Put a date in your diary with Arena Calendar Reminders

I like gadgets and as such love our Arena ‘toys’.  As the subject for this post is centered around our latest toy I have been charged with telling the story.Arena Flowers Calendar Reminders

Something that I think I should clarify at this juncture is the definition of a ‘toy’.  We are a florist not a toy shop so by toys I mean something that is a fun addition to our flowers and which in particular makes use of the cool possibilities that the Internet has to offer.  Here at Flowers HQ we strive to be at the cutting edge in everything we do and to maintain that position we feel it is important to be as innovative as possible with the user experience.

To date this strategy has meant that we have built many fun (but useful) accessories that are used on and off our site every day.  These “toys” allow our customers to format the way their message appears on the message card and to include a glossy photo or video message to send to the recipient.  Customers are notified by text for free as soon as their order has been delivered.  Visitors who don’t want to send real flowers can send virtual flowers using another fun toy we’ve built, our free Facebook “Flowers & Fun” application.  And if you want someone to send flowers to you, you can “send a hint” from the product page (anonymously or not, the choice is yours!).

And so to our latest toy…

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Mothering Flowers for those Mother's Day Sundays

We’ve been a little quiet on the blog front this past few weeks – call it a little blog break while we recovered from the excitement of serving sumptuous fresh flowers to the nation’s romantics on Valentine’s Day, then just a few weeks later, creating the perfect Mother’s Day bouquet arrangements for mums, grandmas and godmothers across the UK.

But it doesn’t stop there, it is actually only Great Britain, Ireland and Nigeria that celebrate Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday of lent and, in fact, most of our international cousins consider May to be the month of Mothering Sundays with the most popular date falling on the second Sunday of May.

It is generally believed that Mother’s Day is celebrated internationally around the world on a variety of days through the year because the event has a number of different origins. For instance, in Iran the day originally commemorated the birthday of Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter. In Canada, Mother’s Day was introduced in the mid-19th century as a call to unite women against war.

Perhaps one for the mothers of Canada?!

With our burgeoning portfolio of European ventures in the guise of Arena Bloemen (Netherlands), Arena Blumen (Germany), and Arena Bloemen Belgium, as well as our international flower delivery service, our development team now consider Arena mums all year round, not just for Mother’s Day.

To help them, and you, here’s a comprehensive list of the countries we serve, and their respective Mother’s Days for the next twelve months…

May 3rd: Hungary, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain.

May 8th: South Korea (Parents’ Day)

May 10th: USA, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Italy, India, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Leichtenstein, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Switzerland, Trinidad, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.

May 15th: Paraguay.

May 26th: Poland (“Dzień Matki”).

May 27th: Bolivia.

May 30th: Nicaragua.

May 31st: Dominican Republic, France, Mauritius, Morocco, Sweden, Tunisia.

June 14th: Luxembourg.

June 28th: Kenya.

August 12th: Thailand.

August 15th: Antwerp Province (Belgium), Costa Rica.

October 12th: Malawi.

October 14th: Belarus.

October 18th: Argentina.

December 8th: Panama.

December 22nd: Indonesia.

Between 30th January – 1st March: Israel.

February 2nd: Greece.

February 14th: Norway.

March 8th: Armenia. Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine.

March 14th: UK, Ireland.

March 21st: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

March 25th: Slovenia.

April 7th: Armenia.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to know more about Mother’s Day, check out Will’s rather excellent blog post on the moon’s influence on when we celebrate Mother’s Day in the UK.

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

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!

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

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.

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

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.

arena-flowers-love-in-the-air

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

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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.