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What if you could email a hug?

Email is sometimes looked upon as an impersonal evil, but it seems impersonal because of the way most people use it.

I hope this discussion gives you an idea to improve your business’ email.

Not long ago, I sent a live plant to a memorial service over 2000 miles away.

I spoke with a very friendly and helpful lady on the phone when I placed my order. She made suggestions about what fit my needs based on what I told her and what they had in stock. Before it was all done, I’d ordered just what I wanted and I knew that the person on the other end would take care of sending just the right plant.

How’d that happen?

I never use a toll-free national floral delivery number. Instead, I look for the closest florists to the destination address and then check out their reviews until I find one that stands out. Once I’ve chosen a florist, I call them directly. As a result, I get the same local service I’d get if I walked in the front door and the local florist doesn’t have to pay a commission.

Last time I used this technique, I reached a florist at 12:30pm on a Saturday. On Saturday, they close at 2pm. Despite a 30 minute drive to the destination, they still made a great arrangement and got it delivered that day. Without complaint, without an extra charge, and the entire process was handled with classic Southern charm and courtesy.


Email can seem impersonal perhaps because we get a little lazy, or maybe just because we don’t think about it with the same care that we do other things. Even if we do it right…is it possible to make it a bit more personal?


Here’s a redacted copy of the delivery notification email I received:

I have no complaints about it. In fact, I rarely receive notification emails from local florists, so this is a nice plus to add to the service I received while on the phone.

But…it could have been better. So how to we make it more personal?


How about this?

Dear Mark,

After looking closely at the blooming plants we have in stock, I’ve selected
a fresh (plant common name) and arranged it in a nice basket that complements it.

I took a photo of your (plant common name) and the card before packing them for delivery:

Here’s the card:

Chuck, our afternoon driver, just sent me a message to say he has personally delivered your plant. He also delivered a small envelope of our custom-blended plant food with a card explaining the care and feeding of the (plant common name).

If you’d like to discuss your order or the plant I selected, please call toll-free at 800.yyy.xxxx and ask for me (Dorothy). If you prefer email, just click reply. Both our customer service department and I will receive your email. I will answer your email unless your question or comment is related to your payment.

I hope you’re pleased with the plant I selected and that you’ll keep us in mind the next time you’d like to brighten someone’s day here in (city). If you like, you’re welcome to request that I select your next floral arrangement or plant.

Thank you for supporting my family,

Dorothy Lastname
Certified Floral Artist since 1982
(florist business)
(store phone)
(store URL)

PS: Your order number is 0387xxxx and was delivered at 1:56 p.m.

Please fill out our quick online survey by following
this link and be entered to win a $50 gift card.
(survey url)


What would you change?

Does it make sense for your business to email a hug?

One reply on “What if you could email a hug?”

The Best Small Business Marketing News & Blog Posts of the Week — June 15, 2012 – DIYSEOsays:

[…] that, head to Rescue Marketing’s blog, where you’ll find the brilliantly written “What If You Could Email a Hug?” In it, you’ll find a brilliant example of how emails could be oh-so-much […]

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