What Not to Do

While scrolling through my email list I noticed one website, in particular, showing up multiple times. Cappex is a scholarship site that I unknowingly signed up for a few months ago in hopes of finding some neat scholarships.

Although I do not remember signing up for this email list, the reasoning is pretty clear. No one likes paying for college and considering the fact that I’m planning on going to a four-year school, I’m going to need all the help I can get. So, while submitting an application for one of the scholarships, I must’ve put in my email and now I get three emails from them daily notifying me of scholarships.

At first, I was very interested in the emails. Some of the subject lines were really promising for a High School senior looking to pay for a bachelors degree in a couple of years. If you were a poor high school student and you saw an email with the subject line “$68,000 in scholarships waiting for you!” what would you do? Anyway, I clicked on a couple of them before I realized that it was all the same information, just formatted in a different way.

After clicking on them I was brought to this very nicely formatted email with a few of the scholarships that would eventually lead to the aforementioned amount. Overall it looked enticing and very believable. Again, being the student I am, I clicked on the highest value scholarship that didn’t have any essay attached to it. Which, of course, was the first option.

After looking back at a couple of the emails I didn’t delete. It seems as though these emails are sent out in a group but to a specific list. When I first visited the site I remember filling out something that asked me about what I was planning to do with my four-year education and at the time, I was planning on going into Digital Marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. I’m assuming that’s the information I put in because the scholarship choice has to do with business.

The first scholarship listed in the email

The other options don’t fit those same criteria, however. The other four options have little to nothing to do with business and don’t have a price tag on them. Which not only makes them less interesting for me but also makes me less likely to click on them due to the fact that there was no apparent value associated with them. And, as their client, I want money.

After I clicked on the option that had the dollar amount attached to it, I was brought to a very blank webpage (as in the design). After looking into it though, it doesn’t even seem like they know what they’re doing. I clicked on the learn more button associated with a scholarship that’s meant to be for the Better Business Bureau. Instead of being brought to that application, I was brought to a completely unrelated page.

As seen above, there are three boxes. All of which, just by looking at the content, seems like sponsors or ads for another site or program (to their credit, the options do have something to do with colleges, but absolutely nothing to do with the scholarship I was hoping to fill out). As the customer, not only does this confuse me but knowing what I know now it makes me even more interested in what they were thinking. I have to scroll past all these ads, to get to a point where I can say “No thanks” and even that is hard to notice.

After clicking “No thanks” it takes me to another page on their website where I then have to click something again in order to be brought to the actual scholarship application.

If the objective of this email was to get me to click on a bunch of things, they did a very good job of accomplishing that. However, if it was to get me to apply to the scholarship, they didn’t get me to do that.

Between the constant emails daily about loads of money in scholarships that aren’t even shown to me, the advertisements that I have to go through to get to the page on their website, and then finally clicking another link and being taken to the actual scholarship, I would not consider this good email marketing. The number of emails was off-putting and the time it took to get to the application threw me off the idea entirely.

With these tactics, this company could very easily find themselves on the spam list of most of its users. It’s very clear that these emails are very information oriented and the marketers don’t seem to care about whether or not they’re keeping users involved. However, I am grateful that they at least let me unsubscribe.

Overall, the emails I received from this company were very uninteresting and unhelpful for someone looking to find scholarships. I hope you enjoyed reading this! I look forward to writing about whatever next week’s chapters are about!

“Creating good email marketing content requires combing creativity with good analysis”

– Stukent Textbook

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What Not to Do

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