£50 Free Flowers Monthly Newsletter Winners – They DO Exist!

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We quite often get asked “So, does anyone ever win that free newsletter competition or is it just a fake?”.  The answers are “Yes, every month!” and “Absolutely not!”.  We typically send one “postcard” email and one full newsletter every month (Mother’s Day flowers edition going out tomorrow).  In the newsletter we announce the winner of that month’s free order up to the value of £50.  We think this is the right mix of driving business without being pushy (previous newsletters and postcards can be seen here).

Of course, some people aren’t subscribed to our newsletters so don’t ever get to see the winners . As a result, in future we’ll be putting the winner on the blog too.  But in the meantime, we thought we’d show all of our previous lucky newsletter winners.  So here we go:

May 2009 – Paul M from Coatbridge, Scotland

No picture received. Boo!

April 2009 – Kalsoom from Birmingham

“My first order with Arena Flowers was back in December for some Grand Prix roses for my partner’s birthday,” Kalsoom told us on learning of her win.
“He absolutely loved them, and surprisingly they are still standing – albeit dark and crinkly – two months on. It’s a fantastic service I recommend to anyone in the world.”

March 2009 – Pippa who lives in Antigua, West Indies

On being told of her win, Pippa tells us “I find the Arena flower service an excellent way of keeping in touch with my mother, who sadly had a stroke over ten years ago, and has not been able to speak since, so no chance of chats on the phone unfortunately. She loves flowers, and this is a wonderful way of brightening up her life.”

February 2009 – Doreen from Guernsey

January 2009 – Linda W from Leeds

December 2008 – Sharon from Plymouth

November 2008 – William A from Surrey

On being told of his win, William sent this message: “Arena Flowers provides a first-class service. Completely reliable, you always deliver that WOW factor with your amazing bouquets, and I’m a big fan of the easy-to-use web site too. Thank you, Arena Flowers!”

Oooh, you’ll make us, blush, William. Thanks for the great feedback. We appreciate it!

October 2008 – Andrew W from Surrey

September 2008 – Carlos M from Northumberland

No picture received. Boo!

August 2008 -Trish N from Sheffield

July 2008 – Melanie S from Haywards Heath

June, May & April 2008 – Kirsten L from Surrey, William N from Essex & Mark S from Worcestershire

Photo FAIL! Actually, this was our fault as we only picked winners really close to the deadline so no time to get a picture!

March 2008 – Jacqui M from Blackpool

February 2008, January 2008 & November 2007 – Siobhan M from Edinburgh, Kathleen from London & Michael B from Canada

No photo.  Sometimes customers don’t want to be in the newsletter, out of shyness…or maybe their partner might want to know who they’ve been sending flowers to! (NB not suggesting that that was the case with these two anonymous winners, but it does happen! Don’t worry, our lips are sealed!)

December 2007 – Mo from London

October 2007 – Philip O from oops, we forgot to ask.

Philip also apologised that he only had this rather serious work photo to hand!

September 2007 – Steve U from oops, we forgot to ask again!

August 2007 – Mark H from hmmm. Again we didn’t ask. Maybe we only started asking in December 2007

Mark was kind enough to write back as soon as the flowers were delivered, saying:

“The flowers you delivered to Alicia yesterday were simply breathtaking (Alicia’s own words) and so thank you once again for a fantastic job.”

Thanks, Mark!

July 2007 – Jennifer H

Jennifer said this: “I’m really thrilled to have won – all of the flowers I’ve ordered in the past have been absolutely fantastic, I’m just so excited that I actually won!   It’s my parents’ wedding anniversary next month and I was planning on ordering them some flowers anyway so it’s perfect timing too! My Mom really loves roses and gerberas so I’ll probably get something bright and cheery along those lines! Thanks again!

Thanks, Jennifer!

June 2007 – Claire D

April 2007 – Estanis M from London

March 2007 – Danuta R

January 2007 – Matt H

And finally, from our first ever newsletter, we had the following:

Christmas Winners
Every time we send a newsletter, one of our subscribers gets a free order worth up to £50. As it’s Christmas, we got a bit carried away and decided to choose three winners this time round, just for the fun of it. Congratulations to this month’s winners:

David W is sending his mother a Bright and Cheery bouquet and half a bottle of champagne for her birthday. Emma D is tempted by our Vincent de Valloire white wine to go with a Christmas arrangement. Stephanie H hasn’t decided what to send yet; maybe this email will help her choose!

