Thanks to feedback from their customers, the team at Bloom & Wild discovered that they could make a truly impactful product change without the need for complicated features. All they had to do was listen.
Bloom & Wild launched as an online florist in the UK in 2013. We use an innovative format, so that flowers can be posted through a letterbox and delivered even when the recipient is out. As we try to disrupt and improve the flower delivery industry, we always put technology at the heart of what we do.
In the UK, Mother’s Day is the biggest flower gifting occasion of the year, so we put a lot of effort into making sure that our customers can make their mothers happy on this special day. But Mother’s Day isn’t a happy day for everyone. It can be a difficult time, particularly for those who may have lost their mother or a child, or who have a difficult relationship with them.
We heard this from our customers and we knew we could be more thoughtful in our marketing. Guided by our values of ‘Care’ and ‘Customer First’, we decided to make some changes and were surprised and overwhelmed by the response to the changes we made.
During our Mother’s Day retro two years ago our Customer Delight team reported that some of our customers had told them that it was very hard to be exposed to Mother’s Day marketing. Their workaround was to unsubscribe customers from emails and then add them back after Mother’s Day was over.
We thought we could find a better way of dealing with the problem. So in planning for Mother’s Day 2019, our Retention Marketing team decided to invite customers to opt-out of Mother’s Day emails and instead receive more generic emails containing the same offers.
We often run competitions and giveaways for our customers and so have a page that we use to collect names, addresses and permission to contact. All this information is then saved into our database. Working with one of our developers we were able to adapt this page to create a form with hidden fields where we could add their user_id from the link in their email and a single button to opt-out of marketing. This was then used to pass into our CRM tool and opt them out.
It only took a couple of days, technically it wasn’t that complicated and made use of our existing tools – but it had a huge impact for many of our customers.
After choosing to opt-out, we then excluded customers from receiving all emails with any mention of Mother’s Day whilst still receiving content and offers from Bloom & Wild.
We sent out the Mother’s Day opt-out on the first Sunday in March and were totally blown away by the response. Almost 18,000 customers opted-out and over 1,500 customers responded to us about the campaign via email, phone, Twitter and Instagram – many emailing to thank us for the consideration and thoughtfulness we’d shown. In fact, the response so exceeded our expectations that many of the team jumped onto Zendesk on the Sunday and the following Monday to respond to all our customers.
Mark Warman MP even spoke about it in Parliament, using Bloom & Wild as an example to challenge more businesses to think about the way they speak to their customers around sensitive occasions.
We’ve also started to see the impact of this change ripple out to other brands. M&S, Hotel Chocolat and Papier have followed our lead in marketing more thoughtfully and offering customers the opportunity to opt-out of Mother’s Day marketing.
Our Mother’s Day opt-out showed us the importance of using the company values as a lens for our product roadmaps and the power of considering our customers. It’s important to remember that when your customers make the effort to get in touch with a problem, they’re likely to be the voice of a much larger pool of people suffering silently.
We did it because it was the right thing to do, not because it scored highly on a prioritisation matrix. It also showed us that the most impactful product changes often aren’t those that require complicated features – just a really clear view on helping customers.
We’ve since offered our customers the opportunity to opt-out of Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day emails – and this year we’ve gone a step further and given customers the ability to opt-out of a core part of our product by hiding all Mother’s Day products, navigation items, merchandising, and even gift cards from view on the website. We’ve seen how much impact these changes had for our customers and so we’ve now partnered with other businesses to form the Thoughtful Marketing Movement to share our playbook.