It’s that time of year. Summer. Yet we’re in the final round of NHL playoffs. This year Tampa Bay and Chicago are battling in a tight contest.

Imagine my excitement when I got an email from the NHL letting me know I could get a day pass to watch a single NHL game online. Imagine my disappointment when I could find NO way to give them my money. Let me explain.

Often we’ll use real world examples to show you email marketing best practices… things you should do and things you absolutely should not do. My rant is because I was genuinely annoyed they made an offer that I couldn’t get. Let me walk you through this ‘I left a few million bucks on the table because I wasn’t thinking when I set up this email’ campaign.

So here’s what started it all off.

The email in the inbox: message #2 looks VERY interesting!


This is the right offer to the right person at the right time. I click to read this one and here’s what I see.

The email message

This is a visual message and gives me a great big call to action button. It says ‘Watch Now’.  It’s clear what to do next. If I was doing this message I would probably use a bit more copy higher up in the message that says exactly what I want to hear… which is the thing that got my attention in the subject line.

So far. So good. Imagine for a moment how big this list might be. NHL fans might be in the millions. Considering what pay-per-view rates are, this could be a multi-million dollar offer.

The service they are trying to sell me is NHL GAMECENTER LIVE.  Now let’s see what happens when I click on the link.


Bottom half of the email. (below the fold)


The landing page. This is where the wheels fall off.

This the page I’m taken to when I click on the ‘Watch Now’ link. See rant below.


Everything works up to this point.

Then I’m told on the landing page that NHL GAMECENTER LIVE is no longer available.  I even try to look around for a less prominent display for a ‘Day Pass’ as promised in the email. Perhaps its a special offer somewhere on the page. Nope.

So basically I’m sent to a dead end. Talk about disappointing.  More importantly there is no way I can give them money to watch a game. Remember I didn’t go looking for this, they offered it to me!

Let’s review what you’re supposed to do.

1. Send an enticing email with a great subject line to stop me in my tracks and get me to take an interest in your offer.

2. Send me from a link in the email directly to a landing page which has that same offer easy to find, read, and accept.  Do not send people to your home page and expect them to dig for your offer and absolutely don’t send them to a non-offer.

What did this cost the NHL in lost revenue?  We’ll my $19.95 for sure. If they have a list in the millions and even 50,000 people want to catch one game online, then $997,500 never made it’s way into the coffers of the NHL.

It makes me crazy to see a business do something like this. Are you leaving money on the table in your email campaigns?