brand experience project

Shop Wright Promo Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 19, 2021

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I am definitely a bit of a Frank Lloyd Wright-ophile. I have visited a few of his most famous buildings, most recently having made the journey to Spring Green, Wisconsin, to see Taliesin, his personal home for many years. (Unrelated to this specific post—Frank had a bit of a scandalous existence, but also went through some unimaginable horrors. I really enjoyed the Ken Burns documentary about him, which clocks in at around two and a half hours.)

My interest in Frank Lloyd Wright has led to me being signed up for many different relevant mailing lists. One of them is the Frank Lloyd Wright e-commerce destination ShopWright.org.

I received an email from them recently and opened it to see what items were featured. Let’s get into it.

I have issues with a few things here.

  • I don’t like the names of the plates here. I would like to see the size name at the front, and then an actual measurement so that I can get a better idea of scale here in the email.
    • Small Ginkgo Leaves Plate, 4.25″
    • Large Ginkgo Leaves Plates, 8.75″
  • There is a lack of grammatical consistency, particularly with punctuation marks. There are variable amounts of spacing around dashes and an oddly-placed period after “origami chair.” Here’s how I would re-write these:
    • Barista 12-Hour Tree of Life Travel Mug
    • Limited-Edition Taliesin West Origami Chair
    • Ginkgo Leaves Napkin Rings, Set of 4

Right off the bat here, you can see a promo for “all face masks are 12.99” with a floating image of a mask, but it is behind the image of the mailbox? It’s possible that this is just an error with this email in Gmail, but something there is awry. Clicking the image of the mailbox takes you to the face mask page. Something isn’t right.

The mailbox is very lovely but I would prefer to see the “back in stock” messaging on the image instead of in the text. Additionally, the text is a different font and size than the other product names, and the mailbox listing doesn’t have a “buy now” button, which is inconsistent.

I also have similar issues with the product naming here. Here are my suggestions for these:

  • Beachy House Locking Steel Mailbox
  • Deluxe Patinated Copper and White Birdhouse
  • Floral Bird Feeder in Slate Blue
    • Although I struggle with the inclusion of the color here since a click through lets you see that this bird feeder is only available in that one color. (UPDATE: shopping later on this site led me to discover other color options, but they aren’t grouped onto one product page! That is something to be fixed as well.)

Finally, I discovered another issue here that bothered me – the images for these items don’t link to the item! I clicked the bird feeder and got this:

I am kind of obsessed with this feeder, but if I click the image, I want to go to the page where I can buy the item.

Let’s continue.

I have similar issues here with the product naming, so let’s get those fixes out of the way.

  • Pagoda Lantern Sandstone Outdoor Sculpture
  • Healing Gong Wind Chime
  • Midway Gardens Sandstone Sprite with Scepter, 64″
    • This last one is a bit long but since the Midway Gardens was such an important project for FLW, it seems appropriate to mention it in the name. Another version may also want to include the word “reproduction” in the product name in this email, but I’m leaving it out for the time being since it is clearly indicated on the product page this information links to.

The link to shop all outdoor accessories is a smart choice, given that the subject line of this email refers to spring and it is prime time to buy outdoor decor.

I make it down to the footer message about what my purchases support, and I see it as a missed opportunity for links. I see below that I can link directly to flwright.org, but a direct link to the “education and preservation programs” that I would be supporting might really engage me to want to justify buying more things.

All in all, this email did do the basic job of showing me some things that I might want to purchase to get my home into the spring spirit. The issues I ran across are easily fixable.

This post is about the email, so I won’t go further than that for now, but I also definitely noticed some issues within the actual shopwright.org e-commerce shop as well, but that is for another day.

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Sometimes, I see things that I would like to blog about, and then I take a screenshot and forget about it.

I recently found a bunch of those things, and so if I post those, I’m going to label them as throwbacks and go with it.

I have actually nothing to complain about with this one, it was just an example of email content that I really enjoyed! (This was long before the internet canceled Too Faced.)

Back in 2018, Too Faced collaborated with YouTube queen Kandee Johnson on a makeup collection that was available exclusively at Ulta.

This email came to me from Ulta, and I was blown away by how good this content is! The team at Too Faced (and perhaps also Ulta, as the exclusive partner) really put a lot of thought and effort into this. One of my biggest issues with almost any makeup product that is released onto the market in our current times is that the brands don’t provide enough of their own content on how to use that product. If you are introducing an eyeshadow palette with 20 shades in it, I want access to at least 4 tutorials on how to create different looks with those 20 colors.

I digress. This email has it all – product images, beauty shots of Kandee, color swatches, tips from Kandee about the products, and links to video content as well! I wish I remembered more about how this collection performed, because I hope that this level of support for a product launch was rewarded with success in sales.

