Optimize PURL Landing Pages for your Goals

In many cases, the primary goal of your PURL campaign is to track who’s responding online from your direct mail campaign.  In this post we’ll explore some possible “secondary” goals of your campaign, and how to structure your PURL landing pages, to accomplish those goals.

First, what a PURL landing page should NOT be…

First of all, if you’ve used PURLs in the past, it’s worth taking a moment to remove of any pre-conceived notions on what a PURL landing page should be. The “old” strategy was to send the PURL visitor to a welcome page where we “shock and awe” them by displaying their name, then link to a questionnaire where we bombard them with several questions, then to a “verify your contact info” page, and finally to a thank you page where they get a free $5 Starbucks card.  Woo Hoo!  This is ridiculous.  This does not work. If you’re doing this, stop!

Ok, now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about what our PURL landing pages should look like. With the primary goal of simply tracking who’s responding, some possible secondary goals could be…

  1. Capture Email Address
  2. RSVP for an event
  3. Personal Portal
  4. Complete a Questionnaire
  5. Verify contact info
  6. None of the above (which is just fine and increasingly common)

Let’s take a look at each in more detail…

Capture Email Address

If you don’t have the email address of your visitor, chances are this should be your secondary goal.  Email addresses are vital for continuing to engage your prospects online.

If your secondary goal is to capture the visitor’s email address, then the email should be the only input on your PURL landing page.   No surveys, questionnaires, or “verify your information” forms.  I know I know, it’s tempting.  “Ahh… but what’s a few more form fields?” you ask.  The more information you ask of your visitor, the lower conversion rate will be.  Give the prospects a good reason for them to hand over their email, and ask nothing else of them.

PURL Email Capture Landing Page

RSVP for an Event

This is a great use of PURLs, and where I’ve seen the highest response rates.  I’ve seen this a lot with Auto dealerships inviting prospective car buyers to an exclusive event.  Generally, these lists are to people that already have some sort of relationship with the business, and thus, much more likely to respond.

In these landing pages, it’s good practice to only show two buttons “Yes” and “No”.  You may also opt to ask the visitor a couple other questions to help validate the prospect.

PURL RSVP Landing Page

Personal Portal

The portal strategy is used to provide the PURL visitors with information that is specific to them.  I’ve seen this used a lot in education recruiting.  If you know a visitor is interesting the Biology and Football.  Show them information about the campus around these topics.  Another common practice with this strategy is to provide a checklist.  The visitor check items off the checklist as they are completed.  And re-visit the page to receive updates and continue the process.

I’ve also seen this used for financial planning, where retirees were given a checklist, with specific due dates depending on their age.  Helping the visitor to plan for retirement.  These visitors return back to their PURL often to check in on their status, and continue to receive updated, personalized information.

PURL Portal Landing Page


This was part of the old PURL strategy that we had to debunk at the beginning of this post.  But by itself, a questionnaire is a very valid reason to use a PURL.  There may be times when asking several questions about the visitor is warranted and part of a larger strategy.  But if getting visitors to complete a questionnaire is your secondary goal, it should be the first and only thing that the visitor sees.  Don’t show them a welcome page, and then continue on to a page to verify their contact information.  That’s just annoying.

PURL Questionnaire Landing Page

Verify Contact Info

I don’t see this one used very much at all. But it’s very similar to the questionnaire.  Generally, the contact info fields would be pre-populated with the information you already know about the visitor, making it very easy for them to verify and/or update their information.

PURL Verify Contact Info Landing Page

None of the above

Having none of the secondary goals is just fine, and is actually very common.  The primary goal should be to simply track who’s visiting.  In many cases, that’s all that required.  If that is the case for you, it is absolutely acceptable to pass them along to an existing website or landing page.  This is often what I suggest to those looking to give PURLs a try for the first time.  Personalizing the landing page adds complexity to the project.  And keeping things as simple as possible, especially when just getting started with PURL campaigns, is very important.

Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list of possible PURL landing page formats.  If you have other formats that have worked well for you, please share them!

Automatically Send PURL Visitors to Dealership CRM

I’ve seen an increase interests lately in integrate PURL activity directly into Auto Dealer CRMs (such as elead-crm.com).  After having built out a few of these now, I though I’d share and document the process here.


The Auto-lead Data Format (ADF) is the standard format for sending leads to Dealership CRMs. In this process, an XML-formatted email will be sent to the dealerships CRM email address. The CRM will then accept the email, and enter the the visitor’s data, instantly alerting your sales team.

The ADF formatted email will look something like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<?adf version="1.0"?>


                <name part="first">Joe</name>
                <name part="last">Smith</name>
                <address type="home">
                    <street line="1">'123 Main St</street>
                    <city>New York</city>
            <comments>I want to buy a car now</comments>

            <vendorname>ABC Dealer</vendorname>

            <name part="full">Your Co</name>


You can quickly integrate this into your existing Purlem campaigns with a few simple steps outlined on our GitHub page.  Let me know if you would like some help integrating this into your next PURL campaign.

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

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: mysite.com/Sally.Anderson or mysite.com/John.Smith).

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=”https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.3/jquery.min.js”></script>

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

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.


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.

8 ways to use PURLs

Few know this, but PURLs are more than just a firewood substitute or fashionable summer trend. Like their inventor, Walt Whitman, PURLs have grown to contain multitudes– sweet, heavenly multitudes of technological glory that are waiting to be unlocked and utilized to strengthen your business.

Here are but eight of the many scenarios in which PURLing can amp up your results:

1.) Event Registration: The level of personalization that PURLs offer make them a perfect fit for enticing attendees to your event. By beckoning them to visit the PURL you’ve set up for them, they can be sure the invitation is personal. Once they visit that page, you can gather and present as much information from and to them as you like. This is especially helpful for understanding their event preferences, receiving an attendance fee, or tracking their PURL activity once the event is over.