So that’s the lot!  They really exist and they’re always very happy to win the prize.

If you want to sign up for the newsletter, click here (it’s free and there’s no obligation to buy).  You never know, you could be the next lucky winner; and if you’re not, you’ll just get exclusive discounts and other offers and news direct from Flowers HQ.  Right.  Enough of the sales talk.

Thanks for reading and thanks to all our winner for sending in their pictures!  Next stop: Mother’s Day!

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Going Red for the National Heart Month: Arena Flowers in Support of British Heart Foundation

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If you’ve missed Valentine’s Day and forgot to send flowers from our exclusive Valentine’s range, here’s another chance to heal hearts; by supporting British Heart Foundation’s “Red for Heart” Campaign. After all, February is not just a month of romantic messages, but also the National Heart Month.

Like last year, when we did the BHF Valentine’s Appeal, we are keen on giving our customers an opportunity to support BHF, the nation’s heart charity, dedicated to saving lives through pioneering research, patient care, campaigning for change and by providing vital information.

Every year, approximately 200, 000 lives are lost to heart and circulatory diseases. BHF is aiming to raise funds to prevent lives being devastated from heart diseases and relies entirely on charity to make a difference to people’s lives.

You have a couple of days more to go red this month and show your support for the British Heart Foundation’s Red for Heart Campaign by visiting here. They have plenty of information on how you could go red and help them fight heart diseases.

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Pictures For A Postcard II – Valentine’s At Flowers HQ

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It’s nearly a week since Valentine’s Day and like previous years, this year too was manic with customers rushing to send flowers to their loved ones. Despite all the economic gloom and the discomforting worries about how we would compare our sales to previous years, sales were surprisingly strong adding to the notion that love conquers everything. It seems like the Cupid’s arrows were right on target and fortunately for us, we were well equipped to counter the minor irritants such as combating fraudulent orders, managing an external fleet of drivers & couriers, and responding to customer queries and concerns to ensure that flowers were delivered to recipients on time. Without delving too deep into numbers, we can assure you that there were many more happy hearts receiving flowers sent from Arena Flowers Valentine’s range.

Last year, post Valentine, we had showcased behind the scenes activities of the hardworking team of flower fanatics at the Flowers HQ, but thanks to the new micro-blogging / social networking phenomenon called Twitter, everything was posted in real time this year. It was definitely fun posting pictures from phones when loading flowers to the delivery vans and driving to deliver them. Anyway, to cut the story short, for all those who didn’t follow us on Twitter, here’s a photoblog of the team, flowers, vans, and more…republished from what was posted on Arena Flowers Twitter Account.

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In the beginning there was love…and balloons

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Our very own Willy Wonka…Bill Keeling, MD, Prestat Chocolates, our exclusive chocolates partner

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David and Goliath getting ready for the Valentine duel…Arena Flowers Delivery Van -Vs- our delivery partner’s truck

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The Arena love machine kicks in, but let us not forget those with a birthday.

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Love is in the air. Roughly 8’6” in the air.

arena-flowers-prestat

Blast from the past – From I Love You Balloons to Heart of Chocolates

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The One – The flower arrangement we mean…

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And love is all around us…

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Fraud Ninjas…

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Men (& Women) at work…The Arena Flowers Assembly Line

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Fighting Fraud With Apples

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Trailer Attack at the Flowers HQ

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Nick and the Boxes of Love

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Be My Valentine – Will & his Co-Pilot

That’ll be all unfortunately, although we have plenty more on our Twitter account. If you liked our team and our flowers, please feel free to read our previous Valentine’s day post here. In case you are already on Twitter, and have been unaware about our Twitter account, please follow Arena Flowers here.

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8 Tips For A Credit Crunch Valentine's Flower Delivery

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The big day is just round the corner and, given the “interesting” economic environment we find ourselves in, we thought we’d share a few top tips to help Valentine’s Day lovers get the most out of their money and avoid some obvious pitfalls.

  1. What does she actually want? A survey by a US florist found that 76% of women didn’t want red roses for Valentine’s Day.  The favoured option was a mixed bouquet, apparently.

    If only Rock Hudson had known...

