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Reaping the Rewards of a Great Online Conversion Path

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Like many women, I’m a big fan of shoes. And when I was recently checking out the new collection from Nine West, I was inspired to sign up for their rewards program. This isn’t something I would normally do, since those programs tend to inundate me with emails. But the fun, clean and inviting landing page led me to click through to the registration path. And the ease of that path, along with an unexpected bonus offering, made it a no-brainer.

Know Your Audience.
Shoe-loving women are a pretty easy target, as long as you speak their language. But no matter who your audience is, you need to know what gets their attention—and keeps it. For me, the attention-grabber on this landing page was a shoe covered in chocolate. Nine West has taken two things that most women love and made them into a Venus Flytrap of a landing page.

Put Yourself in the Customer’s Shoes.
When you’re asking a potential customer to share personal information, you’re facing the challenge of diffusing anxiety, skepticism and impatience. What is it? What’s in it for me and why should I care? Will it mean a ton of e-mails that I don’t want? These are just some of the questions that will go through the minds of people on your site; and you need to give them the answers quickly.

Tell Us Why We Should Care.
For potential members like me, the landing page does a great job of explaining the mechanics of the program. All benefits and points of convenience are bulleted out, with a clear call to action. The cheeky little disclaimer next to the shoe is a nice way to maintain personality and avoid potential anxiety about clicking through.

Transparency Makes a Registration Path More Clear.
When you’re asking for a person’s information, it’s important to remain sensitive to possible reactions or questions that may come up. It’s also important to be totally upfront about why you need the information. Nine West’s reg path does a nice job of providing short and simple explanations. For instance, under the area requesting your birthday, the line “We plan to send you a birthday gift” quickly focuses on the benefit and alleviates any friction. Other radio buttons are also clearly explained to let the user make a fast decision.

The last part of this particular reg path is pretty smart. With the temptation of an extra 250 points for the Nine Loves Rewards program, you are asked to “Answer these 5 quick and painless questions.” I clicked through for the points and was pleasantly surprised to find that the questions were actually geared toward my shoe habits, not household income, etc. It was scannable, fast and gave me a decent head start on my points. All in all, I had no hesitancy to click for the extra points, because the reg path had been so clear and easy to get through.

Showing Appreciation is Appreciated.
Nine West has a simple Thank-You page come up after the registration path is complete. It’s light, offers a CTA that takes you back to shop and messaging that lets you know that they’ll be in touch with more perks and offers. Simple, yes, but saying thanks goes a long way to foster good feelings about your brand.

Stay on Their Radar.
Once a customer has signed up, it’s important to stay in touch. Finding the balance between no communication and oversaturation is key. Shortly after signing up for the Nine Loves Rewards, I received an e-mail thanking me for joining the NW mailing email list (this was a radio button option on the reg path). I liked that it was short and sweet, with a nav bar across the top to take me straight to the site should I wish. The email used primarily system text, which kept the navigation and inline links in place in case pictures are turned off. This is a smart move, because despite the editorial look of the company’s communications, it’s a first-time connection with a new customer. Readability and usability are both key to avoid deletion.

Shake Things Up.
Going outside the parameters of a rewards program keeps things interesting. Within a few weeks of joining, I received this email, offering double points on a seasonal boot. Minimal copy includes a deadline for sense of urgency, editorial comment on the style and links to take a closer look at the merchandise. This is a special, limited-time offer, and the fact that only Rewards members can take advantage gives it an exclusive appeal. It’s always smart to include opt-in links at the bottom of an email like this, in case it was forwarded to someone who isn’t yet a member, but may want to sign up because of this offer.

The final verdict? Nine West has a stylish, savvy demographic, and their conversion path reflects this with smart design, clear copy and an experience that is low on friction and high on rewards.