I love Family Fun. I’ve subscribed for over ten years now. The magazine is chock-full of crafts, recipes, and helpful ideas that work even for time-starved, creatively challenged parents like myself. But my subscription expires this month. And somehow I lost the return envelope that came with my renewal notice. No big deal, right? I’ve got the letter; the address should be on there somewhere, right?


you have me running in circles © by haven

Can you believe that Family Fun magazine, published by Disney Publishing Worldwide and sent to over 2 millions subscribers, does not print their address on their renewal letter? They also don’t list their website, or even a customer service phone number! Luckily, I found the website quickly enough. But – can you believe this – after a good ten minutes of searching through the site, I still couldn’t find the darn address to mail in my renewal!

However, I could renew online with a credit card payment. But while my renewal notice offered me 10 issues for $9.95, renewing on the website would cost me $11.95. Which is funny, since the same site listed new subscriptions as just $10. Confusing, to say the least.

The only good news was that online I could renew for two years; the renewal notice only had a one-year option. Trust me, I’d rather not go through this hullabaloo again next year.

Ultimately, I did manage to renew my subscription. But I am amazed that no one at Family Fun has taken an extra minute to make sure that, from a few different angles, the renewal process is smooth and painless for their valued customers – ten-year subscribers like me.

The moral of the story

Family Fun’s copy was a mess, with no contact information on their renewal notice and inconsistent rates and terms. Renewing my subscription was surprisingly a hassle for me, but I’m loyal to them and was willing to put in an effort to figure it out. Can you say for sure that your customers are as loyal as I am to Family Fun? Can you afford to irritate them?

Look at every piece of copy from your customer’s point of view. Make sure that someone not familiar with your company can easily maneuver the entire sales process. Phone numbers and email addresses should be easy to find. Information should be consistent on all printed and online materials. And never make your customers work any harder than they have to. This is so simple, but even big companies need to be reminded from time to time.

Make life easy for your customers, and they will love you.