Email Signup: Customer Experience FAIL

This is what happens when you put IT in charge of a job that should belong to marketing:

1. Near invisible call to action:

2. Impersonal landing page after sign up with NO links back to the e-store.

“Subscription requested.
Please check your email for a confirmation message. You must respond to this confirmation message to join this list.”

3. Impersonal and meaningless sender name in confirmation email:

4. And unclear instructions. Reply to this email…with what? Doesn’t compel me to visit the site. Doesn’t give an idea of what to expect from future emails of “interest.”

Most retail emails I have signed up for have not asked for confirmation (double opt in). If the recipient doesn’t take action on this email, he or she will not receive further messages – either the message doesn’t get opened, or the recipient doesn’t understand the confirmation instructions. I think a better approach is to send all subsequent emails with a clear unsubscribe link at the top of the email (rather than discreetly at the bottom, so people don’t mistakenly mark your message as “spam”).

I’m disappointed at the lack of “magic” from this toy retailer, because shopping for toys is an emotional experience, and the FAO Schwarz brand has always been magical.

Check out the difference from Disney Shopping’s welcome email:

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6 Responses to “Email Signup: Customer Experience FAIL”

  1. @bhans says:

    This seems to have the beginning of a great post. I’m interested to know how the experience was with Disney. While I wholeheartedly agree that the Disney page looks better, how was the subscription process? How do they handle unsubscribe if they do not double opt-in? What came before the awesome email?

    I enjoy your blog, keep up the good work!

  2. @ @bhans,

    Funny you ask, check out last year’s post on email registration forms. #13 includes Disney Shopping’s email signup options – a great way to segment your subscribers based on what they want to receive:

    Just to clarify, the Disney thing was included to contrast the experience of the welcome email, but I agree, Disney vs. FAO would have been an interesting angle.

    Maybe our readers can go through the process and write their comments on their experience/difference in experience here in the comments and this post can evolve (crowdsourcing!)

  3. I’ve heard some goody things about this blog. The content has really been useful a great balance of text and pictures.

  4. @Matt

    Thanks, I’m a “screenshot-aholic” like Bryan Eisenberg :)


    (thank God for Photoshop)

  5. charles says:

    It should be a cooperation not IT only or marketer only task. :D

  6. Stuart says:

    I think your first line in this post is plain wrong. I’ve seen plenty of marketing team people make basic mistakes with website conversion and plenty of IT team people follow best practice.

    It’s all down to a strong focus on investigating what is best practice and trying to put that in action coupled with plenty of user testing. It doesn’t matter which team is doing this work, just that someone is.

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