Experian’s Janky Subscription Buyflow

experian Identityworks Premium flop

This morning, while browsing through the stack of emails that piled up over the last few days, I came across one by experian. Please note – as I highlighted – this is NOT A MARKETING EMAIL.  

Of course, I was a little interested in seeing what my FICO Score had increased to (since its been a while), so I decided to log into experian’s portal.

It didn’t take very long for me to get confused… 

So wait was this a transactional email or a marketing email that they sent to me? 

How is it that this membership is $0.00 yet they need my billing information? Well, if you read all of the copy and then read this page for more than 10 seconds, you will discover that this a tricky – dark pattern – for enticing users into a 7 Day Free trial that actually recurs at $24.99/month + taxes

Why am I writing about this?  Because these lifecycle campaigns annoy me and chances are they annoy other people as well. Additionally they confuse customers – which is not good for consumers.


First, if you are attempting to monetize your service – make it abundantly clear what you are attempting to get the prospective customer to do. 

Would I have clicked on that email, if I knew that immediately experian would be hitting me up for my credit card? 

Second, on the landing page – they should be letting customers know that this is a Free Trial Sign-up Page and that the cost is not $0.00, but $24.99/month (DO NOT HIDE YOUR PRICING like experian is doing here). 

Third, show value – After I clicked through the “No, keep my current membership” CTA – I was shown my recently increased FICO score. Yay for better FICO!! This is the a-ha moment and the reason WHY I clicked on the email in the first place. 

This would have been a much better way to frame the Free Trial. Give me an A-ha moment where I am happy and you have demonstrated value with your service. Now ask me for something… Its a two-way street and I think with a little work experian could be giving customers their a-ha moment AND gain subscribers at the same time. 

End Sunday Morning rant.