I have to admit, I still like books.  The old fashioned kind.  You can hold them, lift them, use them for coasters.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do use Kindle and iBooks to read and find that very useful too.

screen_shot_2013-02-27_at_7-30-47_amYesterday I was cruising the aisles at my local Hastings and I always wondered why a bookstore (or any retailer for that matter) wouldn’t try harder to build their email list more aggressively.

Seems like a natural thing to do so you can invite your customers to come back to the store for special events, promotions, etc.  If a brick and mortar business has a list of 4,000 local customers they could do a lot for their business.  But I digress.

I was thrilled to see they were making an effort to connect with me on Facebook!  OK, I’ll take that.  They are using a QR code (which has a limited audience) but they are making it easy for me to connect.


What you’re looking at is a bookshelf with an offer to follow Hastings on Facebook or Twitter.

They’ve even almost given a benefit for connecting: “for exclusive offers, promotions, news & more.”

As a professional copywriter, I’d have to say that the biggest challenge with this offer is it’s pretty general and uses more marketing-speak and less of a real benefit to joining but let’s scan the code and see what happens on the landing page.

This is the fun part!

I scan the code and my phone opens a Facebook window in my phone browser…

… and sits there.

What do I do?

I have to take things into my own hands at this point.  I guess I have to find Hastings in Facebook and like them so I can get the goodies.

Is that the best they can do?

Not really. You can make a QR code go anywhere you want.  They could at a minimum send me to their Facebook page so I didn’t have to decide what to do next.

The lesson?

This is the same process you use when you’re setting up an email campaign. Often you’re trying to move someone from your email to your website.  Don’t send them to your homepage and expect them to find and navigate to the product, event, or offer page.  Take them there directly.  Don’t make them think.  And don’t make them take an extra step.

Email and Internet traffic is quite fickle and fleeting.  If there is any disconnect at all your reader is likely to lose interest and not complete the task at hand.  Human nature at it’s finest!

The end result. I didn’t get to “Like” Hastings (too much work) and I don’t get my “exclusive offers, promotions, news & more”…

… I know where they are when I need them.

Make sure you audit your sign-up processes and email campaigns so you don’t make this common mistake and miss out on that extra revenue and customer loyalty.