http-yellow (1)August 19, 2014: Personalization the mail pieces in your direct mail campaign is one of the most important things you can do to improve performance. Personalization makes mail pieces more personal — and therefore more relevant — to the people receiving them, which naturally boosts response rates and ROI.

Taking advantage of the power of personalization takes careful thought, planning, and effort. Not only must your message be creative and appealing; it must be tailored to meet the needs and wants of the specific audience you’re targeting. And this doesn’t just go for the message: it applies to every component that a direct mail piece consists of, including the URL, should the piece feature one.

Obviously, a personalized URL should only be used if your goal is to direct prospects to an offer that is located on your company’s website. Setting up the infrastructure for personalization means paying attention both to your mailpiece and your website’s publishing system, so that each and every recipient can navigate successfully to the destination URL associated with the piece.

The contents of this URL should, in some way, be interesting enough to encourage the recipient to follow it. The idea here is for the customer to feel as if what he/she is viewing was designed specifically for them, while at the same time making the experience interactive and enjoyable.

Personalization boosts response rates, memorability, and campaign performance for several reasons:

  1. Personalized URLs intrigue recipients: When individuals see a URL with their name in it, they immediately assume that what lies on the other end is something that is going to interest them. Maybe it’s a discount offer on their next purchase. Or a chance to win something. Either way, personalized URLs create interest that non-personalized URLs can’t.
  1. Tracking: There wouldn’t be any point to personalizing a URL if you couldn’t tell who was clicking on it. When it comes to tracking visitors, there are several ways that this can be done. For example, a marketer might choose to use an HTTP cookie. Or a Google Analytics tag added to each personalized URL. What makes tracking so effective is the fact that results can be viewed in real time. Email alerts and notifications can make it very easy to see who is viewing your material and provide the opportunity to immediately follow up with potential prospects.
  1. Engagement: The more you learn about your prospects, the more you’ll be able to increase the relevancy of future campaigns. Using personalized URLs lets you do this. Each time an individual follows your link, he/she unknowingly provides you with greater insight as to which demographics are interested in seeing what you have to offer. As more and more of your prospects within the same demographic follow the link to their personalized landing pages, it will become easier to come up with a plan of action regarding who to target in the future.

Personalization is the key to success within any direct marketing campaign, and personalized URL’s are a great way to reach consumers, interest them, and track their responses. Personalized URLs can be customized to appeal to each individual recipient. Often the display of such an URL is all it takes to get the person interested in your offer. There’s no better way to get your message to stand out — even in a crowded mailbox — and spur your recipient toward taking the positive action you desire.