  2. Make her look good – send flowers to her at work: Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this year.  That’s handy for us flower people (less traffic for our drivers) and for couples (as they can spend the whole day together).  On the other hand, part of the the fun of sending Valentine’s flowers is the girl (or boy!) receiving them at their workplace and being the envy of their colleagues.  There are definitely brownie points to be won with a lucky Friday 13th workplace delivery.
  3. Save money part 1 – Avoid red flowers: Prices for all red flowers jump for Valentine’s, irrespective of the flower variety.  Pink flowers’ prices also go up, but not by nearly as much.  Other colours are far more reasonable – a white rose bouquet, for instance, symbolises young love so is entirely appropriate to send on Valentine’s and our mass of white roses is far more affordable than the mass of red roses.
  4. Flowers don't have to be red to be sexy...Be fun – laughter is the best aphrodisiac: Add a photo in our checkout and we’ll print it and send it with your flowers.  You can also record a funny / romantic Valentine’s video message to send to the object of your desire.   Lots of people make their flower deliveries more personal using these low cost but high impact options. After all, they’re trying to outdo the other suitors who are probably just sending champagne, chocolates, balloons, teddies or maybe an “I Love You” card (you can send all such gifts with Arena too, of course).
  5. All red roses are not created equal: Our red roses are, frankly, better than 99% of red roses out there. Not boasting, just being honest really.  They are long-stemmed, Grand Prix red roses. They come from one of the top three rose growers in Holland.  They’re not the cheapest.  But they are very very good.  We totally understand that some people don’t want to spend that much on roses, hence suggesting alternative Valentine’s flowers (see next tip) and gifts. But, if you absolutely, positively must have red roses, then ours are the best. We’ve bought a lot fewer this year (60% less than last year) and we agreed a deal way in advance in order to get a great price.  When the stems we’ve bought run out, they’ve run out.  That’s it.  We aren’t going to buy any more.  We expect our red roses to have sold out by by the 11th or 12th Feb after which time, we’ll only be selling other varieties of flowers. Beware cheap roses - average vase life of 3-4 days
  6. Save money part 2 – Avoid roses altogether: Red roses prices go through the roof for Valentine’s, with the price of a red rose stem often increasing by 500%.  Whilst other varieties also rise at this time, you will get a far better deal if you buy an arrangement featuring a different variety, such as a pink lily bouquet or a 100 tulips bouquet (100 tulips for less than 24 red roses makes a lot of economic sense, plus the tulips will grow in the vase and create an amazing effect over the following days).  Alternatively, keep the number of red roses in the arrangement low, as in our Valentine’s The One.
  7. You get what you pay for, so be careful: “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”  If you buy supermarket flowers, you’ll get supermarket flowers.  If one of our competitors sends you an offer for a dozen red roses for £20 including delivery (which some are doing), then read the small print.  They probably won’t guarantee the day of delivery (not ideal for Valentine’s!) and the rose heads are likely to be the size of a half-eaten M&M.  There are lots of other marketing ploys out there plus the big relay companies charge hefty commissions too.  We avoid any of that rubbish and just focus on doing a great job and saving costs for customers wherever we can.

    Small flowers are only suitable for small mammals...

  8. Wow her in the kitchen: Our friends over at Jamie Oliver’s site have put up loads of good ideas for Valentine’s meals and home cooking and thoughts on how to get round credit crunchiness.  We suspect turkey twizzlers won’t be on the menu though. Or, if you like being all web 2.0 and user-generated, you might want to head over to MyDish.co.uk, a friendly site for food ideas and recipes (you could even win some Arena Flowers there).
  9. Bonus 9th tip – Send a hint: If you’re expecting flowers or gifts from someone and don’t want them to send you the usual rubbish, then send them a hint.  There’s a “Send a Hint” button on every product page which allows you to send a snazzy email with a picture of the flowers you want plus your message. You can choose to send the hint anonymously or add your name.  If do send anonymously, be prepared for a nasty surprise – your partner might send the flowers to their other girlfriend/boyfriend!

Hope some of that was helpful and or interesting.  Now it’s up to us to get down to work and get ready for the big day.  It’s going to be unbeliveably busy – here are some pics of Flowers HQ at Valentine’s 2008.  We’ll add some more pics once the big day has been and gone!  Hope Valentine’s goes well for you!

