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Martin Cogburn


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    PURLs Overview

    About PURLs

    Applies to: All ONTRAPORT accounts.

    Whenever you create a landing page, you'll automatically have the option to send contacts to the PURL of that Landing Page via a Merge Field in an Email or a Postcard. By using a landing page as a PURL, you have the opportunity to personalize the content on your landing pages. This is done by placing merge fields on the landing page to be populated with contact data when one of your contacts visits the page as a PURL.

    A PURL, or Personal Uniform Resource Locator, is just what it sounds like - a URL with the contact’s name right in it, such as

    People love seeing their own name, and when they see it in a URL, they’ll want to check it out. Plus, PURLs point to (or link to in the case of an email) a Landing Page and allow you to track the response to your campaign down to the specific person.

    For instance, when Jane visits her PURL you’ll know about it, even if she doesn’t fill out a form.

    How to Merge PURLs into an email or postcard

    Using PURLs in an email is done exactly the same way as merging any other data. When creating an Email or Postcard, toward the bottom of the list of possible Merge Fields in the dropdown menu, you'll see a list of PURLs for all the Landing Pages you've created and hosted. Simply select the one you'd like to put into the email, and click Insert Merge Field, and you're all set. Note that you will only find merge field options for PURLs that point to landing Pages for which you've already set up hosting. Note also that PURLs must be activated before they'll work and there are 3 ways to do this.

    PURLs are activated by:

    • Sending an email with the PURL
    • Sending a postcard with the PURL
    • Exporting a PURL

    How to Export or View PURLs of Your Contact

    Exporting your PURLs allows you to view and use them in 3rd party mailers.

    1. Go to the Contacts collection.
    2. Select contacts to export
    3. Click Export
    4. Complete the export screen.
      1. Enter an email to send the completed csv file to (optional)
      2. Select which individual PURLs you'd like to export from the field selection menu

    Insert a PURL into Anchor Text

    This function allows you to link your contacts to their PURLs in anchor text in your emails to them. This means that you can have text of your choice such as “Check it out here” or “Get it now” link to a contact’s PURL rather than just have the PURL address show up in their emails if you choose to.

    How to insert a PURL into email anchor text

    1. Open the email builder
    2. Insert the PURL you wish to send into the email as a merge field. The PURLs appear near the bottom of the merge field drop down.
    3. Highlight and copy the PURL merge field using Ctrl + C
    4. Click the Source button
    5. Paste the PURL merge field into the email twice.

    6. Fill in all spaces within the PURLs with %20 (the html code for spaces)

    7. Replace the brackets around both PURLs with angle brackets as pictured (<,>)
    8. Make sure to insert a backslash (/) after the opening angle bracket (<) of the second PURL (pictured below)

    9. Enter what you want your link to say in between the two PURLs

    10. Click the Source button
    11. Your finished text won’t look linked but when you send it to a contact it will be
    12. Test the email by sending it to yourself as a test contact (DO NOT use the Send Preview E-Mail button)

    Note: PURLs will NOT populate a contact's name when the Landing Page is hosted on a secure domain.

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