Written by Heidi Tolliver-Walker
Print Industry Analyst 

Personalized URL: How Well Are You Using the Survey Page?

One of the most powerful tools incorporated into personalized URL solutions is the survey page. How well are you using this capability? Are you using it to showcase novelties? Or to really learn something?

Some companies use these surveys to generate novelty giveaways, such as personalized tickets to events or personalized “album covers” showing recipients as their favorite actor or musician. This showcases your ability to do fancy things with data, but it overlooks the real power of personalized URLs, which is to drive relevant offers.

In “State of Personalized URLs (2013),” one of my educational reports available at no charge to XPPGN members (and recently updated to the XPPGN portal), I talk about several examples of survey pages used well.

When Penn Herb, a specialty retailer serving the health-conscious market, wanted to freshen its retail store, for example, it used a multi-channel marketing campaign to solicit input from its customers. It sent a direct mail piece asking customers to log-in to a personalized URL, complete a survey, and provide feedback on its mix of products and services. In particular, it wanted to know what services its customers were looking for that weren’t already available from the store.

Thanks to the information-gathering effort, Penn Herb discovered there were services its customers wanted but that were not available either from its store or from competitors, including yoga classes and organic produce. Penn Herb was in the process of freshening up its retail location, so it incorporated these and other offerings as part of new grand re-opening, much to its customers’ delight.

Other marketers use the survey pages to gather information on prospects’ business needs and pain points. Questions might relate to vertical market, business challenges, or future capital investments. This information can be used to score leads and alert salespeople to hot or warm leads that need to be followed up on right away.

Of course, as you are utilizing personalized URLs this way, you need to be discerning in how you collect this data (and how much data you collect). You don’t want to invite recipients to a personalized URL on the premise of entering a sweepstakes only to barrage them with invasive questions that scream, “Give us all your personal information so our salespeople can hound you later!”

There is a line between information gathering and scaring your prospects so that they never get past the survey page. So walk that line carefully.