2.) Trade Show Marketing: PURLs are great for both pre- and post-trade show marketing strategies. You can ask potential guests specific questions in advance on their personalized landing page, such as whether or not they intend to visit the event, what they hope to get out of it, and what kinds of materials or case studies they may want to see while there.

3.) Lead Generation and Acquisition: PURLs help you cultivate the kind of home run leads the guys in Glengarry Glen Ross can only dream about. Use PURLs as a chance to provide interesting, relevant information to your reader and, in turn, get to know what they like and what they don’t. PURLs put you virtually face to face with prospective customers’ wants and habits.

4.) Loyalty:  Customers want to remain loyal to businesses that listen to them and that they can trust, both of which are bedrocks of harnessing personalization to its fullest extent. PURLs allow you to keep an open dialogue with customers, while also gauging data based on customer behavior and satisfaction. Keep your customers happy and, simply put, you’ll keep your customers.

5.) Membership/Customer Renewal: PURLs make it easy to keep track of your customers membership plans and renewal dates. By anticipating these renewal periods, you can proactively reach out to your customers via their PURLs in an effort to keep them on your side. Tailoring the renewal process for them helps simplify the work they have to do and lets them know that you’re attentive and interested in their business on a personal level. This level of personalization will do wonders in reducing your attrition rate.

6.) Donations and Special Appeals: PURLs are a great solution for Non-Profit enterprises that are looking for an effective way to boost response rates. This is cross-channel marketing at its finest, and your prospective donors will be impressed by the tailored call to action that awaits them at their personalized landing pages.

7.) Customer Surveys: Whether it’s a one-off questionnaire or a series of ongoing, experience-based surveys, PURLs make interviewing your customers ridiculously easy. Not only can you tailor questionnaires based on your existing relationship with them, with Purlem you can easily track these results over time and calibrate your service to match exactly what they want.

8.) Product Announcements: Relevantly targeting product announcements is easier than ever thanks to the level of tracking and personalization that PURLs afford us. Know who to tell your new whizbang about, how, and when, all based on your customer’s PURL activity to that point.

Check out our Ultimate PURL Case Study Directory to the right. It’s totally free and includes over 150 case studies showing how PURLs boost responses across all industries.

You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter, where we’ll send you exclusive Purlem offers and PURLing tips.

Need ’em. Want ’em. Purlem.

Creating PURLs On The Fly

Creating Personalized URLs (PURLs) On The Fly is a great money-saving tactic for marketers with a large contact database. (Typically > 1 Million)

PURLs On The Fly

I came up with this tactic after a prospective client came to me wanting to take advantage for USPS’s PURL Promotion.  They have a database of 6 Million contacts, and it simply wouldn’t make sense to transfer this data into Purlem, let along pay up-front for 6 Million PURLs. Creating PURLs on the fly would allow for this user to only pay for contacts that actually visited their PURL!

There are two major catches:

  1. The level personalization on the PURL landing page can’t go beyond the contact’s first and last name (because that is all we know about the visitor)
  2. It will be up to you to de-dup the contacts.

For example, if there are two “Joe Smiths” in your database, you will need to make them unique.  This could be as simple as adding a number to the end of their PURLs:


With that, you can simply send the de-duped PURLs to your print provider or email service. There is no need to first upload (and pay for) your contacts into Purlem.

Setting up PURLs On The Fly

The setup for PURLs On The Fly can be a bit technical. If you need assistance with getting this setup, please contact us.  But if you’d like to give it a try yourself, this is how to do it…

Insert unknown contact through Purlem’s API

You will need to work with through Purlem’s API to automatically add contacts into Purlem that do not yet exist.  The code to do that is below. Add this code to your landing page (index.php) file, just below the existing PURL CODE.

You’ll also want to download the purlapi.php, and add it to your server.

if($visitor->firstName == '') {
 require '../purlapi.php';
 $firstName = $_GET['first'];
 $lastName = preg_replace('/[^\\/\-a-z\s]/i', '', $_GET['last']);
 $dupID = preg_replace('/\D/', '', $_GET['last']);

 ******* Enter Your Info Here ********
 $userID = 'xxxx'; //Enter your userID here
 $token = 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'; //Enter your API Token here
 $campaignID = 'xxxx'; //The campaign that you would like to add the contact to
 // Add Contact 
 $data = array(
 'campaignID' => $campaignID,
 'firstName' => $firstName,
 'lastName' => $lastName,
 'customXXXX' => $dupID //the custom field to store the duplicate ID
 $response = Purlem::add_contact($data);
 $response = json_decode($response);

  if($response->code == 400) {
  $error = $response->message;

 else {
  //Redirect to PURL (Optional)
  header( 'Location: http://'. $response->data->purl ) ;

Define First and Last Name

Next you’ll want to add the following just above the existing PURL CODE to define the first and last name:

if($_GET['name']) $name = $_GET['name'];
if($_GET['first']) $name = $_GET["first"].$_GET["last"];

Modify .htaccess file

Every Purlem campaign uses the .htaccess file to redirect the PURL to the proper landing page. PURLs On The Fly request slight modification of this code.  Find the following line:

RewriteRule ^([A-Za-z0-9_-]+)\.([A-Za-z0-9_-]+)/?$ http://domain.com/purlpage/index.php?name=$1$2&ID=2764&page=1 [R,L]

And replace with:

RewriteRule ^([A-Za-z0-9_-]+)\.([A-Za-z0-9_-]+)/?$ http://domain.com/purlpage/index.php?first=$1&last=$2&ID=2764&page=1 [R,L]


And that’s it!  When a PURL is visited, if it doesn’t already exist in Purlem, a new contact will be added and tracked.  Pretty slick huh?