With Facebook becoming more and more ruthless clamping down on the exposure it allows businesses to enjoy on the platform without buying pricey paid advertising, it is more vital than ever you are the top of the game in using the opportunities the world’s most dominant social media platform provides to reach your target audiences.
How do you get more Facebook Likes? How do you get more people to engage with your posts? These are the kinds of questions Azam’s social media marketing experts grapple with on a daily basis when managing our clients’ accounts and all businesses are hungry to know.
Ask no longer because below is a handy infographic addressing what you should or shouldn’t do as a business on Facebook.
You can see how we utilise such strategies on Azam Marketing’s Facebook page here.
Would you be interested in hiring our award-winning social media marketing specialists to significantly boost your business’s profile on Facebook? Go here to find out more.
With so many web hosting providers out there, each claiming to the best on the planet, it helps to have a checklist of questions to ask. To set you on the right track, in the next stage of Azam Marketing’s Masterclass Series on creating a successful online business, we have put together a list of tips for choosing the ideal web host for your needs!
1. Where are the web host’s servers based?
Don’t assume that your webhosting provider’s servers will necessarily be based in the same country as the sales people you contact.
For instance, certain UK web hosting providers may appear to have servers within the UK; however, this is not always the case. A case in point is 1&1, who do everything possible to hide the fact that they host many of their UK customers’ websites in Germany.
If your servers are hosted outside the country you would like to attract visitors to your website from, it can be detrimental to your interests: for example, it can negatively affect your chances of ranking highly or at all in search engine results for that country. Furthermore, you may discover you are communicating across different time zones and languages, and are only protected by foreign laws.
2. What package and pricing options are available to you?
With so many web hosting packages to choose from, knowing which option can offer you the best value for your money can be confusing.
Firstly you need to set your budget and then a list of key requirements for your website. For example, is your website going to be a simple blog that you wish to use to keep friends and family updated about your activities or do you want to make money from your online presence? What kind of access to you need to emails sent to your domain name?
The ability to easily compare pricing and packaging and any special features will enable you to make an informed decision without the hassle of having to study every individual product feature.
3. What level of customer service do they offer?
Dedicated customer service is paramount to any successful business relationship.
Many web hosting service providers limit their availability to manage customer queries and contact based on the size of web hosting package their customers purchase.
They may have outsourced their customer service to foreign countries which can lead to huge frustrations.
4. Do they provide 24/7 technical support?
Dedicated technical support is integral to running a successful website. Website owners need to be sure that if they have an issue with any element of their site, they can resolve it in the quickest time possible to avoid losing valuable traffic and sales to their site.
Make sure the web host provides telephone support and the number is not a premium rate one!
5. Does the web host offer an enforceable service level agreement?
Just as you need to ensure you have 24/7 technical support and assistance in relation to your own website, your web host should provide a rock-solid guarantee in relation to their own servers and network availability.
Read the small print, as web hosting providers will usually insert disclaimers to try to avoid having to pay meaningful compensation for down time.
6. Is there a money-back guarantee?
As with most products, you may find out the kinks with any hosting package after you’ve actually started using it.
One indication of how confident a company is in their product is if they are prepared to offer a full money back guarantee on their hosting. If they don’t, you’ve got to wonder if maybe there is a reason.
If they don’t offer a money-back guarantee, make sure you are not locked into a long-term contract from the moment go.
7. Can you go mobile?
Did you know that by 2015 it is expected that 50% of online sales will be conducted via mobile devices?
If you are choosing an e-commerce web hosting package, be sure to make sure you have the option to go mobile if required.
A well designed mobile site not only keeps revenue streams open but also increase brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. A good provider will offer an easy option to convert your site to be mobile friendly at a low cost.
8. How user-friendly are the interfaces the web host utilises?
You will be spending a lot of time utilising your web hosting provider’s web browser interfaces, so it’s essential they are to your liking.
Does your provider use one of the two most popular web hosting interfaces, cPanel or Plesk, to make updates and modifications easier, or do they use some clunky bespoke interface which you would find it a pain in the neck to use?
What is their account administration, billing and support ticket interface like?
