I’m a big fan of Macaroni Grill. With pour your own house wine and good bread and olive oil, what’s not to like? My daughter is hooked on their Mozzarella Alla Caprese, and any time you can get a 7 year old to eat tomatoes it’s a good thing.
Over the years, I ended up on one of their email lists. To this point, it has done nothing for me. They’d send generic emails, with no incentive, no call to action, no real purpose. Finally, I received an email with an offer. Fill out a survey, get $5 off your next visit. I click the link and off I go.
Problem number one: the site is painfully slow. I’m talking 10-15 seconds for each new page to load. I’m not a patient man to begin with, nor are most other consumers these days. I’m really starting to wonder whether the next 5 minutes of watching the spinning ball is worth the $5 coupon. I decide to stick it out for now.
Next we move on to the big catastrophe. I’ve finally completed the survey and try to submit. I’m now staring at a white screen of death with the following message:
Fatal error: Call to a member function ProcessResponse() on a non-object in /home/httpd/vhosts/surveygizmo.com/_releases/appv3/application/classes/surveyclassesv3/class_survey.php on line 2842
Oops. Epic fail. You have just wasted my time, and now I’m annoyed. This is certainly not how you want your customers to feel about you. In addition, the data you are collecting is probably inaccurate, because it may not reflect the errors that users are encountering. That’s a very bad thing if you’re trying to measure the success of a marketing campaign.
Technology is a wonderfully powerful thing. We have the ability to drill down and truly personalize the marketing process for every recipient in our database. The downside is that you live and die by not only your data, but also your programming. The only way to ensure success is by testing, testing and more testing. Yes, glitches do happen, but hopefully they are of the minor variety. Before hitting send on any campaign, do yourself a favor and test it in as many ways as you possibly can.