Why URL design matters in email

I’ve long believed email provides one of the better justifications for good URL design. Having a well designed URL structure inspires a user to have faith in a site’s URL integrity making it more likely then will email a URL to their friends. What’s more, a good URL gives hints to what can be found making it more likely for an email recipients to visit the link. And a readable URL provides something to “google” when the emailed URL is mangled or simply mistyped by the sender.

But it simply hadn’t occurred to me just how important URL design can be for marketing emails until today when I read a post today by Mark Brownlow of Email Marketing Reports. Mark’s post, entitled Forget email design, what about URL design? discusses the immediately obvious benefits of URL design in email marketing and lists several reasons why email marketers should pay particular attention to their URLs.

As Mark effectively states, well designed URLs can (elaborations mine):

  • Reinforce a brand message (when a good domain and/or logic URL path is used),
  • Help orientate the reader (within the website’s structure, and/or regarding the offer),
  • Provide text clues to the destination page’s content and value,
  • Indicate important content relationships (via the URL path’s heirarchy and/or between multiple emailed URLs), and
  • Remain relevant and recognisable over a long period of time (assuming the email marketer has a process in place to manager their site’s URL architecture.)

In addition Mark also gives a few examples that clearly make the case for good URL design in email marketing. He effectively asks which of these two URLs send a stronger message to the prospect?

  1. http://www.brandk.com/land.php?123456
  2. http://www.brandk.com/rings/coupon/

I think the preferrable one is obvious, don’t you?

Mark also suggests providing your prospect with their own custom call-to-action URL in marketing emails such as:


I too believe that providing customers with their own personal well designed URL can be an incredibly powerful marketing and SEO strategy. However, I’m not so sure it will work well for unknown prospects.

Well done Mark. Nice to have another URLian on the bandwagon.  :-)

This entry was posted in Best Practices, Champions, Commentary, Email, SEO. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why URL design matters in email

  1. Pingback: Seeing things the way in which one wants them to be (not the way they are)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>