Friday, January 20, 2012

Landing Page Fail

Digital marketing channels like email and social media are a huge part of the modern day marketing mix. However, this is making some of the 'old school' methods like direct mail more effective. For this reason, I was excited to get this direct mail piece from Symantec. It was all really well done, except the most important piece... the landing page.


So far so good, very creative/compelling direct mail piece

Upon receiving the letter, I was intrigued by the creative image of broken glass over a Facebook page in the large windowed envelope. The tagline, image and message all sparked my curiosity and made me want to open it. Inside the copy was structured around a new white paper. The twist here, is that they want you to access the white paper by scanning the QR code. Cool, I guess. Even better, the marketers introduced a time constraint: the first 250 people who scan it, win a USB Robot! Awesome.

Clever use of QR code and clear call-to-action with time constraint.
Up to this point I was actually thinking I might have to write a blog on Epic Marketing Wins! And then I saw the landing page...

Enormously long and unecessary form landing page.
Why? Why are you asking me for all of my information when you already have it?! You mailed me a letter, the only possible way I could have got to this landing page is by receiving the letter and scanning the code with my QR reader.

This one is really unfortunate. They almost had a home-run, but instead they struck out by sending a bunch of people to their landing page who will likely abandon it due to an enormous & unnecessary form. Who wants to fill out a huge form on their smartphone? Do they have any idea how hard it is to even click inside those tiny boxes?! [sidenote: it took me almost 4 minutes to fill out all the details. That is a lifetime on a smart phone].


I need to give some kudos to Symantec for this campaign. They avoided the clutter of the email inbox and leveraged an under-utilized channel. The creative was compelling and actually creative (unlike a lot of campaigns you see these days), the content was good, and they had a compelling call-to-action.

This campaign demonstrates why marketing is only as strong as its weakest link. You could have the best creative, or the best content, or the best call to action, but if one piece is missing the entire campaign will suffer. In this case it's the landing page. A recent study by Marketo showed that for every field you introduce on your landing pages, your conversion rates decrease by 2%. I would imagine this is multiplied to be even higher on a mobile device.

The thing with this campaign is that it is not even necessary to have a form at all. If the campaign was optimized with a tool like QReate & Track they could have personalized the QR codes for each visitor and therefore automatically have known when each prospect scanned the QR code. Conversion rates would have been much higher, and the experience for the prospects would have been better too.

Ah well, here's to hoping I get my free USB robot in the mail...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Another QR Code Fail!

My first epic marketing fail blog post featured a QR code on the side of a highway on-ramp. I have found perhaps one that tops that one!

Fast moving QR Code Fail!
If someone can tell me what that ad is for without going to the website I will give you a cookie.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Epic Personalization Marketing Fail

Happy new years! Hope everyone had an awesome holiday, found some time to relax, spend time with family and friends, and maybe even let loose a little bit. Usually, I bring you guys Epic Marketing Fails, and that won't stop, but today as a 2012 bonus there is also an epic marketing win!

Apparently my name is N/A

This might not look like much at first glance, but trust me, it belongs on this blog. This is an email I got from someone who did not have my permission in regards to sponsoring some conferences in cities that are not even in my continent.

Those are all pretty bad, but even worse, is the personalization they use at the very start of the email. It tells me a few things:
  • They don't know who I am
  • They don't have a good email/marketing automation program
  • They don't really know what they're doing
Can you imagine calling someone and as they answer the phone you say 'Hello Not Applicable, how are you doing today?'. I don't think that call is going to go very well, and neither did this email.


I'm going to do this one a little differently, here is an example of how to do personalization properly:
Epic Marketing Win
This postcard was sent to me on my birthday this past winter by a guy who sold me my Volkswagen. In fact, he wasn't even the guy who we ended up ultimately buying the car from, but one who helped us along the way. Not only was it the only postcard I got on my birthday (my "friends" all wrote on my Facebook wall okay?!) but it was handwritten, included my finacee and arrived right on my birthday.

Here is a car salesman, who never got my business, who now lives in another city [I know this because he also sent me a separate letter about his whereabouts] and is really leveraging some direct marketing best practices. This kind of stuff blows me away.

It's kind of sad that with all of the technology that some marketers have, they are still missing the boat on how to use it to their advantage.

Here are 5 tips to avoid some common email marketing fails:
  1. Use permission based marketing - get people to opt in to your emails. It will make a world of difference for everyone involved.
  2. Have a clear and compelling call-to-action - you have a matter of seconds to communicate value and get your prospects to make the next step. 
  3. Leverage good content - if you want people to take the next step, there needs to be some value in them doing so. Value for them, not you.
  4. Subject lines are key - if your prospects don't open your message it doesn't matter what is inside.
  5. Use personalization... properly - personalization can definitely help your email marketing, if used properly.