The Informed Delivery program can be tough to keep up with. New features are being rolled out almost weekly without a whole lot of warning. Sometimes there are unintended consequences, which are, of course, the worst kind of consequences. Providing appropriate URLs (web addresses) for your campaigns has always had a few complications, but nothing too bad: The page had to be secure, couldn’t be an email gathering page, and couldn’t have any pop-ups that couldn’t easily be X’d away. Simple, right? It was.
The Informed Delivery program is rolling out a couple of new programs that will be very useful but are already creating some challenges: reminder notices and unique URLs. Let’s discuss:
Reminder notices offer some interesting possibilities. Essentially, when a consumer sees an offer in their ID feed that captures their attention, but they can’t respond to immediately, they can set a reminder that will pop up in a future ID feed – including another shot at that ride-along ad. So, if a donor wants to make a donation but needs to wait for their next paycheck, they can set the reminder to send the ad again at a better time. Of course, it’s not just for donations – the same feature will work with any type of campaign. Kind of cool. There are just a couple of issues of which you should be aware. First, this is already “in pilot” with 20% of ID subscribers, chosen seemingly at random with no notice. Secondly, there is no data being provided yet, so we can’t tell if the reminders help or not. USPS does plan on providing data, but not until sometime after the ID promotion ends at the end of November.
An entirely different program will allow ID campaigns to append elements of the IMb to the URL for the ride-along. “Allow” isn’t really the right word – it will just do it. Essentially, this will allow you to make your generic URLs into PURLs. Every click of your ride-along will have its own identifiable URL. This allows some great possibilities – you can personalize your web landing page for each recipient and pre-populate forms with data from the list. The mechanics are easier than they sound, but you do need to know your way around using PURLs – essentially that is what these are. This feature is not yet available, but some of the groundwork is already creating URL challenges.
The unintended consequences are that if you have a redirected web page, it may fail when it gets a URL with an unexpected query string attached to it. Redirected pages may become generally problematic even before the unique URL feature is activated. Confused yet? There’s more.
If you are participating in the ID Promotion you need to get your campaign, including the target URL approved before creating the campaign in the Mailer Portal. Your web link may well pass the promotion approval but still fail when the actual campaign is created. You may have an opportunity to fix it, but time is often short on these things and you need to figure out how to fix it. That’s one of the advantages of working with SnailWorks on your ID campaigns – we know our way around this stuff.
What You Need to Do, Right Now.
For reminder notices, there is really nothing you can do except be aware of them. You don’t really have the choice to include the capability or not. These programs tend to just creep into life – today it’s 20%. Next week? We’ll see. As data becomes available as to who is choosing reminders and other elements, we’ll be the first to add the capability and share.
On the unique URL feature, the answer is tougher. If you are using redirected pages – particularly from a third party – be sure to test them in the Mailer Campaign Portal – or better still, just use SnailWorks. We do this stuff all the time. We are constantly creating new features that not only get you around the pitfalls, but add to the opportunities.