9. How long has the web host been in business?
Addendum: as suggested by ‘gingir’ on Webhosting Talk forums, you should investigate how long the web host has been in business. With around 95% of small businesses closing down within five years of opening, you could be taking a risk by using a hosting provider that has not been around for a substantial period of time. It’s also worth investigating how financially stable the business is; in most Western countries you can look up company accounts online.
Support and Customer Service
How many employees do you have?
Where are the staff based? Do you use foreign support staff? How many are abroad?
What hours can the technical support staff be reached?
Do you offer telephone support? If so, what’s the telephone number for support? (And then call the number to test the service, before you sign-up.)
What’s the expected time for initial response on support issues and what’s the average time until final resolution?
Do you have your own data centre?
Where is the data centre based?
Which connection are you using to connect to the internet?
Do you use T3 lines?
How many websites do you put on a shared server?
What are your terms and conditions for the websites you host? Do you actively monitor if customers are violating these terms?
Do you host adult sites? Can I be sure that I will not be sharing a server with an adult site?
Do you offer an uptime guarantee? How will I be compensated if you will fail to meet the level that you guarantee?
Do you have uptime statistics from a third party monitoring service like Alertra or some others? Please give me a link where I can view them easily.
How often do you back up websites hosted with you? How far back to the backups go? Are the backups kept on or off site? Do you charge for accessing the back up files? How much?
Do you filter emails for spam/viruses? Which software do you use? Is this included in the hosting price or do we have to pay extra for such a service? How much?
Can we have multiple domains in one account included within the cost? Will each domain’s email addresses have their own webmail and POP3/IMAP?
Will I have access to a control panel? Which control panel do you offer?
What statistics packages do you offer your clients free of charge? Are other packages available? Can I view some samples of them?
Which webmail services do you provide included in your standard packages? Do you offer Squirrel Mail, Horde, Roundcube?
Do you provide any quick script install services like Fantastico?
Can I change my account passwords myself or must I go through you every time?
Some sites work without the “www.” having to be typed into the browser before the domain name. Do your sites function this way?
Is there a limit to the number of CGI scripts I can install? Can I run them outside the CGI directory? Can I debug any CGIs on the server?
What version of Perl do you use and does it contain a full set of modules?
What are your future plans for your web hosting service?
Asking these questions and thoroughly researching your options, including reading thirty party reviews (though make sure the reviewer is not recommending a host just because he’s earning a fat referral commission) will enable you to make the best decision for which web host is right for you.
Really look through the finer details of what is on offer and ask yourself what problems could arise or what benefits gained by choosing a particular host. Some drawbacks will be easier to live with than others, depending on your own set of circumstances.
Which features do you think are most important to consider when selecting a web host? Leave your comments below.
Recommended Web Host: this is one of the web host providers the techies at Azam Marketing would highly recommend.
Our readers have regularly commented they enjoy the ‘Day In the Life Of…’ features we’ve ran in the past, so, as part of our series of articles to inspire budding entrepreneurs, we will be publishing more such profiles.
Mediolana is a global educational products and services company based in Kensington in London, England. In our latest feature we get an insight into a day of the Creative Director and Chief Strategy Officer, Asad Yawar.
07.30: There is no typical day for a combined creative director and chief strategic officer because the nature of these roles – generating new ideas and constantly, subtly redefining the trajectory of the company as these ideas are implemented – means that every twenty-four hour period brings its new challenges. One day I might be interviewing a Russian model for a role in a video commercial; another day will find me in the depths of the British Library doing product development research. But regardless of my precise schedule – and unless an early start is forced on me by circumstances beyond my control – I try to be asleep and dreaming at this hour.
Before I was an entrepreneur, I spent several years in an insanely busy commercial law practice where the lifestyle significantly cut into, and affected the quality of, my sleep. Sleep is presently deeply unfashionable in our 24-7-52 always-on society, where constructing an image of nocturnal omnipresence is becoming a default lifestyle option. But for me (as well as the somnologist community), sleep is an essential competitive advantage resulting in better decisions, higher performance and improved well-being.
