The ProFlowers Personalization Fail

Nov 20, 2013 2:20 PM  By

This morning, my wife asked me if I got the email she forwarded me from ProFlowers. I know she doesn’t like to receive flowers (this is a documented fact, not a cop out excuse by a husband), so I was figuring maybe she wanted me to order a gift for someone.

Then I saw the subject line. ProFlowers wanted my wife to buy my mother a gift:

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Nice idea. But does ProFlowers have an arrangement suitable for a cemetery? My mom died six months ago. Technically, yes, if there is an afterlife, my wife could order flowers for my mom and, yes, that could make her smile from Heaven.

I can laugh about it, so can my wife. I hope recipients with similarly haunting requests can shrug off these types of subject lines, too.

Also this morning, I just happened to read an article called “10 things to avoid using in your email subject lines” on Econsultancy.com. Personalization is one of the 10 things the author suggests marketers avoid.

My wife has used ProFlowers to order gifts for my mom, and we’re guessing that’s why her name appeared in the subject line. My wife has received similar emails with her grandmother’s name in the subject line. She died in 2009.

I guess you can say my wife should have just gone into her ProFlowers address book and removed my mother’s information – and her grandmother’s, too. But anyone who has lost a family member knows how hard it is to delete their names from anything.

Or maybe ProFlowers can get a little less personal.