What To Do When You Make an Email Marketing Mistake

GrrIt’s going to happen. Yes, at some point, at some time, you are going to send out a mass marketing email and then as you sit back relishing in the euphoria of a job well done, deadline met, or maybe even feeling a touch of elation this is your “best one yet,” you click on your inbox to take one more look at the masterpiece you created and then you see it…

Ok. Take a breath. How bad is it really? A slight oops like a typo, incorrect or broken image, missing or bad link isn’t likely to cause any serious damage to your company’s reputation or make your subscribers angry.

The cat did itJust accept it. You’re human. Just do more due diligence next time and try not to repeat the mistake that was just made. No follow up email is necessary. Accept any “critique” that might come with a sheepish grin, bowed head and an “I know...,” or an “I know. Sorry… I was under-caffeinated...”, or the “cat did it.”

Was it a bit worse? Was a person misidentified in a photo or was the caption/info wrong for an image? Did the layout or format get all wonky after you sent it out? Still not too bad, so a follow- up email isn’t really justified. You can note or address the error in your next email or on your social media platform(s) if you feel it’s warranted.

man with hands on his faceWhat if it was worse? Wrong pricing for an item. Too much of a discount for an offer. Incorrect date or time for an upcoming event. Things like this can potentially have a negative effect on your company and need to be addressed quickly.

What to Do? The first thing is to be prompt! Once you notice the significant oops, you need to compile a “correction” email. Own up to the mistake. Most people can relate, as glitches and oops are part of our everyday lives. Be humorous if applicable. Apologize for any inconvenience that may have been caused to your recipients.

Be explicit about why they are receiving the follow-up email in the subject line.

Subject Lines like:  Correction! “Original Subject Line”
                                    Oops! “Original Subject Line”
                                    We Goofed! “Original Subject Line”

Whatever you write for a subject line, just make sure it is clear that the email is a follow-up/correction to the previous version.

Next, in your copy, make sure you clearly point out what the mistake was in the original and apologize for any inconvenience or misconception. A single apology is enough. Don’t grovel.

free coffeeWas it a really bad oops? Maybe the mistake wasn’t noticed right away, and the error did impact some of your recipients. Then you might consider throwing them a bone. If your company is product-based, offer a small freebie. Maybe you’re a service-based company? Offer an additional discount on services. Don’t fit into those or have a small list? Maybe a gift card for a free cup of coffee. While not necessary, anything along these lines can go a long way to retaining “loyalty” from your email recipients.

So yeah, it’s going to happen, but always be diligent in trying to prevent those oops from happening. Spell check. Read it out loud. Test your links. Have someone else review your draft. Send yourself and a co-worker a test version of the final before you start adding recipients. But know that when it does happen, you’ll recover. How well you recover is really how well you handle the situation. Be timely. Own up to the mistake. Fix it. Buy ‘em a cup of coffee.

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About The Blog

For over 20 years, the team at InDigiMar, Inc. have been helping Hampton Roads businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, and institutions of higher learning create successful marketing campaigns that reach their targeted audiences. IDM offers a full spectrum of digital marketing solutions including online inbound marketing, business strategy, website design and development, content generation, and more.

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