The Marketing Email that (almost) went Horribly Wrong

By Chris Marriott

I’ve written it before, but I’m writing it again: Email is the most powerful marketing channel in the universe. Period. But not every email marketing story can have a happy ending. What follows is a cautionary tale from the annals of email marketing that almost had a very unhappy ending.

It all started the Saturday before Easter. At 8:06 a.m., the following email hit my mail box. I should start by saying I am a Gold member of FTD, meaning that I pay an annual fee and get all my subsequent flower orders delivered with no service charge. Trust me when I tell you that once you eliminate the pesky service charge, you tend to send a lot of flowers to different people. So it makes you a pretty good customer. Anyway, this is the first email I received.

Due to the power of email marketing, as I looked at this email, it occurred to me that I should send my oldest daughter some flowers for Easter. She loves getting flowers, and besides I could “save 10% sitewide*”! I know, the asterisk immediately tells you there are some exclusions to that statement, but nevertheless, I clicked to the site, found an arrangement I liked, and placed the order. Like I always do, I then anxiously awaited the purchase confirmation email. I am one of those people who open and then save every purchase confirmation email. The one below promptly hit my inbox at 10:24 a.m. (I didn’t actually make the order until close to that time).

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