10.30: Something that I do on behalf of the company is curate and update the Mediolana blog. We aim to publish around 350 posts a year – a high total for any blog – but in line with the company’s qualitative principles, we only want to publish what we believe is objectively interesting. This doesn’t necessitate voluminous blogging – some posts are only a tweet or three in length – but the content must be at least gently and originally provocative. This is much more challenging to do than it may sound, because on the Internet factual availability is virtually universal and the corpus of commentators gets larger by the day. But we feel that we are succeeding in this aspect of our mission.
12.05: This particular early afternoon finds me reviewing some of our commercial material. Marketing is something that has fascinated me from a very young age. When I was ten years old and visiting some relatives in some export-oriented Asian metropolis of five million people that even most people in Asia are probably not aware exists, I was walking the dusty streets of the city with my late father; I remember asking him to explain the logic behind a Lifebuoy soap billboard that we were passing en route to our neighbourhood. As a child, I created my own designs for kits for European football clubs such as Sampdoria, Foggia and Austria Vienna. I found the sponsor details particularly compelling. In recent years there has been debate about the appositeness of marketing messages on the shirts of FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, but to me the presence of such messages was the conference of a tremendous honour: it meant that someone valued you enough that they wanted to pay money to be associated with you.
I’m satisfied with the concept and content of the marketing campaign. We were incredibly lucky to work with a world-class selection of actresses; it’s rare to find people who can communicate naiveté and intelligence so convincingly. It takes a lot of skill.
14.30: While making further revisions to the company’s website design (screenshot below), it occurs to me that we need to create a new page type specific to the promotion of individual products. I make a note to incorporate this request in my next communication to our web development team in Cairo. Web development has been one of our biggest expenditures in the last year, but possessing an outstanding Internet presence has never been more important.
15.26: Lunch is usually a relatively late and unspectacular affair. I generally keep both breakfast and lunch simple and relatively quick, though nothing like as rapid or tense as in the days of commercial law, when chewing my food was all-too-often an unattainable luxury. And the days of surfing the Internet during lunch are over; it’s unhealthy on so many levels. Increasingly, I aim to concentrate on the food that I am eating: the colours, the textures, the fragrances.
But today I am distracted by an advertisement for an upmarket Mayfair-based matchmaking agency in a glossy magazine that has captured my attention. It is a very clever, full-page ad which depicts an avataresque businessman holding a briefcase. He is sitting despondently on one end of a see-saw; on the other end, no one is seated. Later, I find out that this agency typically charges £10,000 for its entry-level services. All kinds of questions start to circulate around my mind. Can money really ‘purchase’ love? Are the customers of this agency – people who are presumably some of the world’s most successful professionals – fully conscious that they are effectively delegating arguably the most important decision in their lives? And in our era of Internet dating, does this type of service represent a rejection of that method as too depersonalised?
18.07: Editing product footage (sample image below) is something that I didn’t envisage being straightforward, but thankfully Mediolana is operating in an era when software suites are exceptionally intuitive and processing power is leaping far beyond the nominal numbers assigned to it. It takes a fair amount of patience – the voice track that I am laying down is drawn from no less than 895 tapes! – but it’s also a genuine thrill when it comes together. The random element – one never precisely knows how sound and pictures are going to synergise – makes it all the more exciting.
This is a process which requires intense concentration – my door is shut and all possible distractions are silenced.
19.50: For most of my stint as a commercial lawyer, my physical condition deteriorated significantly. Coming home late at night, vigorous exercise was the last thing I wanted to contemplate. However, I now incorporate three kettlebell workouts into my weekly routine. At first these were not at all easy, but the benefits – both in terms of my overall shape and stamina – are too obvious for me to stop. The ultimate aim of this training regime is to get fit enough to play tennis to a reasonable level; I already have an idea of where I want to take lessons, and living in south-west London there is no shortage of courts or instructors. Month-by-month, I’m getting there.
22.00: After supper I try and stay away from screens in deference to my circadian rhythms, though it’s not always possible. Tonight I’m offline and revisiting corporate social responsibility doyen Wayne Visser’s remarkable The Age of Responsibility: CSR 2.0 and the New DNA of Business. It’s possibly the best business book I’ve come across since Jonas Ridderstråle and Kjell Nordström’s 1999 classic Funky Business: Talent Makes Capital Dance, and absolutely essential reading.
