1:1 Marketing, IMBs, PURLs, QR Codes and More
1:1 Marketing is also known as variable data: It is a way to create a more personalized, relevant, and unique experience for your recipient. Usually variable data includes a personalized salutation, but may also include personalized information about their sales rep, or the last time they did business with you, or any number of personalized, unique, and relevant messages that work to create a relationship with your prospect or client. Variable data can be used in a number of different areas on a printed piece: the address and salutation, of course, but also within the text of the letter or even within a photo, such as writing the recipient’s name in the sand, or in a cloud, or as graffiti on the side of a building.
IMBs are Intelligent Mail Barcodes: This new kind of barcode allow the post-office to better track the progress of your individual mailed piece throughout the system. For instance, imagine that you receive an alert or a report when your mailed pieces are delivered, so you could carefully time your follow-up call or email…wouldn’t that be powerful?! That is exactly what the post-office is working towards. It’s not all the way there yet, but within the next couple of years Intelligent Mail Barcodes are going to be a requirement.
PURLs are Personalized URL’s: A URL is your unique web address, such as www. highlightprinting.com. We are working with Avallo’s programmers to create our own software solution for PURLs. Here’s how they work: let’s say you include a PURL in your next mailing, so that your recipient took your mail-piece over to her computer (because of some enticing offer, to be sure!), and typed in: www.highlightprinting.com/marysmith (assuming her name is Mary Smith). Up pops her own little mini-site which has already been partially populated with her information, but asks a few other questions to better define her needs. She enters that info, presses enter, and presto – you have more information captured about her, you have created a more interactive relationship with her, and you have probably given her some type of fun incentive in return. (I once heard of a very successful campaign where a micro-brewery sent out beer, but often times it is just an offer of a white paper or coupons, or a newsletter with information targeted to your recipient. We believe the most effective enticement is something they will keep around for awhile – something to keep your company “top of mind”.)
QR Codes stands for Quick Response Codes: They are the new, square, sort of squiggly barcode that sort of looks like one of those kids games where you try to get a little ball through the maze. They work like this: You take a picture of one with your camera phone that has QR reader software loaded and it takes you to a special URL. This is the newest technology of the 4 listed, and we are watching this technology closely.