PURLS and Two Other Success Gems for Hospital and Healthcare Direct Mail

Group of white stick figures, some with targets on their face It’s almost counterintuitive. Surprisingly, in this digital age, direct mail—the in-your-mailbox, in-your-hand, US Postal Service (USPS) kind of direct mail—continues to make advancements as a effective tool for certain healthcare marketing situations.

It’s now possible, and highly desirable, to devise unique and precision-targeted direct mail campaigns. Let us know if we can be help you with this, but here are some of the enhanced possibilities that can boost your Return-on-Investment.

Every Door Direct Mail from the US Postal Service. This option is especially useful where a geographic concentration or close proximity is important, such as a family practice, general dentist, community hospital or satellite location, or an urgent care facility.

The Every Door Direct Mail program allows you to reach every active address in a targeted area or neighborhood, eliminating the need for (and cost of) a mailing list. Discount pricing applies, and you can select from among several formats with no sorting or other admin costs involved. You define a service area that you want to saturate (down to the specific delivery route) and the USPS delivers to all active residential or retail addresses.

Reaching New Movers (long before anyone else). The USPS also provides a service that connects advertisers with verified movers based on the official Mail Forwarding Change of Address requests. Although “new mover” mailing lists are available from third party companies that compile such data, the information is weeks (sometimes months) after the actual move date. Check in with us for more particulars, but the timely USPS system puts local doctor or hospital information into the hands of new residents long before the competition.

PURL, or personalized URL link. This one’s a little more complex and more suitable for sophisticated direct mail campaigns. We can help if needed, but the individualization is impressive and effective. Here’s how it works. A custom Internet addresses, containing the recipient’s first and last name, is included in each individualized direct mail piece.

Similar to a QR Code, the PURL links the recipient to a landing page that typically contains an offer, along with additional information. (The landing page itself can be personalized on the fly.) PURLs are useful as a means to engage individuals and attract them to a website environment. What’s more, the personalized nature of the PURL increases response rates, and is easily trackable.

Direct mail techniques are more sophisticated and more cost-effective than in the past. For related reading on this topic see: Nuevo Direct: The Genesis of New Mail for Healthcare Advertising.

Lonnie Hirsch


Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer & Creative Director at Healthcare Success
Over the years Stewart has personally marketed and consulted for over 1,457 healthcare clients, ranging from private practices to multi-billion dollar corporations. Additionally, he has marketed a variety of America’s leading companies, including Citicorp, J. Walter Thompson, Grubb & Ellis, Bally Total Fitness, Wells Fargo and Chase Manhattan. Stewart co-founded our company, and today acts as Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director. He is also a frequent author and speaker on the topic of healthcare marketing. His personal accomplishments are supported by a loving wife and two beautiful daughters.



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