Anyone running a company needs to ask themselves what the ultimate purpose of their organisation is; in the most successful and sustainable companies, making money is one of many goals embedded in a broader vision. In an epoch of increasing transparency, obfuscation and greenwashing are strategies that can only get an entity so far; it’s much sexier to be looked up to as a model of innovative best practice.
00.00: My bedroom light should be off and my mind commencing the process of dreaming again, but instead I’m tip-tapping away into my smartphone. A promotional idea came to me while I was in the queue for the bathroom, and I cease wielding my electric toothbrush for a moment while I sketch out the details in Apple Notes. When one’s working day stretches to midnight and sometimes beyond, seven or eight hours in bed is the minimum recovery time that the body needs.
Posted by Azam Adminstrator as Business
The current global recession, which first started half a decade ago with the downfall of the banking industry in 2008, has seen businesses across the world face mounting challenges and a fair number have shut up shop. Many individuals are finding themselves being made redundant or unable to secure new employment. Despite this, research shows that more and more people are reinventing themselves and starting up their own companies in an attempt to maintain their standard of living.
Now that Azam Marketing is into our 16th year we’d like to think we know a thing or two about running an online business. Azam itself has experienced many ups and downs over those years, but as a team we have stayed strong and the lessons we learned along the way have enabled us to grow a highly successful enterprise.
We will be publishing a new series of articles in this blog offering guidance on running an online venture. To kick-start the series, here are our ten golden tips for any budding entrepreneur looking to start a digital business:
1. Pick your battles. Don’t try to compete by doing the same thing as multi-million dollar businesses with 70 staff if you are a one man band operating from your bedroom. Focus on a small niche in which you are knowledgeable about or can become an expert on, and try to dominate it.
2. Use a company name and domain name which begins with a number or the letter ‘a’. You’ll be listed at the very top of most directories and get considerably more business.
3. For every dollar or pound you spend on building a website or developing a product, allocate ten to spend on marketing it. You can have the coolest tool on the internet, but if nobody knows about it – which they won’t unless you expend massive amounts of time and money spreading the word – it won’t make you any revenue.
4. Keep an eye on your competitors like a hawk. Use tools like Google Alerts to see what they’re up to and imitate and improve upon their best business practices.
5. Always keep your wits about you and be sceptical about what people claim. The business world is full of sharks and the internet can bring out the worst in people even more so because they are not in your physical presence. Therefore do your due diligence before you develop a business relationship with anybody.
6. If you’re looking to collaborate or partner with a company, look at their net profit rather than turnover, revenues or how fancy their offices are. Otherwise your business could suffer by partnering with unstable enterprises, who could bring you down with them – at least nine out of ten small businesses fail within the first five years.
7. Test, test, test. It’s free to split-test most online campaigns and initiatives, so continually test different banners, email creative, pay per click campaigns, landing pages etc. for optimal results.
8. Send free gifts to influential, relevant bloggers and get plugs for your products or services. Think of a desirable freebie and post it to the top twenty bloggers in your field; you may get a few of them writing about you.
9. Keep a tight grip on your finances. Track every penny going in and out of your business. If you are spending money on anything that is not providing tangible benefit to your business, stop it.
10. Don’t chop-and-change. The number one failing we see with most entrepreneurs, particularly young ones, is they start one project, then a few months down the line it doesn’t rake in the money the way they were hoping and/or the initial enthusiasm wears off, so they start something else. Remind yourself of Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory, stick to one thing and do it better than anybody else in the world.
Those are Azam Marketing’s top ten rules for starting an online venture and can be applied to anyone looking to grow and maintain a profitable business. If you have enjoyed reading this blog post you might like to read our articles on running and marketing a business here.
We have been hired by many ambitious businesses over the years to share our expertise and significantly increase their chances of success – email us at results [at] azam.net if you may be interested in our consultancy services.
Our new series on building a booming online business will run throughout 2013, so stay tuned!
