Are you confusing your website visitors?

As a provider of email marketing services, I recommend to my customers that they should have a clear and simple approach to enabling website visitors to opt in.

tick-greenFor tick boxes on a website, a best practice approach is:
  1. No boxes to be pre-ticked.
  2. For the user to opt in to what they want to receive, rather than tick a box to opt out.
  3. To have a uniform approach. Ie. Do not have a mixture of “tick this box to opt in to X” and “tick this box to opt out of Y”.
A bad example is the one below on the Royal Mail website.

The first selection of boxes requires the user to tick the boxes if they do not wish to receive marketing from Royal Mail.

The second selection of boxes asks the user to tick the boxes if they do wish to receive marketing from third parties.

The problem with this is the second set of boxes requires an opposite action to the first set.

A busy or impatient user, having ticked the first set of boxes may well gloss over the instructions for the second set, and repeat the box ticking exercise, thus unwittingly opting in to receive marketing from third parties.

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Why this e-shot from Apple is perfect. In every way.

Apple have just sent me the email below promoting the new iPhones.  Apple’s email marketing always stands out from the crowd, but this one is special.

Here’s why.

The opening paragraph is brief yet sells lots of benefits. Apple is all about making it easy for the consumer, and that’s what they’re doing here. “We’ll ship it for free”.  “We’ll set it up just how you want it”.

The two product sections have lots of white space and are uncluttered. The product shots don’t even have a front view. My assumption is iPhone brand awareness is so high that they don’t need to even show the front. The side shot perfectly encapsulates the range of colours available.

The “Buy Now” buttons are small and understated.  It’s just not Apple’s style to use massive BUY NOW!!! calls to action.

Apple e-shot