In Our Opinion

Making the most of every opportunity

By July 11, 2017 January 23rd, 2019 No Comments

My business partner, Ed O’Donnell, recently forwarded me an email receipt his wife received – not to show me where Amy has been shopping, but instead because the email from Native had clearly made a big impression.

Amy, You Rock! It was just another mundane day at our office when suddenly, Jackie took a look at the computer and her eyes widened. “We did it,” she exclaimed! “We got an order from Amy O’Donnell!” Laura jumped out of her chair and ran to Jackie’s desk. She didn’t even read the entire email – she just saw “Amy” and started screaming in delight! “O.M.G.” Laura shouted. “This is real! We have an order from Amy!” The entire office erupted in applause. “Party In the USA” blared from the speakers (Jackie’s a huge Miley Cyrus fan) as confetti rained down from the ceiling and champagne bottles were popped. The entire Native Team is thrilled you’re a customer! Thank you so much for your support and for giving us a reason to cheer on another champion of health! As soon as we’re done exchanging high-fives, we’ll send you tracking information so you can track your package. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at

Inspired by this blast of awesomeness that had arrived in my inbox, I considered all of the email receipts I had received in the last month, and whether any of them would inspire me to forward to a friend.

Nope. I couldn’t think of one.

Which also got me thinking about all of the ways we communicate with customers, and all of the opportunities we are missing to make the most of those communications.

Take for example the “Page Not Found” message on many websites. This is ours, which like many we’ve seen before, is not very helpful and a bit insulting (Wow! Can I use the search form to find what I’m looking for? What a concept!).

The page you are looking for no longer exists. Perhaps you can return back to the site's homepage and see if you can find what you are looking for. Or, you can try finding it by using the search form below.

Rather than going with the default – as I admit we did on our site – think instead how you can address the confusion, or defuse the anger and frustration, that might be felt by visitors. For example, when launching the new website for MutualOne Bank, we created an apology message featuring their mascot, Mo, carrying a moving box.

We’ve been rearranging and the page you are looking for has moved. We apologize for the inconvenience. For more information or answers to any questions, please visit our Client Service Center, use our Information Request Form, or call us at (508) 820-4000.

Mo is not the only character featured prominently on a 404 Page – MailChimp’s message takes a Star Wars turn, turning the Chimp green and telling visitors “This is not the thing you’re looking for.”

While most provide links or a search box on the page, NPR invites visitors to explore other stories of people, places and things that are lost.

Automated email messages and 404 pages are just the beginning of the day-to-day communications generated by most financial institutions and businesses – so next time you are looking at your ATM receipts, statements, email signature, business cards and other customer communications, consider how to do more to optimize the opportunity.

Here are a few more ideas to get the wheels turning:

HSBC’s Origami ATM Receipts (Source: The Financial Brand)

Invoice (Source: Smashing Magazine)


Email Vacation Messge

Email Vacation Message (Source: Hubspot)