Many customers who never set up registries were puzzled by a message notifying them that a gift had been purchased from their baby registry.

An email from Inc. on Tuesday about non-existent baby registries had many customers scratching their heads.

The message, sent to select Amazon customers around 3:30 p.m. Central, read, “A gift is on its way. Someone great recently purchased a gift from your baby registry! You can visit your Thank You List to easily keep track of all gifts purchased.” The emails went out to  some customers who had set up a registry in the past, as well as some who had not.

Clicking on the link took some customers to a page with a 503 error message. A “technical glitch” caused the retailer to inadvertently send the message, according to an Amazon spokesperson. The spokesperson did not elaborate on what caused the glitch.

According to eDataSource, which tracks retailers’ email marketing campaigns, Amazon sent the message to 5.7 million consumers, and 38.5% of them opened it.

“This work contains more ways to screw up than people can possibly imagine,” says John Landsman, director of strategy and analytics for eDataSource. “It’s possible that some campaign production person created a campaign audience with a query that no one double checked, but any number of other glitches could have caused the error.”


After about six hours, Amazon sent another message to consumers, addressing them by name and saying, “We accidentally sent you an email from Amazon Baby Registry. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.”

Amazon sent the apology to the same number of customers, roughly 5.7 million, eDataSource says, and the message had a 30.8% read rate.

Many baffled customers who received the message took to Twitter to joke about it.

Others did not find it funny.