GetResponse Purlem Integration

Just launched Purlem’s GetResponse API Integration.  This Integration allows GetResponse users to automatically add contact’s to their GetResponse campaign when they fill out their PURL landing page form.

Have an idea for another integration?  Let us know!


Keys to Successful Email Marketing with PURLs

Below are the keys to a successful email marketing campaign with Personalized URLs (PURLs).

I’d like to point out that PURLs are not on the list!  Yes, I sell PURLs – I dream of PURLs in my sleep – but I’ll be the first one to tell you that they are not the key to an email campaign’s success. PURLs will, however, enhance a successful email campaign by increasing both response and conversion rates. But you first need to get the following right…

Example PURL Email from Mount St. Mary's UniversityQuality of the email list

I’ve said it before that having a highly targeted audience is crucial to Personalized URL (PURL) campaigns. The same applies for your email marketing campaigns.  Email campaigns are the most effective when the recipients know who you are.  This requires that you spend the time to create your own list, rather than purchasing one.

Call to action

The recipient should not have to think about what action you want them to take.  It should be immediately obvious, and the incentive should be strong enough to entice a click!  Need some help brainstorming?  see > PURL Offers – What Works? What Doesn’t?

Design of the email

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.  In fact, I’ve found that plain-text emails that speak personally to each recipients work the best. Key here is to test many formats and see what works best for your audience.


You can’t just send out one email and hope for the best.  Your email campaign should be ongoing and incorporate print (if applicable).

With that said, it’s important not to overuse email.  I’ve found that every month or two is appropriate for B2B.  A newsletter format can be great way to frequently send emails, and if done right, will provide great value to your recipients.


This one is obvious. People that you send emails to should have previously opted-in.

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!

ROI for Personalized Direct Mail

Personalized Direct Mail is nothing new.  What is new is how affordable personalization is becoming.

The technology that allows you to print personalized data on each direct mail piece is called Variable Data Printing. The cost for variable data printing has historically been an obstacle for those looking to personalize their direct marketing efforts.  However, the technology is both becoming cheaper and easier to use.  If you haven’t already, now is a perfect time to begin to experiment with personalization.

Just take a look the chart below from Banta Corp that shows the production cost and ROI for personalized direct mail.

Low-Level Targeting & Personalization High-Level Targeting & Personalization

Production cost: 25,000 pieces @ $.40 each = $10,000
2% Response rate = 500
Revenue model: 500 @ $100 average sale = $50,000
Production cost as % of revenue = 20%
R.O.I = 5.0x
Cost per response = $20

Production cost: 12,500 pieces @ $.80 each = $10,000
10% Response rate = 1,250
Revenue model: 1,250 @ $100 average sale = $125,000
Production cost as % of revenue = 8%
R.O.I = 12.5x
Cost per response = $8



Study: More Personalization = More Response

A 2012 InfoTrends study finds that marketing efforts featuring a higher level of personalization complexity, results in a higher response and conversion rate.

For this study, InfoTrends surveyed executives and decision makers from more than 1,000 enterprises, employing 500+ people, across 10 vertical market segments.

Here are the results:

PURL Marketing Response Rates

Campaign Response Rate Conversion Rate
 Print Only 6.0% 16.2%
 Print and Email 7.6% 18.3%
 Print and PURLs 7.6% 15.3%
 Print, Email and PURLs 8.2% 16.5%
 Print, Email, PURLs and Mobile 8.7% 19.0%
 Source: InfoTrends, 2012

Can we trust you?

As Purlem begins to work with more “Enterprise” level companies, this is a question I get asked often.

Recently, a prospect told me – “Well… normally we would do a site visit with our new vendors. But it seems we would be visiting your home if we were to do that.”  Obviously, they had a lot of concerns working with a such a small company – especially a one man team.

That prospect become one of my biggest customers a week later.

I’ve found that there are two major concerns that larger companies have when considering using Purlem.

  1. Support level
  2. Purlem’s future

Let me address both of these…

Support Level

An obvious concern is the level of support they can expect to receive from only one person. I can talk all day about how my love for the product as the founder/developer naturally leads to better support.  But let’s let some of my customers tell the story…

I have used multiple platforms for PURLs in the past, including MindFire, XMPie, JFM, and EasyPurl. When I came across Purlem, I was on the verge of delving into a lengthy development process to build a homegrown PURL system. Purlem saved me a ton of money and development time, and is a great product. I would highly recommend it. And the support is unreal!
– Zachary Wood, Director, Applied Digital Media at Blue Moon Marketing Group

I needed an online component to handle a direct mailing campaign to over 2500 individuals. On a brief but valuable call with Purlem, it was clear that this was the right option to handle our exact needs. The product makes sense, is easy to use and the support was outstanding! I successfully launched our campaign and Purlem was the perfect solution to easily generate a very large number of personalized pages for users to access through a QR code. I will undoubtedly use Purlem again!
– Rebecca Pleshaw, Co-Owner | Marketing, Design and Development at Cloud Construct,

Not only is the product great and easy to use but the support we receive is equally extraordinary. The combination of the two has played a key role in taking our business to the next level. I look forward to expanding our partnership in any way possible because Purlem is a simple, easy to use solution.
– Mike Buckner, Director of Marketing at Sequoia Equity Group

And that’s only a few of many found on our LinkedIn page.