Since our inception in 1997, Azam Marketing has grown an enviable portfolio of domain names. Some of these are undeveloped and others have websites on them, with some of the sites being 10+ years old!
Our plans to grow the business in 2013 and 2014 have been determined by our Management team in the last few months and our schedules will be jam-packed with exciting projects we will be working on, so it seems unlikely we will have the time to develop some of the web properties as we were originally intending. Therefore we are willing to sell them.
You can see the domain names and established websites on this page. There is a PDF there with details about the individual domain names and websites. As a special incentive, we are offering 20% off the prices for a limited period!
A big advantage of acquiring Azam Marketing’s domains and websites is many have been running for several years and have dozens of aged inbound links. So rather than slogging away forever to build your online presence and attract traffic to your website, you can take a shortcut to success.
A domain name is not just something one types on a computer keyboard – it is a brand, printed on letterheads, business cards, advertisements, maybe even company cars, pens, carrier bags etc. A premium domain name is the equivalent of having your business located at a prestigious address in the ‘real world’ and will enhance your reputation and income.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that in this day and age more and more people are accessing websites on mobiles and tablets, so it’s more important than ever to have a short domain name to make it easier for people to type in the name on their mobile devices.
If you’d like to put in an offer for any of our established websites or domain names, email us at buy [at] azam.net . You are also welcome to give us a call on +44 (0) 870 870 2222 anytime.
The CEO of Azam Marketing wraps up the year with twelve of the most important take-aways (for the brain rather than the mouth that is) of the year.
What a year 2012 was. I have no doubt it’s been as much of a rollercoaster for you as it has been for Team Azam. In the year we marked our company’s 15th anniversary we’ve had our ups, we’ve had our downs, but, by the grace of God, are ending the year in fine shape.
For all the pressures of a seemingly-neverending recession, Azam Marketing revenues have more than doubled over the year, which proves that with graft and brilliance as demonstrated by the incredible bods I am blessed to work with at Azam Marketing anybody can power ahead despite the economic malaise.
Rather than a long-winded round-up, I’ll summarise the highlights of 2012 and present Azam’s terrific blog readers with some of the most useful reading materials via twelve links from the year:
Azam Blog: Advice on Increasing Your Email Open Rates – getting into your audiences’ inboxes can be the difference between success and failure for your business . . .
Azam Marketing Referral Program – Earn Lucrative Lifetime Commissions for Referring Clients – . . . and even more important is to give your customers what they want. Expand the range of services you offer your contacts and attract residual income with our referral scheme which we blogged about at the very start of the year . . .
10 Super Useful, Under-the-Radar Social Media Tools – . . . and, talking about blogging, this post we published 11 days before the former one reveals some invaluable social media tools you may not have come across . . .
Social Media Marketing Services by Azam – . . . or, if you prefer Azam’s boffins to do the Tweeting and Facebooking for your business, we officially launched our social media marketing division in November . . .
September 2012 Industry Events – . . . and showcased it at the industry’s biggest gatherings. We attend dozens of events each year. By way of example, here are some pictures in our Facebook group of four events we attended in September 2012 . . .
2012 Year in Review . . . and while we’re at Facebook, here’s some of the highlights of the year from my timeline . . .
Azam Marketing Twitter . . . or is a ‘Tweetline’ more your cuppa tea? 2012 was the year when Twitter truly became a global phenomenon and here’s our Twitter stream . . .
Azam Marketing Linkedin . . . or was it Linkedin that became the place to hang out for professionals in 2012? We revamped our company page in the new Linkedin format which you can see in the preceeding link . . .
Going for Gold in 2012? – . . . as well as giving our entire company a branding make-over to reflect the Olympics coming to Azam Marketing’s home city. We marked the occasion with an advertising campaign on a ‘Going for Gold?’ theme. You can see one of the banners that featured on the digital marketing industry’s popular New Media Age site in January here . . .
My News Desk – Press Release – . . . and also got coverage in the press for other reasons. We continued to receive acclaim from peers and here’s a press release about Azam being nominated for a couple of awards at one of the industry’s award ceremonies. This is the fourth year in a row that Azam has been shortlisted at the Performance Marketing Awards, with ten nominations in total awards since 2009 (including being Highly Commended and winning) . . .
