Security Pages – Boon Or Bane?

A security page is an extra security measure that can be incorporated into a marketing campaign. It is added between a PURL and a landing page.

Do you need it?  The answer is long-winded, and there is no right or wrong here. Read on.

Normally when a user types in a PURL, he/she is sent to what we call a Landing Page, which usually contains both personalized and offer-specific content. Depending on what information can be gleaned from the mailing list (data file), elements on the page can be personalied to a high degree.

Landing Pages for PURL campaigns containing response forms (Web Forms), for example, usually feature some or most of the forms fields pre-filled with information.

A Security Page adds a step to this process. Instead of being directed straight to the Landing Page, visitors arrive at a page where they are requested to input a special code or password. The Security Code is usually some information that is usually either printed on the mailing piece (or in the email, text, etc), or else references something that the person should know (such as an email address, date of birth, etc). Once entered correctly, the visitor is then redirected to the Landing Page.

So should you or shouldn’t you add a security page between a PURL and a landing page? That’s like choosing between an apple and an orange, right?… ignore that analogy. What we’re saying is that, it depends.

Uses for security pages:

  • Adds an extra layer of security – Despite the fact that’s Landing Pages are all 100% secure (https) and encrypted with 128-bit encryption, for certain campaigns that involve sensitive customer data such as social security numbers or personal financial information, many consumers feel safer if access to their Landing Page is protected by a password. Adding a Security Page helps keep that information locked down. Better safe than sorry.
  • Duplicate management – There are two ways to deal with multiple instances of people in your list with the same name, or “soft dupes.” The first way (and’s default mechanism) involves appending the PURLs with a random integer at the end (eg,,, etc). It may be inelegant, but it’s easy and effective. The other way involves using Security Pages combined with a unique security codes. Using this method, duplicate PURLs are all generated the same. Upon clicking on a PURL, users are first redirected to the Security Page, where they are prompted to enter in their Security Code. Upon entering in the correct Security Code, the visitor is properly identified and then directed to the appropriate version of the Landing Page. Assigning a unique code to each duplicate in your list allows each user to have an authentic and clean-looking PURL with their real names, without any risk of the same landing page being assigned to two people (or worse yet, the wrong person!).

Pros and Cons of Security Pages:

  • Extra security – Pro: Security pages beef up security to already secure landing pages, and this is a huge advantage for particular campaigns. Con: Any way you slice it, a security page is an added step to the process and might increase visitor drop-off rates and result in less than 100 percent pass-through rates for the campaign.
  • Duplicates Management – Pro: Security pages allow all duplicates in the list to have a PURL with their real names, instead of random integers being appended to their names. This way, the personalization aspect of the campaign is not diluted.  Con: Adds a step to the process.


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