Purlem’s Future

Another concern is what Purlem’s future holds.  Can you count on Purlem continuing to exist?

The #1 reason why companies fail is because – you guessed it – money.  When a company runs out of cash, they are forced to close their doors.  Fortunately, since I decided to bootstrap Purlem, this is not something I have to worry about.  For those that are unfamiliar, bootstrapping means that I never took on financing.  Purlem has no debt, and has been profitable since day 1. Even if Purlem’s revenue dropped drastically, the product will continue to exist.  I would probably have to find a new job, but the product would exist.

When talking with prospects about Purlem’s future, it’s always so funny when they start to ask – “Well, I mean, what would happen if. I don’t want to say… But. You know…”  Ha! Their beating around the bush asking what would happen to Purlem if something happens to me.  When it comes to this, there is a backup plan.  I have a trusted advisor, colleague, developer who has been with me since the beginning.  He has full access to Purlem and is fully capable of continuing it’s success.

There may be some other concerns, but these seem to be the two that pop up most often.  Have you other small businesses out there experienced similar challenges when working with larger corporations?


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

Video: An Introduction to PURLs

Hear’s a sneak peak at our new video – An Introduction to Personalized URLs “PURLs.”

An Introduction to Personalized URLs “PURLs” – by Purlem.

To create the video we started first with the copy. Being the PURLs can be somewhat of a confusing topic, The Art of Explanation was a tremendous help in helping us to think through how to describe PURLs to those that are unfamiliar.

Once the copy was set, I partnered with Colin Cramm – an animator out of the Netherlands – to bring the copy to life. I’m sure you’ll agree that Colin did a fantastic job!

Hopefully this video will help those less familiar with PURLs, to quickly grasp their power and potential.

Purlem is Hiring

We’re growing and it’s time to hire! If you know of any good designers/programmers that may be interested in joining Purlem, please forward them our way!

These are contact to hire positions. If your in Chicago that’s a plus, but location does not matter.

PHP Programmer
Looking for an experienced PHP programmer that is proficient with MySQL, jQuery, HTML & CSS. The right guy/gal is very familiar with MVC Frameworks (Codeigniter is a plus), and has a good understanding of APIs.

You’ll help with adding new features, fixing bugs, and scaling challenges.

Looking for a web designer with a keen eye for simplicity and detail.  You’ll help with perfecting the design of our marketing site, as well as the UI/UX of the user dashboard.

Get an idea for our “style” on our Pinterest page:
I’d like to see your work that reflects a similar clean & simple style.

Business vs Creative

I just finished reading Mastery by Robert Greene.  In the book one of the “Masters” is Santiago Calatrava. Calatrava is a Spanish architect widely known for his sculptural bridges and buildings, and is currently working on the transportation hub at the new World Trade Center.


What stood out to me about Calatrava is that he creates literally hundreds of revisions of his work before he finding just the right design. He wouldn’t be afraid to throw away several months of work, to start over again. What! Several Months! I think I would go into a depression loosing several months of work!

Greene goes on to say…  As the years went by and Calatrava was able to look back on all of his projects, he had a strange sensation.  The process he had evolved felt as if it had come from outside of him.  It was not something he had created through his own imagination, but rather it was nature itself that had led him to this perfectly organic and beautifully effective process. 

Wow, this sounds great!  This is want I want for Purlem as well.

But is it really that easy? I immediately correlate this with the Just Launch approach. For example, in Getting Real, 37 signals says… Don’t wait for your product to reach perfection. It’s not gonna happen. Take responsibility for what you’re releasing. Put it out and call it a release. Otherwise, you’re just making excuses.

The beautiful thing about web-based software is that we have the opportunity to just put it out there and perfect as you go.  As opposed to Calatrava who needs to perfect the design before beginning construction. Still, there’s an interesting balance here that seems hard to get right.

For example… I’m currently re-creating the “Features” section of Purlem’s website. The business side of me says – “Just make it good enough and launch it.  There are more important things you can do.”  The creative side of me says – “Take a step back and give some time to the creative process.”

Greene goes on to say that it is essential to build into the creative process an initial period that is open-ended.

Okay… this is something I can work with.  At least I can set some limits around the creative process.  I don’t know if I could give up months like Calatrava, but I could certainly give days.

I think this is phenomenal advice that we can all learn from.  Weather we are in the creative field or not.  We can all carve out a period of time at the start of the project to allow our minds to wonder without limits. Who knows what the results will be. I think I’m going to give this a try.