Part 3: Personalized Direct Mail Hacks

November 14, 2018 Mary Rouzer

Hacks to Help you Combat Common Quirks of
Personalized URLs For Direct Mail

Personalization URLs (PURLs) are not always a walk in the park. Have you ran a direct mail program and noticed the tokens on your ‘personalized’ landing page did not populate as expected and/or form fields did not pre-fill? If so, you are not alone. These are known issues.
 
For those of you that are new to the concept of PURLs, they are unique, personalized landing pages seemingly-created for each recipient through the magic of tokens. For example:
 
go.digitalpi.com/mary.rouzer
 
Personalized URLs are great for direct mail campaigns. According to research by Epsilon Marketing, 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences.

The Troublemaker: Cookies

PURLs are optimal if someone has never visited your website before, not even anonymously. Here are some of the known quirks of PURLs caused by cookies:
  • If a recipient is cookied, your PURL tokens and form pre-fill will be replaced with values corresponding to the cookied person. Cookies win over PURLs.
  • If a recipient is not cookied, a PURL populates tokens on the page, but it will not work to pre-fill your form.
  • If a recipient is cookied as an anonymous person, the anonymous cookied person will override the PURL data.
 
Sounds like a headache, huh? But don’t give up on PURLs just yet, try these nifty hacks to ensure a personalized experience for your customers and prospects.

Hack 1: Use Lead Tokens as Form Field Default Values

To make certain a form pre-fills when a recipient is not yet cookied, replace the Default Value of each form field with a lead token:

Hack 2: Erase Cookie and Associate Session

For a more advanced solution to all your PURL woes, when the PURL is visited:
  1. Instantly erase anonymous or known cookies.
  2. Reload the page and associate sessions to PURLs. This will reset visitors’ cookies, allow you to personalize your landing page, and track your visitors’ web activity.
  3. Also as the page reloads, automatically merge anonymous or known cookies with PURL records to preserve historical web activities.
A special shout out to Sanford Whiteman who inspired this methodology on the Marketo Community.
 
Download Marketo PURL Script
To help you along, click HERE and receive custom scripting from our development pros to erase cookies and associate sessions, as detailed above!
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