page and watch the magic come to life!

PURL landing page Good Morning

PURL landing page Good Afternoon

PURL landing page Good Evening

New PURL External Redirect Feature

There may be times when you want to redirect PURL visitors to an external website after they fill out the form on their personalized landing page.

In the example below, I would like to redirect the visitor to to after they submit the form on Page #1.
To do that, I select External Site from the Go to dropdown, and type in the full URL that you would like to redirect to.  Simple as that! 

Personalized URL External Redirect

Personalized URL External Redirect URL

Marty’s Mind

No… I didn’t think of “Marty’s Mind.”  Not quite sure what I think of it, but I’ll go with it 🙂

Last month I was invited to do a guest column for GreensheetBIZ – a publicated for senior executives in the printing, publishing, and converting industries.

The goal was to introduce this market to the benefits of dynamic print and personalized URLs. I used the term “effectively dynamic” to show that not all dynamic campaigns are equal.  It has been my experience that many expect that by simply adding dynamic features into a campaign, it will somehow magically improve results.  That, unfortunately, is not the case.  The trick is the four steps I mentioned in this article to be “effectively dynamic” and create integrated campaigns that get real results.

You can download the entire publication here.

Marty's Mind

To be successful, dynamic print needs to have a purpose and an identified reason for existing within a campaign. Here are the four steps to making your print campaigns effectively dynamic.

1. The Campaign’s Goals – What do you want your campaign to do? Get 20 people to purchase a product? Receive 70 inquiries on a service? Confirm 200 RSVPs to an event? Having vague goals won’t cut it. The campaign’s goal needs to be quantitative and easily measured. This isn‘t a new concept, but having a quantitative goal is so fundamental to a dynamic campaign’s success that it warrants mentioning here.

2. A Dynamic Reason to Exist – We need to work out how adding dynamic features can directly complement our goals. Many experts will agree that providing an easy and convenient platform for online response is key to making campaigns effectively dynamic. At this stage, don‘t be afraid to brainstorm and remember that simple solutions are often the best. You may decide to allow people to RSVP online via a personalized URL, a quick response code or by setting up a Facebook event. Put yourself in the place of the audience; how would you be most likely to respond? You may also consider coupons, deals, discounts or setting up a competition to help you accomplish your goal.

3. Introducing Dynamic Technologies – These days, making the transition from offline print to the online world is painless. To dynamically engage your audience, you can use: personalized URLs (or PURLs), to generate curiosity and encourage online engagement; quick response codes for smartphones access; SMS shortcodes, for users to respond to campaigns by texting a short five-digit code.

4. Launch & Track – When launching the campaign avoid the following all-to-common mistakes: A) Sending to the wrong person. Dynamic print relies on an accurate list of customers or prospects. Double check that your list is accurate before launching, or risk sending to the wrong person. B) Not optimizing for mobile. An increasing number of users will engage with your message via their mobile device, so ensure that your campaign is optimized for them. C) Being a little creepy. Only use information that your prospect or customer would expect you to know about them. Just because you know that your prospect‘s child‘s name is Henry, doesn‘t mean you should use that to get his attention. D) Not testing – Dynamic print requires a few different technologies to work properly. Do a test run, from printing to tracking results. Make sure everything is working as you expect before launch. Finally, track the results to close the loop of your dynamic print campaign, to provide solid numbers you can move forward with.

A Happy Purlem Customer

Yesterday I received a VERY nice email from a new Purlem user.  I hesitated sharing it for fear of being boastful or arrogant.  But after consulting with a couple colleagues, they encouraged me to share it because it spoke to what Purlem is all about.

I especially like the part at the end where he mentions “I know for fact that you built Purlem and there was not one single politician involved.”  Hint hint.. Obama: “If You’ve Been Successful, You Didn’t Get There On Your Own”.

So here it is…

There is no way that I can accurately express
to you how much your assistance has meant to me.

As the owner of Purlem, your demeanor along with
your expertise combines to make a tremendously
satisfying customer experience.

You have created a product and a service that has to
be extremely effective in bringing prospects and merchants together.

As one who spent the majority of my adult career
consulting with both small family run businesses
and also fortune 500 companies, I am
impressed how you have built the “Purlem Brand.”

I am also impressed with your customer service.
However, I am of the belief that you are both the
Chief Cook and the Chief Bottlewasher at the same time.

I have never found any business that combines and
handles sales, marketing and customer service as
well as you do.

You handle the email, you answer the marketing questions,
all without skipping a beat. If there is ever frustration
on your part dealing with a customer like me, who asks
question after question… you DO NOT let it show!

