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Email a friend CTR: 1% ?



12:42 pm on Aug 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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One of my client's website has an 'email a page' facility where the user can email the link to a friend by entering his email id. The 'email a friend' text link is placed around 20 pixels above the image. The look and feel of the text link is same as other links on the page.
Clicking on the link opens a small simple popup which asks user to enter his details and friend's details.

I have observed that only 1% of users who visit those pages actually click on that 'email a friend' link and use the feature.
The demographics of the users is that they are mostly travel lovers who want to see pictures of the places and get some tips.

It will be great if someone could share your insights on the following:

Is the 1% CTR good enough?

What goes in the mind of a user and makes a user 'share' the page with friends.

While entering the email id in the email text box, will the html name of form field be made such that it will assist auto-complete feature of the broswer.

Will a colourful button instead of hyper link increase the CTR.

Your inputs and experiences will contribute a lot in increasing the CTR



1:59 pm on Aug 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

In my case, I never use that feature. It is a way to give my friend's contact details to a geek.

Geeks have an awful propensity for considering themselves the "owner" of all PID that they get.

Basically, if they can get the information, they own it, and can do whatever the heck they want with it.

A great deal of the spam I get these days comes from my "friends" giving away my PID to unscrupulous geeks.

I think the question is a much wider one, about establishing true trust amongst the industry, not these toothless "privacy policies," set up by ruthless marketing folks that want to abuse the privacy of everyone they can.


3:53 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for your reply and Good inputs but your reply is a little offtopic in terms of context.
What i am trying to say is from usability perspective what will drive more people to use the feature.


10:41 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I don't think it's off-topic at all. If you want more people to use it, you need to deal with the reason they don't use it, not paint it candy-apple red.

This is the kind of logic so few Web designers follow, which is why there are so many debacles. A great deal of usability and accessibility stems from an understanding of human nature, motives and user context.


5:23 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I never use those features either and cringe every time I get a "tell-a-friend" e-mail from my mom - here comes the SPAM from some company that thinks it's OK to put me on their list just because someone put me in the tell-a-friend box!

Anyway, I would test a (nice looking) button that says "Share This Photo with a Friend" or something along those lines.


5:02 pm on Aug 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks Bradley for the idea. Would a 'share' or 'email' word make more impact.

On the other lines one cannot generalize everyone will spam. The idea is for every user that comes to the site, he/she advertises the site to another friend which introduces more people to the site


6:24 pm on Aug 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

On the other lines one cannot generalize everyone will spam.

But everyone will generalize. I don't think enough people realize the incredible damage done to online services by crooks and spammers.

Enough geeks misuse the information to tar everybody.

That's the world in which we live, and we need to adjust for it; not expect it of our visitors.



12:23 am on Sep 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

There are naturally too many factors when it comes to comparing CTR between sites to give a good enough answer in regarding to 1%.
(BTW: does the 1% signify people who click on the link? Or who actually send the page details to a friend i.e. conversion?)

IMHO, probably best to focus more on increasing this figure on your site than comparing with others (which I understand is addressed in the rest of your post).

While not a fan of this type of feature - two possible things to try:

1. Add a disclaimer next to the link. Something along the lines of "we do not store, share or use the email address...". This could also be repeated on the actual form. While I personally would still not use the feature - there are many who might feel 'assured' by this.

2. Rather than open a web based form - you could open the users email application - with the subject/message pre-filled with the web page details. This in itself has some usability issues - though still possibly worth a try...


2:28 pm on Sep 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

On several occasions I have advised newbie webmasters against doing this. Mainly because I have seen so much spam and virus traffic disguised as "tell a friend" messages that I am sure that any web savvy user will zap them all without bothering to investigate if any may be genuine.


6:50 pm on Sep 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Perhaps some kind of no spam notice is needed to those who don't trust this type of feature.

I recommend you to try different positions for your send to friend form since CTR can change a lot if you place it at the right place. Search google to find more info.


7:37 am on Oct 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

sleepy_az: Good points. Also i think less and less people are using email clients. Most rely on G or Y.

naughtyweb: Yeah i can try positions. Any rough idea which corner of an image is viewed the most ? Like usual web heat map is it top left ?


8:45 am on Oct 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I believe 1% is a good CTR if people clicking the link actually perform the action. My CTR is much lower on an information website, but some people do use this feature so why not let them.

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