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Email Marketing Mishaps: Shutterfly’s Baby Blunder

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.

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office