Like any budget minded consumer (who also happens to be a total nerd for email marketing) I headed over to the Express website for my obligatory coupon for signing up to their email list.

Here’s what I found:


Express knocks it out of the park, having a handy popover signup form, featuring front-and-center the immediate benefit for signing up “15% off your next purchase.”

If we notice the fields, I have a minor gripe about confirming my email address but that’s a personal opinion, it likely works well for them. I love that first name & last name fields are not required (last name is almost never necessary though – I’d recommend removing this altogether), finally I like knowing that since they’re asking for gender they’ll send me targeted messages. So far, so good.

Seconds later, the welcome email hits my inbox…at this point I’m pretty pumped (until I open it).

Hrm…Here’s where we start to go wrong:

  • They asked for my name, and didn’t use it.
  • Their main CTA is basically useless – If I’ve received and opened the email, chances are copy/pasting their address into my “address book” is unnecessary, their deliverability is already good. If their deliverability wasn’t good, I wouldn’t have seen it and it still would not have helped them at all. I want them to put in a call to action that is more valuable, for them and and for me.
  • Don’t tell me about the coupon I’m going to receive, just give it to me. If I signed up on my smartphone inside the store for a quick coupon (not an uncommon occurrence) I would have waited around for quite some time, probably leaving frustrated. The best thing to do would probably be to just not send this at all, just send me what you promised.
  • The tone of the whole email is like it was auto generated by a robot, for what is supposed to be a hip, cool, young-ish company this is definitely not the tone they should have.

You may have noticed I shot off a quick reply to them  (I like to test if a companies’ return box is monitored – and with a company like Express, it SHOULD BE, no excuses, it’s a great way to get valuable customer feedback), let’s see what they send back:

Bad bad bad bad…

  • “ visitor” You asked for my name, you have it, why not use it?
  • Even if a message is auto generated, you can still make it match the tone of your company:

“Hey Evan!

Thanks for your message, we just wanted to let you know we received it and we’ll have someone get back to you as quick as we can (if it’s something urgent feel free to call us at 1-888-EXP-1980 anytime).

Thanks again!

-The Express Staff “

A little better, no?

  • The final nail in this proverbial email coffin “Need Assistance? …E-Mail us anytime” I just did and received this auto generated message, will I have better luck if I try again? Not likely.

Now, for all of my griping Express does a number of things really well, probably better than most retailers out there. Let’s remember though, there’s always room for improvement – and improvement in email marketing can easily mean $$$.

What are your thoughts on how well Express did?


This wonderful content was provided by resident email critic, Evan Diaz. You can e-stalk him via twitter @evandiaz