Monthly Archives

November 2013

How to Decrease Unsubscribe Rates

Too often I receive a blast from a small or medium sized business that just makes me cringe.  For example, the other day, I received an email from a company that had information in it for its current clients, which I am not.  It made no sense that they sent it to me, but odds are, they sent it to their entire list.  There are clear ways to increase your unsubscribe rate, and not sending relevant information to your entire list is the biggest one.

Unsubscribe button

According to an Epsilon Study in 2009 67% of North Americans unsubscribe from a company’s email list because they found the content irrelevant.   Follow the tips below to increase your open rates, decrease your unsubscribe rate and encourage overall engagement with your email readers.

6 Steps to Decrease Unsubscribe Rates:

  1. Use your email provider to create segregated lists.  No matter if you only have 50 subscribers or if you have 30,000 subscribers, each subscriber is unique, has his/her own needs and should be treated as such.  Remember your lists are only seen by you and your marketing team so do not worry about the subscribers knowing which list they are on.  Utilize the list option in your email platform and separate subscribers by services, products or client type.
  2. On your sign up form create interest choices.  This is the best way to truly gain an understanding of what you client wants.  Let your client decide which list they want to be on!   Keep the choices less than 6, as too many choices can lead to a subscriber abandoning the sign-up altogether.
  3. Import your own list of current clients.  Keep an updated list of your current clients in your email database.  Use this list to send updates about client related events, updates, and information that pertain to just the active customer.  The same goes for creating a list of potential customers.  Think of each subscriber as in a different phase of the purchaser’s path.  Your email communications need to nurture each lead appropriately according to his/her place on that path.
  4. Keep the titles (and content) relevant to the audience.  Even if they personally signed up for your list, a subscriber still needs motivation to open the email.  Make sure the title is as relevant as the content in the email!
  5. Only send one large communication piece to the entire list per month.  The second reason people unsubscribe?  Too many emails.  If you are sending more than one large blast to your entire list each month, you become a nuance and also devalue the information you are sharing.  By limiting your large blast to once a month, you create anticipation from your customers.  Make sure your ‘entire list’ email combines “something for everyone”.
  6. Make sure your “forward to a friend” button is prominently displayed.  Did you know that depending on your email provider, and unsubscribe process, if someone forwards your blast to a friend (using the traditional forward method, not the button in your email), the friend can unsubscribe the original subscriber?  All the friend has to do is forget it was sent as a forward and click the unsubscribe button.  To avoid “wrongful unsubscribes” make sure you place the “forward to a friend” button at both the top and in the footer of the email.  By using the button, friends can not unsubscribe for the sender.

To learn more about increasing subscribers, click here.

URL Best Practices

A question that comes up often as companies rebrand or delve more into digital marketing is: should a URL have a branded name, company name or be keyword targeted?  Below we take a look at each aspect and the best practices of choosing URLs.

What is a URL?

A URL, aka Uniform Resource Locator is what most people refer to as the “web address”.  The URL is a string of characters that help browsers identify the website file location.  Typically, the URL is located in the top of the browser in the ‘address bar’.

Should my URL be SEO friendly?

url best practices

Yes.  Ideally, everything dealing with your site should be SEO friendly.  However, there are different ways of achieving optimization.  So while, having a URL with keywords can be helpful in specific situations, you must keep in mind that in order to rank well and receive a high quality score with the search engines, a URL of your entire site should exemplify what a visitor will see on the website.  Therefore, the main URL of your site should be more in line with your company name or brand as opposed to just the keywords.

Why choose your company name as your URL:

Often, searchers want to click on a trustworthy link.  That means the link should have your name in it to increase clickthrough rates.  Then make sure you have a killer meta description that outlines the keywords the web searcher may be looking for.  For instance, if someone is searching for “coffee shop in Chicago”, and a search result comes with the two choices of “www.BestChicagoCoffeeEver.com” or “www.TheBrewCrew.com(as the actual company name)”, the clickthrough rate will be higher on the branded company name URL.  Please note that if designing keyword URL’s, the rank of the URL may also be lower if the URL sounds to “gimmicky”.  Another reason to have your company name as the URL is because you want to be easily found by customers searching for you.  If your company is called “Bob’s Fences”, but your URL is www.Californiayardexperts.com you may lose visitors due to them not knowing how to find you or which link goes to your website.

How can you optimize URL’s?

Feel free to leave a comment with your URL experiences and what has worked for you!