Saturday, 27 July 2013

Mistakes Made In Email Opt-In Usability


The reader needs motivation in order to subscribe for emails from a company. This is the very first step towards increasing the email opt-in rate. The website should have display the benefits of subscribing. Simple, nondescript boxes inhabit the homepage which say ‘Subscribe to the company’s newsletter’ and nothing more than that. There is lack of reason why the user should sign up unless they already find the content of the website interesting. It is agreed upon by many that the content should be kept basic. But how basic is the question. Lonely sign up boxes are a big no-no. There should at least be a brief promotional line which gives a specific and concrete benefit that would get the reader motivated to fill the box with his email address and click on the sign up button. The promotional matter should answer questions such as ‘Why should the reader sign up for the newsletter?’, ‘What are the solutions being offered by the newsletter?’, and ‘Is the newsletter focused and specific, concentrating on the needs of the reader?’



The same technique is to be used with the type of words and language being used in the promotional copy or more better, on the complete website. The links should be clear and shouldn’t have any empty, vague or generic matter. The content should be able to solve the problem which the reader is looking forward to be solved. The readers must be offered with back issues and sample to give them a good idea about what they can expect from future newsletters they will be receiving.



After the reader signs up, many of them receive a big nothing. They get big blackness and dead silence. The subscriber wants something to happen in his inbox immediately. Therefore, it is a good idea to send a welcome email right away which can include the latest newsletter or sample of the best newsletters. Try to include some email-special offer. At the end of the message tell them they will be expecting such great offers and newsletter in a short while. The new subscriber should feel that he has joined the club and has already received some benefit. He should feel the signing up process worth the effort. The welcome email also does the job of confirming email, which checks for the validity of the email address.



On one hand there are people who have barely any motivating information on their website and on the other there are people who have too much information on their website. The information is not organized and the users are overwhelmed with innumerable choices. If the company has too many things to offer, it should narrow them down by grouping them into categories. On the basis of these categories, the newsletters too must be sent out. The newsletters should have specific content and any new material posted on the website should be posted in just a link and not more than that.



The last thing which puts off the subscriber is asking too many questions. In the sign-up page they are asked for their email address only. Next they are linked to the preference page, followed by twenty more pages. This is a really blown opportunity. Initially, it is good to keep it sweet and short by asking information like first name, last name, and email address. Then send them a confirmation email where they can click the link for making choices. Marketers should know where to draw the line. A box asking just for the email address is a great way of not getting any subscriptions.

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