PressBox – Press Release – . . . and while we’re on the subject of press releases, here’s one to announce a whitepaper Azam released entitled “The Five Variables of Scaling Email Volume” which also gained coverage on Yahoo! News as well as many other places . . .
Azam White-Paper: Advice on Improving Your Email Deliverability – . . . and you can read the white-paper for free on our website here. As I was saying for the first recommended link, it’s all about . . . getting into punters’ email inboxes!
A Happy New Year from myself and everyone at Azam Marketing! Have a magical 2013 and may your dreams come true . . .
‘Mobile search’ are the words on every marketer’s lips these days. It’s fair to say that the channel has exploded in the past year or so and continues to gather pace with ever more innovative ways of reaching out to customers.
It seems like everyone in the West has a smartphone – be it an iPhone, a Blackberry or an Android device – and magazines, billboards and posters regularly feature scanable QR codes (quick response barcodes) which consumers can use to access information, web content and more.
According to research, an increasing number of us even check our mobile phone before we get out of bed in the mornings, proving there’s not a moment in the day when we are not switched on and available to marketers who want to push their messages to us!
Today’s mobile users are savvier than ever, and they’re hungry for their needs to be met. But many retailers are squandering the chance to market their products and services in an effective way.
If you want to hop on the mobile advertising bandwagon, it’s imperative above all else to have a mobile-friendly website. It’s extremely frustrating for customers to try and navigate a site which suffers from microscopic text, tiny navigation buttons and huge graphics which take forever to load. No matter how good the content might be, few mobile users have the time or patience to repeatedly scroll from side to side.
Once you’ve addressed these points, remember to create a specific campaign for your website in the search engines to help customers find you.
On Google Adwords you can now set up campaigns to specifically target mobile devices – you can even target customers based on their geographical location or phone operator. Bing Ads also lets you customise campaigns for mobiles.
To make the most of your campaigns, you’ll need to choose your keywords carefully and think about (or even better, research!) the way mobile device users are going to search for your products and services. They are unlikely to type in long keyword strings and therefore it’s best to start with one or two word phrases. Also remember to avoid being too generic to keep costs down.
With a bit of effort and planning, the exciting benefits of mobile advertising are yours for the taking!
Related: Read the last article in Azam Marketing’s blog entitled 15 Essential Tips to Optimise Email Marketing Campaigns for The Mobile Age.
Want to take advantage of the immense opportunities presented by mobile marketing? To find out how Azam Marketing’s award-winning specialists can help your business, phone us now on +44 (0)870 870 2222 or email results [at] azam.net
With a greater number of people accessing emails on their iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and other such handsets, it’s vital all businesses are switched on when it comes to making their email communications accessible on mobile and tablet devices. The following post looks at ways in which marketers can optimise their emails.
As there are no accepted industry guidelines when it comes to designing emails to be displayed on a mobile handset, the temptation for some marketers is to play it safe and create a text-only version. This is the obvious way to ensure optimum deliverability. However, with consumers becoming hungrier for advanced content and smarter messaging, greater use of MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) should be made.
MIME is a standard method of formatting an email with both an HTML and text component so that the phone software automatically detects whether it can display the HTML version. If not, the text option is displayed instead.
MarketingSherpa offer a number of tips to optimise your mobile advertising:
1. Use an 8-point font size - make the body text small but readable.
2. Space is very limited so make sure that your company name is immediately recognisable and that the subject line includes a compelling call to action within the first 15 to 25 characters.
3. Busy business people don’t read emails – they scan them. The subject line and first few sentences need to be attention-grabbing.
4. Be relevant! Subscribers are more likely to delete your message without reading it if you mail them too frequently or send irrelevant content.
5. Don’t link names of people or places if you want mobile readers to be able to see the words. If you want to include a link, use the full address, such as http://www.azam.net
6. If a user opens an email on their wireless device, the same message will typically appear as read on their PC, so it’s very important to give them the option of ‘flagging’ it to read in full later.
7. Use a text-only header and a sentence or two that places the ‘hook’ of the offer at the very top.
8. Place logos and images below the text. Your PC audience then gets a more dynamic message, but smartphone users get the key message at a glance.
