Email Marketing Mishaps: Shutterfly’s Baby Blunder


Last week, the photo printing company Shutterfly sent out a mass email congratulating customers on their new babies. The problem? The campaign went to “a large group” of their customers, not just the new parents. Though some simply found humor in situation, for others the mix-up hit close to home.

Shutterly quickly sent an apology email (as seen below), but their mishap has reminded us of several email marketing lessons on which we could all use a refresher.

Segment Your Lists

There are undoubtedly times when certain messages or promotions will only resonate with a portion of your newsletter subscribers. Segmenting your list and creating a series of categorized lists allows you to reach only those customers to which your campaign applies. A large company like Shutterfly has likely done this already and simply sent their eblast to too many lists, which brings us to our next point.

Triple Check Everything

Be sure to test your eblasts prior to sending them and triple check every piece of them, including:

  • Spelling and Grammar
  • Subject Lines
  • The “To” Lists
  • Links
  • The Send Date

If you find that there are a few issues you need to fix, correct them and then send another test. There’s nothing worse than thinking that you’d solved the problem only to find out that the edit didn’t save after the full blast is sent. Be sure to get others involved in the testing process as well. A second or third pair of eyes may catch something that you missed!

Apologize ASAP

We’re all human and mistakes, though not ideal, are understandable. If your company should have an email mishap, follow Shutterfly’s example and send an apology as soon as possible. Be sure to address any issues you may have caused your customers, physically or emotionally. Also let them know how you plan on avoiding these mix-ups in the future and how concerned customers can reach your team. Though some customers may hold a grudge, most will understand and truly appreciate the time you took to recognize the mistake and take actions to make amends.

That being said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take extra care each and every time you send an email marketing message to review even the smallest details to ensure that your eblasts are reaching the intended audience – only the intended audience – at the right time and without any errors.

Need help creating and managing your email marketing campaigns? Reach out for a consultation today. Our team of copy writers, designers and developers will work with you to put together creative and compelling messages your customers will love.

Email Marketing Mishaps: Shutterfly’s Baby Blunder
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Email Marketing Mishaps: Shutterfly’s Baby Blunder
Learn from Shutterfly's mistakes and ensure that your email marketing campaigns have the intended effect.

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