Last week I saw a Groupon email with the subject line “Be Healthy.” (Yes, I know I should be past the whole “Groupon/Living Social/daily deals” fad, but lazy curiosity has prevented me from unsubscribing.) I enjoy being sporadically healthy, especially post-holidays, so I clicked on the email, expecting so see various deals for gym memberships, boot camps, healthy restaurants, organic groceries, all that jazz.
Instead, I was appalled to read the following (ghetto screenshot below):

In case you weren’t keeping track, the “healthy” deals were for body waxing, tanning, Botox, eyelash extensions, spa services, laser hair removal, spa facials, and hair cuts. Two of the services can arguably be detrimental to your health (tanning and Botox), and the others have more to do with beauty and aesthetics than actual personal health.

Now, this same list of deals and coupons could have been angled successfully if the subject line were different and if the category had been tweaked. Instead of “Be Healthy,” why not “Feel Beautiful”? Instead of “Health and Beauty,” how about creating two separate categories, one for “Health and Wellness” and the other one for “Beauty Services”?

I understand that January is the perfect time for companies to put a “healthy lifestyle” twist on their messaging because a lot of people feel guilty from indulging too much during the holidays and want to try and start the new year off with a renewed commitment to health. But if you’re going to jump on a particular bandwagon, you need to make sure your messaging is on point and relevant. Groupon is trying to capitalize on the “New Year Resolution” trend to be healthy and more active, but they missed the point entirely with their offerings. A more successful list of discounts would have included boot camp classes, gym membership discounts, yoga deals, athletic apparel coupons, smoothie deals, etc., not an invitation to fake bake and get toxins injected into your forehead.

Messaging is an important contributor to your company’s reputation. If you’re constantly missing the mark, people are going to think you don’t know your market well and will dismiss you. Timely content is important, but you have to make sure your content fits appropriately. Saying “Happy Halloween!” and offering a bunch of romantic Valentine’s Day-type stuff is irrelevant and confusing, and so is trying to repurpose salon deals and body waxing as a bonafide health benefit.

To me, this Groupon email is incredibly lazy and off-putting. As a consumer, I was interested in their health deals but offended at what they considered to be “healthy.” As a result, I consider the company less credible and question how much they actually care about their users if they’re sending us this crap and trying to market it as something else. That’s something you should definitely be mindful of, which is why it’s absolutely crucial to triple check your messaging to make sure it’s relevant and appropriate.