9. Keep subject lines short, using only relevant, keywords and phrases.
10. Put the ‘subject’ first in the subject line to keep it relevant.
11. Know the recipient’s preferences. Ask your subscribers if they are a mobile user during the initial sign up process. Then, segment them with a dedicated file or send your email using multipart MIME.
12. Create a landing page which is optimised for mobile phone and tablet readers.
13. Keep the header to 50 pixels high and 320 pixels wide.
15. Limit the size of your HTML page to 250K or under. Some smartphones have tight restrictions in terms of their message cache.
Find these tips useful? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Read more articles in our email marketing tutorial series here.
When I first started my career in email marketing the unsubscribe process was very simple. The subscriber simply had to reply to the sender with the word “unsubscribe” in the subject line and that was it – job done!
Nowadays however, many companies choose to complicate the opt-out process, leading to frustration and customer dissatisfaction.
I have witnessed this first-hand when I was asked to remember the username and password from an account I opened years previously in order to unsubscribe. I could not remember the details and therefore had to stay on the mailing list unwillingly. I wonder how many other customers had this bad experience?
So what can emailers do to improve things? Here is the best practice for handling unsubscribes:
1. Give the customer a direct link to unsubscribe in every email
2. Don’t ask your recipients for a password or login information to be unsubscribed. It’s unrealistic to expect users to remember the details they used to sign up, especially on old accounts which may have laid dormant for some time.
3. Allow people to unsubscribe by replying: Even if you clearly state that you don’t monitor the ‘reply to’ address, some customers will still use it! Be sure to check the inbox regularly to deal with any messages received.
4. Make it simple: While having a variety of choices is important, be sure to also offer a universal opt-out option. Customers who think the unsubscribe function didn’t work will use the spam button instead.
5. Put it in the footer: Customers often have to hunt around to find an opt-out link but hiding it doesn’t keep good customers on your list, it just leads to frustrated complainers. You want the unsubscribe link to be just as easy to find as the “this is spam” button. Use words and placements that your audience will be familiar with and include unsubscribe links in a number of prominent locations.
6. Be honest with subscribers: Don’t try to push other offers to customers while they’re usubscribing. Keep it simple – put alternate offers on the side or under the main unsubscribe link, or on the confirmation page.
As well as continuing our series of articles on email marketing best practice, we will also shortly be publishing an invaluable white-paper on improving email marketing deliverability with one of our partner companies, so stay tuned. You can get more advice from our email marketing experts here in the email marketing section of this blog.
Want to optimise your email campaigns and produce better results? Our award-winning eCRM team can help. Telephone +44 (0) 870 870 2222 or email results [at] azam.net.
We are delighted to introduce Nemesh Perera who has recently joined the expanding team at Azam Marketing.
Nemesh will be working in our fast-growing email marketing division and will be working with our deployment experts to create and broadcast eCRM campaigns for our clients as well as optimising our B2B and B2C customer databases.
Nemesh has nine years experience in online marketing, having previously held positions at PDV Limited, Shelter UK and SGS Communications.
He started his career in the marketing field when he was Sales and Promotions Manager at Funck nightclub in Luton for three years and employed a variety of skills including database management, Dreamweaver, web editing and copywriting as well as managing a team of six and getting stuck into training, recruitment and disciplinary matters!
With such a wealth of experience and variety of skills we’re sure that Nemesh will be an invaluable asset to our agency and clients and look forward to benefiting from his expertise.
We asked Nemesh to reveal more about himself including interests outside of work, and here’s what he had to say:
Describe yourself in three words: Friendly, ambitious and committed
Favourite Book: Sherlock Holmes by the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Favourite Movie: American Pie
Favourite Website: Autotrader
Hobbies and Interests:
Image design, cars, music (all sorts from 50′s onwards)
Proudest Achievement: My career so far!
Most Embarassing Moment: Singing Cliff Richard’s ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ in front of the whole year at school.
Get in touch with Nemesh:
Email: nemesh [at] azam.net
Windows Live Messenger: nemeshperera [at] hotmail.com
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