Step by Step: Ikea’s Email Registration Process

Nov 01, 2010 9:30 PM  By

Furniture retailer Ikea has an email registration process that’s exemplary for its efficiency and ability to communicate the friendly, informal voice of the company’s brand.

For starters, a link to the email sign-up is on the top-right corner of the home page. One could argue that by bundling the link with several others, (“Visit our Mobile Site!” “Información en español”), the visibility of the subscription link is compromised somewhat. However, a second link to the sign-up page appears just below the fold, complete with a graphic and a brief blurb explaining the benefits of subscribing.

Clicking either link takes you to the sign-up page. The left half of the page is dominated by a large photo promoting the latest print catalog. On the right is the sign-up form, accompanied by a tab for those who already have an account and simply wish to sign in.

The form offers three products to subscribe to: “inspirational emails and updates,” mobile text messages, and the print catalog. Beneath the text-message option is a caveat that the subscribers will be charged any standard text rates that their carrier may apply.

The box to sign up for emails is prechecked; the boxes for text messages and the print catalog are not — even if you come to the page after clicking the catalog-request link on the home page.

The sign-up form has just five fields, all of them mandatory: email address, confirmation of email address, first name, surname and zip code — simple and succinct. Upon entering and submitting the information, the subscriber is taken to a page that acts as both a confirmation page and a form requesting additional information. On the top-left corner is a summary of the media subscribed to, another promotion for the print catalog, and a display of the submitted information, presumably so that subscribers can make sure all is in order.

On the right side of this page is the headline “Get info that interests you.” The copy beneath continues, “You’re almost done! Please just take a minute to help us customize your emails. With details about what you’re shopping for, we can send you the information you really want.” Simply and clearly, Ikea explains the benefits to the subscriber of his answering just a few more optional questions.

Upon submitting this form, the subscriber is returned to the original sign-up page. This is arguably the weakest link in Ikea’s sign-up process. Returning to this page could signify to some users that the previous form wasn’t received. A simple “thank you” page would be a better way to wrap up the registration.

Meanwhile, within a few minutes of submitting the first form, with the mandatory fields, the subscriber receives a welcome email. The preheader reads “Here are some good ideas to get you started,” a friendly opening leading up to the second, boilerplate preheader message “If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view.”

The primary image, on the top left, is of Ikea’s “hug pillow,” a plush heart with outstretched arms — cute, welcoming and in keeping with the brand. The message includes a link to the nearest physical store, a reminder to personalize future messages by answering the optional questions if one hasn’t already done so, and lifestyle photos, brief copy, and links to multiple areas of the Ikea website.

Ikea doesn’t offer any discounts, coupons or other tangible incentives prior to signing up: The value is in the content. And the streamlined process and clean style of the registration pages confirm Ikea’s credibility in this area.