Dear Gemma…Johana? Ahh, sorry, Oana

50% off Applogies at FunkyPigeon
Last night I got a piece of e-mail marketing from a well known card and gifts online shop, FunkyPigeon.com. As every day I get loads of spam and newsletters advertising everything from credit cards to hotel deals, I only read the subject and then delete them. Funny enough, this time the e-mail was addressed to a ‘Dear Gemma’, which made me sigh and think to myself: “their marketing people must be so bad at what they do…trying to sell me stuff when they can’t even get may name right. Pff!”


Yet later that day, FunkyPigeon e-mailed again, apologising for mistaking my name! And in addition, they were offering 50% off on their cards and gifts to say sorry for getting it wrong.

Most people might see that as a lovely apologetic gesture, but I have grown over the years into quite a sceptic when it comes to corporate communications. That, and the fact that my mother’s birthday was in three days' time, led me to suspect the Pigeon of some shrewd marketing ploy. I think that in order to encourage sales, the company deliberately mistakes people’s names in their e-mail newsletters; then, as an apology, they offer a sizeable reduction. The timing also has to be right – sometime around a spouse’s or a friend’s birthday! There is no secret that retailers keep records on where and what you buy, and what times of the year you are most vulnerable to cards and chocolate hamper purchases!

You are probably wondering whether this intelligent marketing tactic worked on yours truly…I am ashamed to say that it did! Mom got a lovely card and gift (50% off)! But shhh…don’t tell anyone! I still want to keep my PR and marketing watchdog reputation intact.



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Oana Baetica - Technical PR consultant

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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