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State of Personalized URLs

  • January 2013
  • -
  • DigitalPrintingReports.com
  • -
  • 67 pages

There is a lot of hype surrounding Personalized URLs these days, but what is the reality behind the hype? Do these applications deliver on the promise? "Personalized URLs: Beyond the Hype" addresses this question.

Personalized URL applications have a wide variety of uses, including sales prospecting, customer surveying, event registrations, information dissemination, and obtaining customer and user feedback. But while they have generated a lot of success, they have generated a lot of disappointment, too—primarily because of a lack of realistic expectations.

This reports provides a no-nonsense look at the role of personalized URLs and 1:1 printing in increasing the effectiveness of companies' marketing programs. It looks at key application categories, best-in-class case studies, lessons learned over time, and best practices for optimizing their use. Special emphasis is placed on the need to change the way marketers evaluate the cost-effectiveness of print marketing. Report concludes with best practices and strategies for success.

Section 1 looks at the basic nuts and bolts behind personalized URLs, including basic structure, differences between templated and custom applications, and the role played by digital (toner- and inkjet-based) printing technology.

Section 2 looks at the primary differentiating factors between personalized URL software solutions and the variety of pricing models used by 1:1 services providers.

Section 3 looks at the role of databases, including the use of personalized URLs to turn mailing lists into prospecting databases and the critical need to focus on relevance, not personalization.

Section 4 looks at case studies from five classifications of personalized URL applications: lead generation, direct sales / cross-sells and upsells, event registrations, information dissemination, and customer retention and loyalty.

Section 5 looks at how to evaluate the success of personalized URL campaigns using a variety of types of campaign metrics, including conversion, cost per sale, and return on investment.

Section 6 looks at best practices for personalized URL campaigns.

Section 7 draws final conclusions and provides references for more information.

Table Of Contents

State of Personalized URLs
Introduction 5
What's in a Name? 5
Section 1: Personalized URL Basics 7
Defining Personalized URLs 7
Personalized URL Mini-Site Structure 8
Three Sample Campaigns 11
Personalized URLs: A Response Mechanism 15
Section 2: Differentiating Personalized URL Solutions 16
Critical Trends in Software Development 16
Primary Areas of Differentiation 16
Example of Cross-Media Business Rules 17
Dispelling Myths About Personalized URLs 18
Emerging Pricing Models 20
Section 3: Databases and Personalized URLs 22
Turning Mailing Lists Into Prospecting Databases 22
Relevance, Not Volume 23
Gateway to Database Development 26
Section 4: Case Studies in Personalized URLs 28
Lead Generation 28
Direct Sales / Cross-Sells and Upsells 32
Event Registrations 35
Customer Retention and Loyalty 37
Fundraising 40
Information Dissemination 42
Section 5: Evaluating Personalized URL Success 45
Measuring the Benefits of 1:1 Printing 45
Types of “Response Rates” 47
Other Campaign Metrics 48
Warnings From Failed Campaigns 50
Section 6: Best Practices for Personalized URL Campaigns 53
15 Lessons From the Field 53
Section 7: Conclusions 60
Additional Reports 61
About Heidi Tolliver-Walker 63

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