As this is the first Purlem campaign I am running, I am
walking away knowing that I have made the right
decision to sign-up and to use your products…

My compliments for allowing me to have an
outstanding customer experience…

I know for fact that you built Purlem and there
was not one single politician involved.

Thanks for everything

Designing Custom PURL Forms

Since Purlem gives you full control of the HTML, you can modify the form design directly through the CSS.  For example, below is a before and after screenshot of a project I just did for a client:

PURL Form Before CSS

PURL Form Before CSS

PURL Form After CSS

PURL Form After CSS

Pretty cool huh?  Here is how I did it.

Each form has the follow CSS fields that can be modified:


  • class=”formElement”
  • class=”title” id=”title_<fieldName>”  
  • class=”textbox” id=”<fieldName>”  
  • class=”required”
  • class=”button”

Here is the CSS I used to format the example form above:

.formElement {
.formElement:nth-child(3), .formElement:nth-child(4) {
.formElement:nth-child(6), .formElement:nth-child(7), 
.formElement:nth-child(11), .formElement:nth-child(12){
.formElement:nth-child(5), .formElement:nth-child(8), 
.formElement:nth-child(9), .formElement:nth-child(10), .formElement:nth-child(14) {
.formElement:nth-child(15) {
.formElement .title {
.formElement .textbox {
.formElement:nth-child(16) .title {
.button {
    background: #e3e3e3;
    border: 1px solid #bbb;
    -webkit-border-radius: 3px;
    -moz-border-radius: 3px;
    border-radius: 3px;
    -webkit-box-shadow: inset 0 0 1px 1px #f6f6f6;
    -moz-box-shadow: inset 0 0 1px 1px #f6f6f6;
    box-shadow: inset 0 0 1px 1px #f6f6f6;
    color: #333;
    font: bold 12px "helvetica neue", helvetica, arial, sans-serif;
    line-height: 1;
    padding: 4px 0 5px;
    text-align: center;
    text-shadow: 0 1px 0 #fff;
    width: 80px; }
    button.minimal:hover {
    background: #d9d9d9;
    -webkit-box-shadow: inset 0 0 1px 1px #eaeaea;
    -moz-box-shadow: inset 0 0 1px 1px #eaeaea;
    box-shadow: inset 0 0 1px 1px #eaeaea;
    color: #222;
    cursor: pointer; }
    button.minimal:active {
    background: #d0d0d0;
    -webkit-box-shadow: inset 0 0 1px 1px #e3e3e3;
    -moz-box-shadow: inset 0 0 1px 1px #e3e3e3;
    box-shadow: inset 0 0 1px 1px #e3e3e3;
    color: #000;

Notice how I used CSS’s :nth-child() Selector.  This is a great way to identify a specific formElement that you want to apply CSS to.  In my case it allowed me to give each formElement a unique width.

Also, for some creative CSS buttons, check out Chad Mazzola’s CSS3 Buttons.

Don’t use Purlem? Must be Wacky!

I can’t tell you how nice it is to receive positive feedback on Purlem. It is incredibly encouraging to the entrepreneurial spirit and puts a smile on my face!  Today I received an email from a Purlem user that just finished their first PURL Campaign.  Here is what he said:

BTW – our last campaign kicked butt. Your system was so easy to use and your service has been outstanding! I’m absolutely using Purlem for all my campaigns and referring all my colleagues. I seriously think that anyone that doesn’t use Purlem is wacky in the head 🙂

To see other customer reviews, check out our LinkedIn Page.

Pearl Necklace

Over the past couple of months I have realized just how lucky I am, as an entrepreneur, to have MariKate as my wife.  Since day #1 of Purlem, she has been my biggest cheerleader.

Thinking back to a time that I was about three months into Purlem.  We were in our Travel Nursing days and living in Stamford, CT.  I just received my second paying user for Purlem.  I felt on top of the world!  I remember exactly where I was when I told MariKate  –  “I have 2 paying users!  There is no reason that I will not have 4, then 8!”   Looking back I can’t believe how absolutely confident I was that Purlem was going to be a success.  I was making a grand total of $158/month, and MariKate was standing right there by my side – confident, supportive, and my biggest cheerleader .

Around this same time I told MariKate that I would buy her a Pearl Necklace if I ever hit a specific milestone with Purlem. And today is the day that Purlem hit that milestone!  It’s very exciting to see Purlem grow, and hear from the hundreds of users who enjoy using it.

Today MariKate get’s her Pearl Necklace.

Kate – Thank you for believing in me.  I love you.