How do you recover from a mistake in an email blast?
In the midst of all the anticipation and rush to send out our first monthly newsletter, we left out a very important piece of information! I understand this happens, but since it's our first newsletter I don't want this mistake to set the tone for my (still growing) interior design company. The email blast went out to over a 100 of our clients. Should the mistake be addressed right away or in the next monthly newsletter?
Mistakes happen. I've got an editor's eye, so I can identify mistakes in email blasts at record time (and I of course judge the company for a split second, but then completely forget about it later on). However, we have all typed on a keyboard before and we know that typos happen, word confusion happens, and sometimes, autocorrect happens. As everyone has been previously commented, simply own it. But perhaps consider an extended review process before you shoot emails out. Always get a second (even a third) look.
Rule of all businesses small to large. Always address mis-steps and mistakes swiftly, politely, with sincerely and offer up a promotional item or discount.. That demonstrates professionalism, as well as conveying that you value the business and time of your customer base.
As you monitor metrics and contact people who open the email, or as you engage them mention it. I wouldn't recommend a re-blast for one omission, or you risk being perceived as a spammer. Especially since you plan to send another in a month.
Make a graceful comeback with either humor (that acknowledges the mistake) or with a sincere, genuine apology (like with the Shutterfly e-mail debacle of 2014).
I agree with one of the answers below, in past experience we sent a large email blast for a sale and the marketing prime entered the wrong start / finish date.
We followed up within a few hours with an "Oops...we made a mistake" our normal open rates for a sales based email was around a very good 18 - 22%, this email 41% click thru never declined and had a small increase (minor) but no decline was important.
I think generally people love reading the mistake and seeing if the mistake is beneficial to them, for example a 50% discount email, which should have been a 5% discount email coupon. So ask yourself do you want the mistake email read and actioned, this needs to factor into the decision.
It depends on the type and magnitude of the error. Newspapers frequently have to post corrections, if not actually retract portions of articles. I, for one, often get "corrective" emails.
Without knowing the details, it's hard to offer specific advice. I would "Reply all" and write a subject line, "Correction (or Update or Addendum) to (original subject line)." In the new message, I would write the necessary text, followed by something like, "Pardon our error!" or "Sorry we missed this!"
People tend to appreciate humility!
What was the mistake? How will this 'very important' information impact the subscribers and your business? How often will you be sending out an newsletter?
Since you are asking this question now and the initial has been sent out, I believe it is too late to send a correction. Corrections are sent out all the time but they are done within minutes or hours not days later.
This issue is why it is recommended to send your email to a very small group of people who reviews the email before it is sent out the the list.
If your system allows retraction from server, do that. Then, resend with simple apology for excluding important information. Timeliness is important
According to your clients feedback , try to aviod your next newsletter next month indirec way so that it won"t look so important .
In the subject bar write the word addendum and if possible try to add some kind of humorous slant to the situation. People are human and find these situations quite relatable.
I would address it right away. With and explaination like in our haste to share information with you we missed a very important piece. We want to make sure you have all of the information we intend to share so here's an update. I think's best to be honest and open some might judge but others will respect you for being honest.
I did a youtube video about this exact topic about 6 months back. 5 minutes long. http://youtu.be/6Mbgb63edrY
Danielle, depends on the content of the important piece of information. If the content of this information may have an impact on revenues short term than the corrective newsletter should be amended soon otherwise wait another month for it.
With humility and a sense of humor. Self deprecate in the subject and be honest. We've all done it or something like it but 2nd shots don't get opened so play up your mistake so it gets acknowledged. People love to forgive...if it's not urgent info play it up in a box in the next newsletter.
i would send after a week a new message with more information and at the end - ask to pay attention about the mistake.
I feel it should be sent out right away as an addendum.
Great question, Danielle. In reality the answer will depend on the nature of the mistake and the audience. For instance one of the companies I work with omitted a crucial hyperlink in a mail shot. Clearly it was essential in this case to correct the error ASAP. My suggestion was to address the error full-on. A new email was sent out with a subject line that read "oops we made a mistake" and with the correct hyperlink. Interestingly, the corrected version received 25% more opens than the original as well as an impressive click thru rate! In this case, as you're referring to a newsletter:-
- if the information left out is absolutely business critical, action dependent or brand damaging, then address it ASAP with a resend (along the lines of the above)
- if it is simply time critical information, then use social media or your website news to convey the message today
Happy to assist further if you require more in depth assistance?
Best Regards, Jon
Damage control is a part of the learning process. Without knowing if you miswrote, omitted information, or presented an opportunity unclearly it's hard to know the best next step. However, being accountable and being honest is always the best policy for long term success. And, because it was with current clients you probably have less long term effects than if you were dealing with prospects. The good news is that not everyone is even aware of your mistake because of open rates, etc. in email. I would definitely make reference to the error in your next email, and how you do it will depend on your business style (humor, just the facts, etc.). Don't worry too much, you're going to be a lot harder on yourself than your clients will. To your SWEET success.
Readdress it right away! Send out an "Oops!" I would have more respect for a company that admits to their mistakes rather than the company that pretends like it never happened.