Hilton HHonors: The Hidden Bonus

Subject line: "Earn HHonors Bonus Points when you sign-up for the HHonors Shop-to-Earn Mall"

The email subject line read, “Earn HHonors Bonus Points when you sign-up for the HHonors Shop-to-Earn Mall.” The proposition of getting more points just for signing up for a “mall” was tempting. I was not sure what it means to sign up for a mall, but if it gets me closer to nights in Maui, I would be interested. I read on for details.

The subhead states, “GEAR UP FOR FALL WITH THE HILTON HHONORSTM SHIP-TO-EARN MALL.” The call to action is to click “Shop now.” The body copy describes opportunities to earn bonus points by shopping at merchants and reiterates the call to action to visit the mall.

There are several Fails for Creative in this email. The most significant Fail is that the body of the email does not explain the offer presented in the Subject Line. How do I sign up for the mall? What bonus points are available for me to do so? Even when I visit the landing page (shown here), there is no mention of the offer to earn HHonors points for signing up.

Other Fails for Creative include:

  • Including a “TM” using the same font and weight as the main word in the subhead. If your HTML capabilities are so lacking that you can’t place your “TM” in a superscript on a subhead, do it in the first mention in the body copy. Your lawyer would understand.
  • Using the term “merchant” interchangeably with “retailer”. Be consistent about it, and consider sticking with “retailer”. After all, the primary definition of “merchant” is “a person who buys and sells commodities for profit.” Items such as Tumi handbags are not commodities; therefore, “merchant” is not a consumer-facing term.

  1. If you mention an offer in your Subject Line or headline, explain it in the body of your communication.
  2. Do not use the same font and weight for a “™” or “®” as the word it references.
  3. Ensure that your language is appropriate for the audience and is consistent.