The Bottom Line

So you agree with me that Personal URLs could possibly increase your response rates. But what is really the true value of the Personal URL for a business.

I see the true value of Personal URLs being the ability to capture the “B Prospects.” B Prospects are those prospects that are intrigued enough by your offer to visit your their Personal URL, but they are not quite ready to pick up the phone. With Personal URLs you can track who these B Prospects are, and take action to push these B Prospects along your sales cycle.

In traditional Direct Mail advertising, the call-to-action is a phone number. “Take advantage of our special offer today! Call us at 555-555-5555!” But in this case, only your “A Prospects,” those ready to purchase your produce or service will respond. What about all those people out there that received your mailing, and are intrigued by your product or service, but are just not ready to make the purchase? Give these prospects a non-threatening way to respond, and gather more information and they will! These prospects don’t want to pick up the phone just yet. A phone can be a very threatening thing for some people. But they will certainly visit their Personal URL website. And when they do.. Wa La! You will instantly know who they are.

Give a prospect a non-threatening way to respond to your direct mail piece, and you will collect all those “B Prospects” out there who are intrigued by your offer, but would simply like more information. With this valuable information in hand, you can send additional mailings, offers, or gifts to these “B Prospects” to push them along your sales cycle.

I believe that just knowing who these “B Prospects” are, is the most valuable aspect of Personal URLs for business of any size.

Using Microsoft Word to create a Personal URL letter

It is easy to create a direct-mail letter that utilizes personal URLs with Microsoft Word’s Data Merge feature. These directions are based of off Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac. So they might differ slightly depending on the version of Word that you are using.

  1. Create a Microsoft Excel file of your mailing list. The mailing list should contain all the mailing information for each one of your prospects. The first and last names should be on separate columns.
  2. Open Microsoft Word and create a new document
  3. Open the “Data Merge Manager” tool box (Tools > Data Merge Manager)
  4. In the “Main Document” drop down, select Create > Form Letters
  5. In the “Data Source” drop down, select Get Data > Open Data Source. Select your mailing list that you have saved as a Microsoft Excel document.
  6. Select the Entire Workbook, and click “OK”
  7. The column titles in your mailing list are now visible in the “Merge Field” drop down.
  8. To create the Personal URL for each person on the mailing list, simply type your URL “www.yoursite.com/” and then drag the first name from the “Merge Field” drop down to just after your URL, followed by the last name.
  9. Place a period between the first and last name.
  10. To preview each Personal URL, simply click on the “Preview” drop down, and click the arrows to navigate through each mailing list recipient.