Countdown to Mother’s day: Weird messaging

I’ve received about 70 emails specifically about Mother’s day (in this account) since April 7 (maybe more, I dunno. They all blur together.). Some of the emails have been helpful, some have been overkill, and some have been flat-out weird. Here are the weirdest.


I realize that Mother’s day is a pretty big deal for flower companies. Flowers are probably the easiest/most obvious Mother’s day gift there is. And flowers can get pricey, so it totally makes sense that frequent discounts are a great way to market them. That doesn’t make it okay for them to violate CAN-SPAM. But even before the broken unsubscribe link incident, some of their Mother’s day messaging was already on my list for this post.

First, they’ve been playing around with different from names/icons in from names. Okay, fine. But as someone who hasn’t purchased from you yet, this can be confusing. Why are you calling me a VIP? What, exactly, makes ME a “great customer”? If I’m a great customer (me, someone who doesn’t order flowers from you and instead writes cranky blog posts), I’m a little concerned about the stability of your business.

proflowers from name

Here are some of their recent subject lines from the last few weeks:

  • 4/24: LAST CHANCE! Prices go up for Mother’s Day Tomorrow – Get The Best Deal on Mom’s Bouquet: Save up to 44%
  • 4/26: Thanks for being a great customer. Here’s up to 52% off Mother’s Day bouquets
  • 4/28: 57% off. ProFlowers tested, Mother’s Day approved
  • 4/29: ✿ Stunning bouquets for Mom, from $19.99!
  • 4/30: You only have ➊ week left to Avoid Rush Delivery Rates. Don’t wait!
  • 5/1: URGENT: Last Chance for a $19.99 Special for Mother’s Day!
  • 5/2: Get 61% off this Mother’s Day Email Exclusive. Through This Weekend Only!
  • 5/2: Oops! We fixed our links. Please accept an Extra 25% off for any inconvenience!
    (That one may have been a direct result of an interaction I had with them on Twitter….)
  • 5/3: Don’t Forget Mom! Save 54% and Avoid Rush Delivery Rates
  • 5/4: Only 3 Days Left to Avoid Rush Delivery Rates and Save 52%
  • 5/5: Use Your $20 Mother’s Day Credit…

I wonder if their copywriter’s mother ever read him/her “The Boy who Cried Wolf.”

It’s hard to take any of these extremely urgent subject lines seriously, especially since they’ve already shown a pattern of offering increasingly better discounts. The $20 credit seems like the best deal so far. They have a minimum purchase price of $29.99 (so that $19.99 special from 4/29? It’s an upselling trick to get you to add on chocolates and a colorful vase), but if the $20 credit counts toward that, it might actually be worth ordering some flowers. Maybe I will.  (Does that mean their emails worked, or does it mean I’m just curious to see what kind of messaging they’ll send next year since they’d have some info about me and who I might send flowers? I’ll just say it’s the latter.).



I hope you’re not buying anything more than a card as a Mother’s day gift from Walgreen’s, but if you are, they have some interesting suggestions. The subject line is probably something most people can relate to – Hey, I ❤ Mom too! Maybe this email will have something relevant to that.

Let me just stress that while I did my weird campy spliced screenshot method, this is the full email. I didn’t accidentally forget to take a screenshot of the copy explaining that fragrances might be a good gift idea for Mom. I didn’t cut out any kind of sub-head that might have said, “Okay, now we’re moving on to feature other products we also sell. Don’t buy Rogaine for your mom for Mother’s day.” Nope, the full email is right here for your viewing pleasure.

Subject line: We ♥ Mom15% OFF ALL Fragrances + Other Deals | 20OFF Contacts


walgreens2_05052014 walgreens3_05052014 walgreens5_05052014 walgreens6_05052014

But seriously – don’t buy your mom Rogaine for Mother’s day.


2 thoughts on “Countdown to Mother’s day: Weird messaging

  1. The subject line of these emails annoys me the most I think. It screams “spam, spam!” I hate the fake sense of urgency, bad typo and the fake uniqueness.

    Or maybe I’m cranky too.

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