Marketing lemon on a form - The Write Idea

Marketing lemon on a form

By Renae Gregoire

Marketing lemon on a form: An illustration of just how easy it is to lose people online

This morning, a marketing lemon on an online form almost stopped me from becoming a registered customer at Stein Mart. 

There I was, purchasing Tea Tree Oil Foot Repair Balm on the Stein Mart website because prices were too high over at Amazon. I added the product to my cart, shopped around on the Stein Mart site for a bit to see if I could buy $47.34-more worth of product to get free shipping (I couldn't), and then completed checkout using Paypal.

So far so good.

On the order confirmation page, Stein Mart asked if I'd like to set up an account. Thinking that I may have to return to Stein Mart to order more of my beloved Tea Tree Oil, I said, "Eh, why not?"

Being an experienced online shopper, I didn't bother to read the text above the form; I knew what I was getting into and why.

Email address? Done. Tab.

But then the next line ALSO asked me for my email address. 


Okay, whatever you say, Stein Mart.

Tab to the password field; enter password.


And then get an error, saying the passwords I entered did not match.

Huh? I only entered my password once.

Here's the screen I saw, with my notes on my puzzlement.

Marketing lemon on a registration form

Can you see what happened?

Notice the form-field description text "Email address" with a lock icon next to it? They don't really want an email address there; they're looking for the FIRST instance of a password.

This I know because the form-field description text for the password field says, "Re-enter password." 

Which assumes I had entered it once already.

Which I hadn't.

But then I did, and entered it twice, no matter how strange it felt--even after I understood what was going on.

Stein Mart, how many of your shoppers are experienced, like me, and interested enough in the error to try to puzzle it out, and do the work needed to get registered?

I dare say, if that answer is not "ALL OF THEM," then you've got a problem.

How to turn this blunder into sweet lemonade

Marketers, the lesson for you is to have someone proof your forms and form processes. Hire an eagle-eyed marketing person like me to work through your system to smooth out the bumps so your customers won't stumble. 

Customers will get through the process without bruises or grumbles. I'll get a new client (you!). And you'll get more registered folks.

Win win win! 

Join my tribe?

Do you sweat the small stuff? Do you want your online presence to inspire trust and confidence? Do you grit your teeth when others don't care enough about YOUR web experience? Are you all about creating an excellent website and excellent content that makes it easy for people to get to know, like, and trust you and buy your stuff?

I think we might be soul mates. And I'd love for you to join my tribe.

When you do, I'll alert you to new blog posts, new programs and products, and new ways for you to create excellent, frictionless, online experiences that lead more people to YES! I promise to be relevant and real, and to send only thoughtful content and advice.


Thoughtful content. Real-world advice. Enter your details to get the next issue when it's ready.


About the Author

Hi! I'm Renae Gregoire, a digital conversion expert improving the performance of digital marketing content, including websites, landing pages, sales pages, online courses, blogs, and email sequences. If you're a coach, consultant, or other expert having trouble getting people to click, sign up, subscribe, or buy, I can help. My work typically involves a blend of strategy, design guidance, and wordsmithing, with a heavy focus on how your materials look, sound, feel, and function—all from your reader's perspective. Contact me to see how I might be able to help improve your conversions.