When you make an offer either online or through an email campaign, is what you wrote clear enough for your readers to understand?Wine being poured with cheese plate

Full disclaimer: I’m a huge fan of Total Wine & More. I like browsing through the store, finding interesting wines and related gadgets, talking to the staff and getting their recommendations.

Though I don’t care for beer, Jerry does—and he likes to try new craft beers. So when I got an email from Total Wine with the subject line “Fall Beer Has Arrived,” I didn’t look past the headline, I just forwarded it to Jerry with a note asking if he wanted to schedule a shopping trip.

He replied that he did, adding:

And according to this ad, if we shop online and pick up in the store, it’s free.


I took a closer look at the email and saw this:

Total Wine shop online pick up freeSomehow I doubt that Total Wine is giving away fall beer (or anything else) if you order it online and go to the store to pick it up. I think what they meant to say is that you can shop online, pick up in the store and avoid paying shipping or delivery charges. But that’s a guess.

The Lesson

Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to a misunderstanding that could cost you a customer or possibly escalate into a public relations nightmare. Be sure the language of your offers is clear and says what you intended.

Do you have some funny accidental offer stories? Please share by leaving a comment below!

Jacquelyn Lynn
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Total Wine shop online pick up free