Archive for August, 2006|Monthly archive page

Are your subscribers really reading your Newsletter?

Great communication with customers is online newsletter. You add it to your website… You make subscription form as visible as possible and as smooth as possible, you give bonuses and benefits for signing up. And then you relax counting how tons of people start signing up.

But are they actually reading your newsletter? The survey done by Marketing Sherpa with CNET tried to see what happens. For frequent newsletters customers start to get bored after about 60 days. Then they often stop reading you newsletter. The question was – what do they do then?

The bad news are:

  • more than 10% will report your newsletter as spam to their spam filter. And they will do it even when they clearly opted in for it first place. Wach out for this as it can mean – especially in business environment that your newsletter can get picked up by company filters and you don’t only loose one individual customer but rather whole company
  • 9% just ignores than – most likely becoming more and more irritated with your company. Also – you may have false stats of how many people receive and read your emails

There are also some good news luckily. They are:

  • 34% of people still occasionally scan it quickly when time permits – for them if you do good content you can try to win them back
  • more than 40% tries to go through your unsubscribe process – make sure your unsubscription is easy – otherwise you may get into anti-spam filters or get annoyed customers that curse you every time they need to remove another copy of your newsletter

You can see other good advices from Marketing Sherpa  in the executive summary and samples of this good report here or purchase the whole report in SherpaStore.

What do you do with unwanted newsletters? What is your response to these study? All your comments are welcome!

Innovative design of the site – check it out

Today quick post on the website I’ve dropped by recently. It has very interesting and unusual design that feels fresh and clear. Great way to stand out in the crowd of advertising and interactive agencies. Everything there conveys clearly the message of being innovative and open-minded. The colors, the space, the navigation and visual structure…

The site is veery slow to load at first but it’s worth the wait so check it out.

To put also grain of salt there – the navigation is timeline oriented – great for extended “about us” and company history pages. However the page should clearly spell out the offer and call to action for visitors – making sure that all key visitors segments are properly addressed. The site is also very unfriendly to search engines and to the websites that would like to link to specific elements.

So – interesting fresh concept and approach to site navigation. Food for thoughts for everyone!

You like it? Dislike it? Want to share other interesting examples? All your comments are very welcome!

Update on my Google search engine optimization efforts

Couple of days ago I’ve given you story of my article with review of Expedia website called best online flight booking website. It scored very well with Google and ranked very high in couple of important keywords. I did some tests and optimizations of this post to achieve high ranking in Google and wrote post about my efforts. You can read my post on search engine optimization with Google.

Here I’d like to update you on my further SEO efforts on the article since then. Most important was to correct the keywords I’ve chosen for optimization. I’ve stoped mentioning flight booking “engine” and started calling it “website“. I’ve updated it consistently in title and copy of the post as well as the links that pointed to the post.

I’ve also reviewed text of the post to more consistently mention online flight booking through the post (don’t use shortcut but the full phrase instead). Some search engine optimization (SEO) experts claim that being too consistent can actually harm your ranking in Google as Google starts to suspect that page is too much SEO-oriented and too little valuable from content side. It’s called keyword stuffing and certainly Google tries to detect this. However for me all worked just fine.

Beeing with my blog on WordPress gives me quite advantage. One of the reasons for this is the tag directory pages on WordPress. They list the post and provide valuable links into my pages.

One of the often asked questions in your SEO efforts is – when will Google rescan my pages and when my changes will become visible. Everyone wants to see results of the changes ASAP. It depends heavily on the value of the site as perceived by Google. For valuable sites (and blogs in WordPress domains are seen as valuable) you get rescanned at least once per week. So wait patiently! 🙂

Result? – TaDaaaa! I’m #1 in “flight booking website“, I’m also within 1st page of “best flight booking“. Of course things even improve when you add “best” to the keywords. However all works fine even in shorter form. Don’t be surprised when you see other results on Google at this very moment – Internet is ever changing.

BTW – I start to get traffic on search engine optimization (SEO) related keywords also now – on my posts with story on how I got ranked on Google so nicely. 😉

Blogs – one of the top 5 ways to generate good business leads

Interesting recent study from MarketingSherpa. 1900 marketing people from technology companies were surveyed in June 2006. One very interesting question that was asked was about effective methods of lead generation. And it wasn’t about sheer number of lead – it was stressing quality of leads.

It turned out that survey marketeers pointed to blogs as one of the top 5 ways to generate such high quality leads. It was especially popular for software vendors and ASPs. Other in top 5 included free trial demo (again for software), webcast/webinar, whitepaper and with lower scores – podcast.

Some surprises were also on the side of least effective methods – there were sweepstakes (where someone could win t-shirt or PDA) and viral marketing. These methods can be very good for creating even huge amount of leads. But these leads is often total crap.

You can see the executive summary and samples of the report here or purchase the whole report in SherpaStore.

There are some other very interesting ideas in this report so I’m sure I’ll revisit it in other posts as well.

Business usage of blogs – summary

Here is summary and directory of my series of postson business usage of blogs. They were written over couple of days and here is recap of the series:

  • Chapter 1 – basic usage of blogs by companies
  • Chapter 2 – should your company start blog, do’s and dont’s there
  • Chapter 3 – adverblogs – what they are and when they can be used
  • Chapter 4 – when blog can be used as core web activity of company – as company website.

Hope you find this primer on business usage of blog useful. All your comments and feedback are welcome!