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A Valentine's Arena Wedding Flowers Roadshow

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The Arena Weddings stand at the Think Pink Wedding ShowThe Arena Weddings arm of Arena Flowers has been around for just over a year now, and what a better way to celebrate our first twelve months than to take some examples of our beautiful fresh wedding flowers on the road.

The enquiry from Marika, organiser of the Think Pink Wedding Show came late in the day last week to see whether Arena Flowers may be interested in exhibiting last minute. Apparently, a couple of other London florists had let her down at the eleventh hour, and the show was left conspicuously missing wedding flowers from the burgeoning list of exhibitors for the show in Raynes Park, south west London.

Andre putting the final touches to the Sweet Avalanche bridal bouquet

Our florists were more than happy to rise to the challenge, and Judith got her thinking cap on while I started knocking together some promotional literature. With the flowers arriving freshly picked from Holland very early Saturday morning; our wedding florists Judith, Andrzej and Paulina got to work at the crack of dawn to create not one but four beautiful wedding bouquets for the show, as well as three coordinating buttonholes, two table arrangements and a gorgeous cascading tall vase display.

Pawlina and Judith in the final (bouquet) throws...

Once completed, the next challenge was to very carefully pack the wedding flowers so they weren’t damaged in delivery. With two drivers and an anxious florist overseeing the operation, it was a real eye-opener to see that as much care and strategic planning go into the delivery as do with the actual creation of wedding flowers!

Richard and Jacek carefully pack the wedding flowers for transit

Leaving just after 9am, it was straight to Raynes Park in the van with our rather lovely driver Jacek who put up with me in the passenger seat as I tried to prepare best I could for the unknown! On the way through Barnes I spotted a heron stalking the Barn Elms football pitches, just a few feet from the busy thoroughfare – wasn’t expecting that…but it kind of reminded me of my mission – a lone stalker, drawing in those brides to my lair of sumptuous wedding flowers!

Met with a huge bottleneck queue of cars and vans outside the venue, we made the decision to quit the extraordinary wait and frantically carry our booty the final 100 yards, heave them up the vast stairs (no lift!!!) and set up our pitch for the day with just an hour to spare before the doors opened to the public.

The Arena Flowers stand at the Think Pink Wedding Show

As soon as the show started, the event was packed with excited brides-to-be, mums, fiancées, bridesmaids and other womenfolk eagerly sourcing wedding garb and accoutrements from start to finish. Located right next to the entertainment, we found ourselves in a prime spot and, although a little deafened by the steel band (!!), the Arena Weddings stand was kept populated by interested parties and potential clients throughout the day. There was also the odd glass of plonk to entice visitors to my side of the ‘pond’…later polished off by me and a few other dry-of-mouth wedding suppliers located nearby.

The event seemed to go quickly and I was particularly pleased with the interest our wedding flowers arrangements generated, especially as this was pretty much new territory for us and a few miles out from the comfort zone of Flowers HQ! With online enquiries already coming in off the back of our first event, I am confident that we may be returning to the London Wedding Show circuit again soon – but perhaps with a bit more advance notice next time!

Interestingly, there were two common questions asked by visitors to the show: ‘Are they real flowers?’ and ‘How can I keep my wedding flowers budget down?’. To answer the first question, yes – all our flowers are real (maybe some of our flowers look just too perfect!), fresh and – wherever possible – ethically sourced. As regards budgeting for your wedding flowers, that’s for my next blog post – coming soon!

Designer wedding flowers for a designer bride!The wedding flowers on display at the Think Pink Wedding show last Saturday were: Amnesia roses, Cool water roses, Schwarzwalder calla lilies bridal bouquet (from £65), guest table arrangement (from £50) and buttonhole (from £7.50); Cool water roses, Limbo roses, Sea holly / thistles bridal bouquet (from £65); Sweet Avalanche and Sea holly bridal bouquet (from £65) and buttonhole (£7.50); Orchid cascade bridal bouquet (from £120), vase arrangement (from £26) and buttonhole (£7.50); and large mixed vase display including while lilies, pink mini gerberas, sea holly, sweet avalanche roses, limbo roses, carnations, and completed with soft ruscus and bear grass (from £80 plus vase hire).

Click here for a quick movie of the Arena Flowers stand at the Think Pink Wedding Show

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to check out our recent blog post on Winter Wedding Flowers, or learn more about our team of dedicated Wedding Florists or perhaps see how Arena Weddings began, with Jackie’s original blog post!

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