Problems with Dairy Queen's Referral Program (and Solutions)

Recently, I found myself at the Blizzard Fan Club page for Dairy Queen,  It's summer here in Chicago, and I'm a sucker for ice cream.  What drove me there was a promotion they were offering if you signed up for their fan club.  I was happy to sign up. 

I was also excited that they asked me to refer my friends or family at the at the end of the process.  It was easy, they just asked me for some email addresses.  My wife likes Blizzards, so I gave Dairy Queen her email address.  About 10 minutes later, my wife sends me an email and asks "What the heck is this?"  It turns out Dairy Queen sent her an email (which I expected) but it was extremely vague. 

Here is the entire email:


SUBJECT:             Matt wants you to visit BFC.

BODY:                  Dear Friends,

                            Matt ( wants to invite you to visit BFC.

That's it!  Nothing more!!  I was shocked.  There's a few glaring problems in their process.


What is BFC?  Dairy Queen is using their own acronym to introduce a new potential guest and potential raving fan to their website.  My wife had no idea what BFC meant.


Easy.  Replace BFC with, "The Dairy Queen Blizzard Fan Club."


There was almost no text in the email.  I trusted Dairy Queen to engage my wife and provide some value to her.  Instead, they're just sending a single sentence asking her to go to a page.  Ultimately, they want to her to their site, but this "cold email" wasn't at all engaging enough.


Add some text in this email.  Explain to her the benefits of going to this page.  Dairy Queen is selling ice cream.  In my opinion, this stuff (almost) sells itself!  One mention of ice cream, chocolate, or summer, and they've got her attention.


There was no way for me to include a custom message to my wife in the email.  I would have liked to add a few sentences in the so I can add my perceived value too.  Dairy Queen blew an opportunity to let me sell my wife on their behalf.


In the form I used to refer my family, I would have liked the ability to send a personal message to them.  Simple.


When my wife clicked on the link, she was taken to the fan club web site.  BUT, it's not clear what she was supposed to do when she got there.  I referred my wife because I wanted her to sign up for the fan club.  The page she was directed to is very busy and it's not clear what Dairy Queen's motive is.  They should be very clear that they want her to sign up for the club.  When she got there, she was expecting to "do something."  Instead, she closed her browser.  Dairy Queen missed the opportunity to tell her what to do.


Dairy Queen never re-engaged me for referring my friends, and never said thanks.  They just found an influencer among their guests and they didn't take advantage of it.


Dairy Queen should have sent me an email when I referred my friends and said "Thank You."  If they really wanted to "wow" me, they could have rewarded me at that time or when my referral recipients brought in their promotion redemption.  This would encourage me, the influencer, to keep influencing others.

Have you signed up for the Blizzard Fan Club?  What was your experience?  Do you have a similar story with another business?  Tell us about it!