Hilton Honors wants me to join their loyalty program. They sent me a nice letter and a plastic membership card.
This has been sitting in a pile of stuff in my office for a while. The letter is dated June 9, which suggests potentially 3.5 months. However, in the interests of staying in touch with everything that relates to experience, I thought I should check it out.
Here is where most of your customer communications are going to start. Not with big excitement, for the most part, although I bet they were trying for this. I did have a passing notion that there might be some cool free stuff involved. There was certainly status appeal -- I was being granted Gold VIP status without earning it. Woo hoo!
The letter said to visit HiltonHHonors.com/vip to register. That's exactly the format I was given. It took me about four tries to get in. Misspelling due to the HH accounted for two errors, being unsure about whether I needed a www accounted for a couple more.
The less committed would surely have given up at this point. Not because of a poor offer. Not because of a weak brand. Only because of a really bizarre web address, communicated poorly. Less than one line of text on the entire mailer.
Once in, I kept getting error messages because my company name contains an ampersand. Then I had a bunch of tough decisions to make about whether I really preferred a single king or two doubles, and do I want to be close to the elevator or not. Three pages of blank-filling-in just to register. I wondered to myself, why bother, really. Would I ever get anything through this program ... and yet, the gold status called me onward.
The bottom line
Yup, all those meetings you went to? The innovation offsites? The agency briefing, the review sessions, the drafts, the months of work, the measurement, the metrics, the business case. All of that can go down the drain in a heartbeat due to minor usability problems.
We live in a complex world. Marketers need to keep it simple to succeed.