It’s all about you, baby!

If you were given information about a Web site that had your name embedded in the URL, wouldn't you want to check it out ASAP?

If you were given information about a Web site that had your name embedded in the URL, wouldn’t you want to check it out ASAP?

Toronto-based N5R is banking on that with its uniquely personalized new URL product – MySite. Talk about taking the whole ‘it’s all about me’ catchphrase to heart. If Roman Bodnarchuk, chairman and CEO of the digital online agency, had his way, one-stop-shop Web sites would be out the door.

‘[Generic Web sites] just aren’t working,’ says Bodnarchuk. ‘So many companies put up generic sites hoping it appeals to all consumers but essentially they are just trying to fit too many people – new and past customers – into that one experience.’

MySite is a marketing solution that works in both the B-to-B or consumer environment, using e-mail, SMS or DM campaigns to drive customers to their own personalized 10-page URL or micro-site. A home page welcomes you by name and includes anything from incentives to prizes or specifically tailored information.

At roughly $1 per micro-site, this new product, which has the user fill out a specialized profile, can be used as both an acquisition and retention tool.

‘The problem is most of us are living in the acquisition world – we don’t really do a good job at retention,’ says Bodnarchuk. ‘And yet we know that adage: ‘It costs five times more money to add a new customer than to keep an existing one.’ So with MySite it’s an acquisition tool that automatically becomes a retention tool.’

This was a factor that was key for the Toronto Star when it used MySite for a campaign targeting its top 4,000 advertisers in July. N5R designed a unique over-sized postcard (aimed at media and ad buyers) with a graphic of two naked guys running through a field, with their bottoms covered. And although there was an incentive to win a Vespa scooter, a US$5,000 Amex gift certificate and a 43′ plasma TV, along with a weekly prize, what also contributed to driving buyers to MySite was the subject: ‘Ad buyer goes wild – to read the full story visit the site we’ve built for you (theirname.goeswild.com).’

‘It was very different than what we’ve done in the past, but it worked very well – we got a 24% response rate on the postcard,’ says Lara Barlow, manager of marketing and strategy for the Toronto Star ad division.

‘The fact that we have this list of advertisers, very few of whom we had e-mail addresses for…this application was fabulous for providing us a way to bring them to an online site to gather their information.’

Since the Star completed its DM and MySite campaign, it has launched a customer newsletter, which allows it to keep in touch on a monthly basis.

N5R’s MySite has also done a sizeable amount on the consumer side with clients like Aviawest Resorts and Foresters. The premise of the unique URL is the same, with special offers and prizes based on a survey users fill out each time they’re subtly ‘pushed’ to visit their personalized site.