Stick to the Point!

If my last post picked on United Airlines for leaving key information out of a message, this post will highlight the opposite extreme–including too much information so as to jumble a message.

United has a corporate initiative called “Eco-Skies” designed to promote corporate responsibility to the environment. A noble cause, UA came up with a great initiative for Earth Day: use a mobile boarding pass and they’d contribute a dollar to help “Protect an Acre” with Conservation International.

While I have no problem with the initiative, I do have a problem with the message. If someone accidentally clicked “print” when reading UA’s email, they would have depleted more of a forest than UA’s donations could have saved! Just look at what came into my email:

Catch all of that?  By my count, that’s 94 lines of text and sixteen hyperlinks. While I currently have my subscription as text-only to receive on my mobile, I’m going to hope that UA’s HTML offering is easier on the eyes than this. (Speaking of, if any of you received this same message via HTML, please do forward it along for comparison). But regardless, having a message this overloaded with information is inexcusable, and if I had tried to download it to my mobile, I probably would have lost my battery in the process. I can’t imagine anybody actually read through to the end (and in which case, what’s the point of writing it?), but I attempted to–and by the time I did reach the end, I had forgotten what the message was intended to communicate to me anyway!

Any communication this long and jumbled comes off to the reader as unorganized. And if the team responsible for this cannot take the time to come up with a clear, concise message that shows they actually spent a few minutes crafting it, why should I take time out of my busy day to read it?

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Customer Engagement Strategy for the Airline Industry