I’m inserting a lot of this email down below so that I can share it in all of its glory.

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I know, anyone who has visited this website before knows that I am no stranger to bringing up my issues with Sephora and their website. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I am back again.

I recently received an email from Sephora, promoting new additions to their Rewards Bazaar, where shoppers can use points they have earned to purchase items.

You see how that says “1,000 available now?” I have been waiting for an opportunity to try out Biossance products, so I clicked this right away.

…only to find out that the product in the email was not actually available. You can see sold-out items in this screenshot, so it seems that they aren’t simply out of stock, but haven’t actually activated this item before sending an email about it to potentially thousands of people.

I reached out to Sephora on Twitter and it went like this:

 

Yikes. This is not the response I would expect, and certainly not one that I would want anyone in my organization to give to a customer experiencing an error on our part.

The first response I received certainly seems either pre-written and automated for any tweets to them mentioning the Rewards Bazaar, or, they have a customer service team trained to use automated responses as often as possible. I understand the interest in maintaining consistent messaging, but a human reading my tweet to them should have realized that I had received an email from Sephora with incorrect information, and responded in a way that made sense.

You can see that at NO POINT was the fact that I received an email promoting something that wasn’t actually available addressed. Not even a “we will let our email team know about this issue” message.

Sephora is a really large company, presumably with a large customer service team to match. I would recommend that they develop a system to sort and perhaps elevate customer messages based on the content of said message.

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Colourpop Product Photos | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on September 26, 2019

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I was recently shopping on Colourpop’s website, and was specifically looking at glitter gel, like you do. I got to this product called Trippin on Skies, and had an unfortunate experience with product photos. Let’s get into it.

Here’s my first view of this product page. I’m purposely leaving the bit of box at the bottom of this screenshot. The colors of this product make it a bit difficult to translate, but the photography is good. I found myself immediately wishing to see swatches of this product on actual humans.

I scrolled down a bit and I get to this second image of the product, this time with the box. This is great and I think more companies should show the packaging of items that they sell, but I’m immediately disappointed that there isn’t a swatch image. Many beauty brands have realized that product swatches on a variety of skin tones is the way to go, and with this product, I really wanted to see what it would look like swatched on skin.

I am now to the bottom of the photo area of the product listing, and so I think there are no more photos to see.

Unrelated to the main topic here, but what I would REALLY like to see with products like a glitter gel that probably builds as you apply more are images with one coat, 2 coats, and 3 coats of the product on each skin tone.

Luckily, I scroll down a bit more and see a slider of what may be customer images? Colourpop is using Yotpo to collect reviews and it appears that they are also collecting customer images. Clicking on these images shows me that the images above show the use of the Glitterally Obsessed glitter gels, and the center image shows the actual product that I was reviewing.

This is a huge miss by Colourpop:

  1. There should be some indication in the top images about more images, perhaps “scroll down to see this product in action!” or something similar?
  2. Better yet, find a way to incorporate images of this product from the feed into the actual product image area on the page. Tag the image with the creator’s name or handle. Ask them for permission to use the image in this way – perhaps feature on social channels or in a promotional email as well.
  3. Utilize the standardized layout of showing small versions of the available product images and letting the user use the thumbnails to work their way through the options. This would help to keep everything in a single screen – these screenshots are from a 24-inch monitor and so the way this content is spread out seems a bit unnecessary.

Colourpop has good products, and their business seems quite successful, but there are improvements to be made on these product pages.

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Universal Standard is a brand that I do like, but don’t LOVE. I appreciate their mission to dress all bodies in size 0-40, because that isn’t happening enough, but I do wish that there were more items available and that they had a bit more variety in style.

A further exploration of that is for another time. For now, I wanted to briefly explore the size dropdown menu on Universal Standard product pages.

Here is a typical product page. This time for these cute Sava jeans.

On the right are the typical buttons, for selecting your size and then to add the item to your cart.

Here’s where I get confused. How is this the choice that they have made regarding the size dropdown? With so many sizes available, why has no effort been made to abbreviate the effort to find a larger size? There is clearly plenty of space to create columns in order to avoid this.

I was especially surprised to see this clunky presentation of size choices when I saw this “quick shop” feature on a page with a number of products:

This DEFINITELY needs to be replicated on the individual product page. It’s much cleaner and more concise than the incredibly long, space-wasting dropdown that is currently on the website.

Let me know how you would improve this dropdown on Twitter or in the comments below.



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Thanks for coming by to visit JamieSanford.com. If you enjoyed reading this post, please follow @JamieSanford on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS Feed or subscribe via email so you'll always be updated of my latest posts! Just enter your email address below and click the Subscribe button.