Catherine "Cat" Seda

Saturday, September 30, 2006

What's the Best Day to Send E-Mail?

Want to improve your e-mail open and click rates? Consider changing your broadcasting schedule. Simply sending your message out on a different day of the week could raise your recipients’ response.

According to an eROI study of approximately 100 million marketing e-mail messages sent between January and March 2006, those received on Tuesday had the highest open rate (26.4 percent). Sunday was second best (25.9 per-cent). The worst day? Saturday, at 24.1 percent.
Remember, an open rate only means your e-mail is being seen, not necessarily clicked. Here, Monday ranked last (4.5 percent). Marketing e-mails received on Tuesday and Sunday boasted the highest click rates of the week (6.2 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively). Because they scored highest in the open- and click-rate categories, consider testing these days. But don’t forget to consider your audience—Tuesdays may be better for reaching the at-work crowd, but Sundays may work for reaching those at home.

Of course, the ultimate statistics to consider are your sales. Knowing which day more customers click your e-mail and buy from you is far more important than knowing industry trends. That said, knowing what generally works for web marketers can certainly start you in the right direction.

Reprinted from my "When To Send" article in Entrepreneur magazine

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Are Your URLs Ugly? (dynamic URLs)

Click on several of your top-level web site pages. Do any look like this:

Ewwwww. And that's not even as ugly as a URL can get.

This is an example of a dynamic URL. This is a dynamically-generated web page that is often created using Active Server Pages (.asp), Java Server Pages (.jsp), Hypertext PreProcessor (.php), Cold Fusion (.cfm) or some other technology.

An ugly dynamic page can be challenging for search engine spiders to crawl. It's a spider trap (some dynamic URLs deliver the same content over and over to spiders, or feed spiders an infinite number of URLs). Not good for improving your free rankings in the organic search results.

Assuming you need to use dynamic URLs to manage your content or products, seriously consider reducing the number of parameters in your URL to 2 or fewer (look for symbols such as =, &, $, % and $). Why 2? Because Google says so. Well, a Google rep once said 2, and later said 2 or 3. It's always better to play it safe with SEO.

Of course, if the top-ranked web pages don't have any parameters in their dynamic URLs (for example,, you might have to change yours to effectively compete with theirs. And this looks prettier too, right? Pretty for human visitors and search engine spiders.

There are other actions you can take for dynamic URLs. Perhaps I'll cover that in another blog post.

Sticking with this topic for now, have you ever reduced the number of parameters in your dynamic URLs and seen an improvement in your organic rankings? How fast? Can to share your "before" and after" URL here? Or have you changed from one shopping cart to another and seen an improvement in your rankings thanks to their dynamic URL structure?