I love Nikon. My dad had a Nikon. I bought my first Nikon SLR (an F3) when I was in college and a couple of years ago my wife brought me into the digital DSLR world by buying me a Nikon D60 for Father’s day. So it pains me to see a company I love make such critical mistakes.
Last night, I got an email from them on my Blackberry. Like most people, I typically just delete promotional emails, but I decided to hold on to this one, considering the headline said “My Picturetown – 20GB for just a few cents a day!”
You can see the full email by clicking the picture below.
I clicked on their call to action “Store my photos and videos” and after the jump was offered “Sign Up For Free,” by the headline, followed by a form and a graphic proclaiming: “2GB FREE!” Notice how all “scent” or messaging connection to the email is lost on this landing page (pictured below)?
As you can see, there’s no mention of the 20GB at all (I wonder if it was a typo), let alone information about the e-mail’s offer of 20GB storage for just a few cents a day. I was wondering how few cents it actually is: 2 cents, 10 cents or 99 cents?
Also I couldn’t help wondering what was up with the big empty box before the sign-up form’s confirm button. What is that for? I tried it in multiple browsers on my Mac and even tried it on a PC, but it remained empty. Keep in mind that I only put in that extra effort because I planned on critiquing the form. Most potential customers won’t bother checking to see if the form renders correctly in alternate browsers/platforms – that’s why it’s the marketing team’s job!
What Nikon Should Have Done
1. I hope Nikon are testing their email marketing offers before send them to their whole list. Otherwise that’s like being there for that perfect picture moment, the once in a life-time shot, snapping the photo, and realizing you left your lens cover on. Send out your email to a small portion of your list 5-10% and watch the metrics and website analytics to see how people behave. Then tweak accordingly.
2. Nikon’s e-mail could have directed visitors to sign-up for the free service AND THEN upgrade to the paid 20GB account (they event offer a 200GB plan). It would also have been a good idea to repeat this information both on the landing page and in a follow-up e-mail after customers signed up for their free account.
Or Nikon could have offered their e-mail subscribers the choice of services directly from within their e-mail, with two separate calls to action, maybe with the second CTA looking like: “…or upgrade to a Gold 20GB account for only $2.99 a month.” By the way, if you’re wondering where I got that price from, I had to Google “MyPicturetown,” and then really dig into Nikon’s website to – finally! – find the pricing info in their tour pages.
3. They should make sure their form works on all platforms and browsers. I can only imagine that that box has to be the terms and conditions. Sorry but my Mac with Firefox and Safari didn’t see a thing. Everything should be tested to make sure it works.
4. Their landing page design should have better visual impact. Currently, it has all of the design sensibilities of a 3 year old taking their first picture: no focus, no impact, no clear subject and leaves you wanting. Nikon has a great brand, known for their great visuals, but what happened to this product team?
Nikon needs to work much harder than this if they want to acquire customers. I already have a Flickr Pro account and a Picasa account. Others like me (very much in their target market) need plenty of reasons to change what we are currently doing. Maybe next time they’ll capture me at the right moment.