Brand Experience

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I’ve been using Ancestry.com for a number of years now, but with a basic membership that only gives me access to records from the United States.

I was excited to receive an email about free access to Irish records for St. Patrick’s Day, as I found out through my Ancestry DNA test that I am actually 39% Irish! Unfortunately, there was such a big miss with the rollout of this free access, and I was incredibly disappointed with it. The social promotion potential was completely blown.

From the email:

This is great, because the free access is helpful to those of us looking for Irish records, and also is a good way to offer a preview of the more expensive global membership. I click the “kiss me I’m 7% Irish” image because I am hoping I can get one of my own to share socially.

On the actual website, I’m shown another image, and encouraged to explore AncestryDNA. There is no social option here!

I would love nothing more than to upload a photo of myself and have an image created automatically that would show how Irish I am, and obviously, would be a great promotional tool for Ancestry.com.

Additionally, a one-time creation of a social image generator could be customized to feature any one of the major groups that your DNA result assigns you to. This could be used at any time, for anyone’s personal reasons, and then promoted around appropriate dates, like this promotion for St. Patrick’s Day.

From my own experience, I find that once people get into checking out their family histories, they become quickly obsessed. Even creating this little tool as a gateway for people to find their way to Ancestry.com would be a strong additional to their marketing and promotional plan.

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I have written a previous blog post about an Mpix email, where I wasn’t happy about a tracking number that wasn’t linked.

I am happy to be back with a positive review of the typical “you put something in your cart, please come back and buy it” email. However, the content of this email is what made me think it was worthy of a blog post.

Instead of a basic message of “there’s something in your cart,” this is a reiteration of Mpix’s message of quality process and product. While the message is undoubtedly a sales pitch, it is delivered in such a way that I don’t mind the effort to convince me to finish my purchase. A short and sweet description of why Mpix is great, their fast service and quality products.

I haven’t yet finished my purchase but will undoubtedly do so.

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Sephora.com New Brand Menu | Missing the Mark #15

by Jamie Sanford on March 16, 2017

To view all of my content about brand experience, please click here.

I have written many blog posts about Sephora.com. I am a huge fan of Sephora in general, but their website choices are, at times, baffling.

The most recent of these choices is their updated “brands” dropdown. They have completely changed their main site navigation, which is fine. You can see the main nav choices below.

I am focusing on the brands dropdown, because that is the one I use the most.

I like the images a lot, I’m fine with using this area to feature certain brands. I would not be surprised if Sephora, like many other retailers, offer placements to brands at a cost, and this new design may have created a few more revenue channels for them. However, there’s still a major piece missing!

Where is the “all brands” or “brands A-Z” on this menu? This was my go-to, and I imagine, the same for many others, when we were using the old version of the menus. Why even have a separate main navigation button for brands if you aren’t going to offer fast and easy access to ALL brands?

I know that I cannot be the only person wondering where this button is, and I hope that Sephora.com brings it back soon.

UPDATE 3/19/17: Sephora.com has added “brands A-Z” to the brands dropdown menu! I am pretty certain I’m not the only person who really wanted it back.

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Another short post. I saw this when shopping recently and was reminded of the importance of reviewing your site design choices on different devices.

While I greatly improve the flash sale that Torrid held (you click on a link in an email and are presented with a discount of between 30% and 50% off), I was surprised at how obtrusive this banner was. As you can see above, I was not able to even see the product names and prices of a single row of products. This was intensely frustrating.

Ways to improve this:

  • Make the banner smaller, condense the information
  • Make the banner collapsible in some way
    • This is potentially the best option, as it will presumably be the most effective way to deal with so many options for screen resolution

This experience was just a reminder for anyone working in web development. I know that a lot of us have gigantic monitors and so we see a lot of the pages we are working on, but checking things out in different displays is indescribably important.

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Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

I just made up (I think) the word “edu-promotional” for this email from Photojojo, that is just too good. Take a look:

Why do I love this email?

  1. There’s no indication about buying the specific product until WAY down in the email, after the helpful content. There is a mention of a lens in step 8, but it isn’t even linked!
  2. Said content is actually useful.
  3. Said content is also humorous and fun.
  4. The button text is great, and not typical.
  5. The DISCLAIMER on the photo at the bottom, because someone is going to say something about it, so why not address it up front in a cute way.

Thumbs up to Photojojo for this email, it’s a winner!

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