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12 Is Mass Personalization Possible?

personal URLsOne of the most effective ways to increase the effectiveness of advertising is through personal touches. The goal being that the recipient feels there was some care that went into the mailing and maybe they were the only one who got it. Now, if you need to reach out to your 1000 hottest prospects this is a little tough to pull off.

But, technology can help you add personal flourishes that can help make a mailing standout, increase response, and then go to work personally nurturing a lead to help move them along.

I’m not just talking about merge fields – hi [first name] – either.

A technology called personalized URLs (purl) been around for some time now, but is really getting to the point where even the smallest business can use it very effectively.

Imagine a prospect, Bob, being enticed to visit a web page from a pay per click, magazine or direct mail ad. Once there he is offered a free report that teaches him the best way to save thousands or dollars doing something he is getting ready to do. 3 days later he automatically receives a postcard with another compelling offer to attend a free seminar. But, this postcard doesn’t just send him to a generic webpage, it tells him about the webpage that’s been created just for him. In fact, the url is bob.ourwebsite.com and when Bob visits the page he is greeted with a welcome Bob message from the CEO of the company that personally invites him to the webinar. In addition, he immediately receives, via email, another special message from the CEO alerting him to the fact that if he wants to invite a guest to the seminar he’ll get $100 of anything he decides to purchase from your company. And, Betty, the crack salesperson for that territory, is already dialing the phone to ask Bob where he would like his pre-seminar materials sent. (She was alerted the moment Bob visited his personal web page)

The example above might be a little over the top, but I think it gives a little glimpse into some of what’s possible using this newer breed of mass personalization through data-driven advertising, personalized URLs, landing pages, lead tracking and autoresponders. Much of what I’ve described is not that new, but it’s never been more affordable and available to the small business as it is now.

Some service leaders in this field.

  • SendPepper – I have to admit that this is the one I’m most familiar with because it’s the one I use. Very affordable. You can create forms, landing pages and personalized URLs with Habañero account and visitors can sign-up for something and receive automated email and automated postcard mail several days later.
  • EasyPurl – Design and customize landing pages on the fly
  • MindFire – Personalize your responders initial online visit with variable data and images.

There is tremendous proof that the use of personalized URLs increases response rates, silly as it may be it’s hard for people to ignore that URL with their name in it, but I also find that the tracking system this employs allows you to focus on the hottest leads and get to them while they are most receptive.

Image credit: jemsweb