Sending the Wrong Message

Kohl’s is running another sweepstakes, and this one includes an object lesson about testing ancillary elements of your promotions.

The problem doesn’t lie with the form itself; you fill it out, and on the thank you for entering page it allows you to send a friend a link to the sweepstakes.  That’s becoming pretty standard fare, and I didn’t get an error with the tell-a-friend form.


The e-mail sent to the friend thanks the friend for entering the sweepstakes:

Thanks for entering!  Of course, you've never heard of the sweepstakes before.
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This is before the recipient has even clicked through or seen the sweepstakes form, much less entered the contest.

Remember, if you’re using Tell-a-Friend sorts of functionality, you need to make sure that your message picks up relevant information about the target page.  Often, I have seen variable names or incomplete or incorrect page titles come through on these e-mails.

So do you think that these guys didn’t know (didn’t test the forms or review the e-mails) or didn’t care (knew about it, but didn’t bother to fix it because they don’t care how sloppy their end product is or didn’t expect anyone to actually tell a friend)?  And which, ultimately, reflects more poorly on the agency responsible?

Bonus knock for including the Here’s the <your name> personal message to you: label when the sending user has not entered text into the field which is not required.  Jeez, spend the extra $20 and buy yourselves an if-then bit of conditional logic, kids.

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