Case Study


May 2008 - October 2009

Company & Brand Mission was an innovative start-up with a unique business proposition for creating new, high-engagement advertising real estate in personal email signatures. Users could create a personalized email signature that contained an ad tag. A portion of the proceeds from the advertising were donated to one of 8 different charitable causes

My Role

I worked closely with the company founder to redesigned the key email signature creation interface and sign up process, turning an arduous, form-based process into a visually interactive creation experience, significantly increasing sign-up conversion rate.

Landing Page Iteration

Here’s a few highlights from our work improving the conversion rate of our landing page.

The Starting Point

As a reference point, this is what replyforall looked like when I came on board. The conversion rate for this version of the funnel was below 1%.
The initial email signature creation interface

Round 1- Sign Up Flow

One of the main problems replyforall had to deal with was the technical challenge of getting the email signature into the user’s email messages.

Replyforall created browser and email client add-ons that accomplished this, but our target audience was generally inexperienced with installing this kind of software. Our qualitative research indicated the complicated if/else/or logic of getting users to their correct version of software was a major reason for the low conversion rate.

First stab at step one, attempting to help illuminate the confusing process of getting the right software installed depending on how the user typically sends email.

A key value proposition for the product was that advertising proceeds from your signature could be directed to any one of a number of causes. The user made their selection on this step.
In addition to email platform and cause, the actual design and content of the email signature could be customized. Here we present the customization options.

Round Two - Sign Up Flow

After showing our Round One mockups to user research participants we discovered we had the process entirely backwards. Our first iteration made the first step about the technical challenges, the lease interesting part for our users, causing people to bail at the beginning of the funnel. For round two we moved the installation process to the end of the sign up flow.

This account creation concept attempts to explain a bit more about how signing up will help your cause.
This email signature creation concept attempts to incorporate a more visual and enjoyable interface to create your email signature.
Moved the complicated download step to after you’ve created your signature and signed up. This concept also incorporates browser and email service sniffing to highlight the most likely choice.

Round 3 - Sign Up Flow

After getting user feedback on Round Two we still felt that we missed the mark. In Round Two we still had the account setup step first, before the email customization step, because the backend needed an account in order to display a signature.

For Round Three, we decided to re-implemented the backend to allow previews of signature designs without an account. This allowed us to start the funnel with the email signature customization step, which also allowed us to redesign the customization interface to focus on the fun process of creating something and make the account setup appear secondary.

The conversion rate for this version was in the 15-20% range, several orders of magnitude greater than the 1-2% we started with.

Since replyforall was a somewhat novel idea, explaining what replyforall was and how it worked was one of the harder problems to figure out. In this version we started off with the explanation and moved causes below.
People don’t like to lose things, even if they don’t have them yet. We tried to focus the user on creating a signature and understanding its relationship to the causes. Once they created a signature, they’re much more likely to create an account so that they can use it. We also removed some not-entirely-necessary items from account creation so we could incorporate it into this step, removing one step from our funnel.
Simplify the complicated process of getting people to install the correct add-on. Try as much as possible to make an annoying process look simple and fun. (Interesting side note, the most clicked on link on this page ended up being the blue “Join the mission” button in the footer.)