This summer, the USPS is offering a discount to companies that include a QR Code on their mailings. Also, the QR Code must either point to a mobile-optimized personalized URL or a mobile-optimized storefront.
While personalized URLs were extremely “hot” a few years ago, they certainly have cooled off a bit recently. But they still have a place today in the marketing mix!
Getting Back in to the Personalized URL Game
If you have not sold a personalized URL or built one in a little while, there may be some open questions in your mind about them.
Today, I’d like to chat about personalized URLs and security for a bit.
As you try to decide whether you should use them, or while in the process of trying to convince a client to use personalized URLs, the item of whether they are secure may come up.
Concerns about Personalized URLs and Security
While many companies have embraced personalized URLs because they see the benefits of one-to-one marketing, others have hesitated to incorporate them into their promotional efforts out of security fears.
We primarily have seen this in specific industries, such as banking, healthcare, and others.
If you or your client is worried, there are a few practical things that can be done to address their concerns. Below are three items that we have heard over the years, along with ways that you can address them.
Worries About How Much Data is Exposed
One of the benefits of using a personalized URL is that you can pre-populate contact information on the landing page.
If the personalized URL includes a registration form or survey, pre-populating contact information in form fields can save time for the user and increase your response rate!
If the client is concerned about this, there are a few options:
- Eliminate the pre-population of the form fields: The URL can still be personalized, and the landing page could even still greet them by First Name.
- Include only fields on the form that are absolutely necessary for the response: We may be tempted to ask the user to give us everything — from their Twitter handle to their Cell Phone #. We might even have good intentions for asking for it (“We could use this data for future marketing opportunities!”).
But if your client is worried about exposing too much information, than limit what fields you display and require. For example, if they are responding to the PURL to download a White Paper, perhaps the only field on the page is for entering an Email Address.
Simply Entering Another Name to Access Data
Most personalized URLs follow this format — [FirstName + LastName].DomainNameHere.com.
Thus, when I enter JasonPinto.DomainNameHere.com, the first page I see might greet me by name and present the pre-populated registration form.
Some companies might say, “Well, could Jason simply enter JohnSmith.DomainNameHere.com and see another person’s information?” In many cases of PURLs, the answer is Yes. Typing in that other name (that’s also a valid PURL for that campaign) would allow someone to see another person’s pre-populated registration form.
If you do not want that to happen, one option is to include an “Access Code” along with the personalized URL.
Thus, when I enter my personalized URL, I am greeted by a screen that requires me to enter a unique Access Code. Only then can I see my personalized page.
By doing that for each PURL that you generate, you will add a second-level for people that are trying to access personalized data.
Submitting Data over a Form
Many personalized URLs include Forms that ask people to provide and submit information.
Oftentimes, this is just Contact Information and answers to questions.
But if your client is concerned about protecting the data that is submitted, one option is to utilize SSL.
In that case, the user would access their PURL at https://[FirstName + LastName].DomainNameHere.com, which would enable the landing page and form to use SSL encryption when submitting data.
Would you like more information?
I hope that you find these ideas helpful as you look for ways to improve the effectiveness of your marketing programs (or those of your clients)!
If you have any questions about personalized URLs and security or about the USPS Mobile Barcode Promotion, please contact our team today!
Over the past few weeks, our development team has been hard at work on some big enhancements for iFlyMobi product.
In case you don’t know, iFlyMobi is an application that makes it very easy to build mobile websites. As the number of smartphone owners continues to grow, we think that companies of all sizes and types must take steps to reach the mobile audience.
I personally think that iFlyMobi rocks. And I’d love for you to feel the same way too.
We offer a 14-day free trial to let you experience the tool first-hand.
Below are some of the recent enhancements that have been added to iFlyMobi:
Organize the Layout of your Mobile Home Page
Our team has been taking steps to provide iFlyMobi users with more flexibility on the design and layout of their mobile websites.
We have recently released a feature that makes it very easy for our customers to control the sort order of all of the links on their mobile website. This includes Pages, External Links, and Blogs.
Connect a Blog/RSS Feed to Your Mobile Website
There is no doubt that inbound marketing and content marketing continue to be hot topics among folks in the world of communications.
It certainly has proven to be very important for companies to have dynamic content on their website.
The same applies to a mobile website!
Thus, we have delivered enhancements that allow users to easily connect a Blog/RSS feed to their mobile website. Once they’ve made the connection, they can customize the name of their Blog, and then let our system do the work of updating the mobile website with fresh content from the Blog each day!
These are just a few of the powerful features that our iFlyMobi users can take advantage of.
Check out our Learn More page now to see what else you can do to reach the growing mobile audience!
Within ilinkONE Version 8′s marketing software, users can set up surveys, registration pages, feedback forms, download entry points, and more through our Campaign Management and Landing Page features.
Within that piece of our software, users can easily build Question & Answer forms for a variety of reasons. Most of our customers typically choose from Question Types such as:
- Multiple Choice
- Single Choice via Radio Buttons
- Single Choice via Dropdowns
But there is another option available that may assist you in your marketing efforts. That option allows you to create a field on a landing page that enables people to upload a file while they are filling out the form.
Using the File Upload Feature
If you are familiar with how to build campaigns and landing pages in our system, it is very easy for you to use the File Upload feature.
- To create a File Upload field, you’ll want to create/edit a Question for your campaign.
- On the “Edit Question” page, set the Question Type to “Single – Open Line Text” and then check the box for the “Display as File Upload” field.
Once you’ve taken those simple steps, the ilinkONE Version 8 software do the rest of work.
Next time that you view the landing page that those questions are associated to, you will see your web browser’s Upload File utility displayed with that question.
The system will store the images on the FTP server. You will be able to access them by simply finding the folder associated to the Client that you built the campaign for.
We hope that you find this feature useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Customer Support team!