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?
You own it. Mistakes happen, so if the information is that important you can handle it two ways: 1) Send out another email blast apologizing for the omission and include the correct information; or 2) Update the newsletter, include the important information and say "Updated version, Revised Edition" or something like that in your email subject line. Best wishes, Danielle.
Step up immediately and own it. Write a VERY short followup email detailing the error and move on. Don't harp on it.
If you mistake is unnoticeable by your readers, then I would probably wait until the next newsletter to send it out. You can also send it out as part of your weekly email campaign, or you can choose to send it a day or two later. It really does depend on what you are trying to say and what it would sound like to send it out later.
You can always address your mistake in the headline or intro paragraph of your email if you can offer something of value to your clients and turn it into a promotion of some sort.
Either way, I would always send a test email to myself before sending any email out to my audience. Many times, reading the final version of your message can help to find any errors in your content before you send it out to your readers.
Ask yourself; is the information you omitted more important to your business or your newsletter’s recipients?
Will it categorically ‘set the tone’ for your business in the foreseeable future, or are you overreacting?
What you need to do and when is dependent solely on the significance of your error.
If you have circulated your wrong telephone number, fix it immediately.
If it’s just a couple of typos in the 5th paragraphs or misspelling of a client’s name in a photo caption, you may never need to do anything to increase peoples’ awareness of it.
If you are worried (and you obviously are), call a few recipients and ask them if they noticed any glaring omissions, and if so what they think it might have been. You will soon gain a realistic perspective on whether any remedial activity is justified.
I agree with most other respondents. It really depends on the severity of the omission, how noticeable it is, and how important it is to the recipients.
If you do decide to follow up immediately, you could consider including something of additional value to the recipients - a free consultation to the first x responders, a discount or similar. This may not fit your business and your brand - you certainly wouldn't want to de-value your service - but I see this tactic used a lot in b2c by way of an apology for mistakes.
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
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.
If it is so minor that nobody will notice it, you can ignore it. If it is noticeable, just send out another email saying you made a mistake and you apologize. We're all human and we all make mistakes. Showing you are human can help to create a stronger relationship between you and your email readers.
People who are in our business spend a lot of time worrying about making everything perfect and thinking that god is in the details, but some times you have to sit back and breathe - The sky didn't fall in. As designers, we tend to take ourselves a little too seriously sometimes, whenever stuff like this happens just remember - there are worse things to worry about. The world will keep on turning despite the little mistakes we fret over everyday.
The trick is to plan properly and not have to rush for deadlines. Start working on your newsletter a month in advance, that way you can make updates to it easily and avoid little pratfalls. But just keep in mind, what you're real priorities are.
I'd suggest waiting until the next monthly newsletter, unless the mistake impacts your relationship with clients. If that's the case, send out an apology and be transparent about the mistake.
I would say it depends on how important the information was. If it's really important to come out now, you could send a follow-up message ...if you're not losing any time by waiting a month you could put it in the next one, but point out that it didn't make the previous newsletter.
If your "very important piece of information" can wait until next month's newsletter - then it really can't be "very important". If can wait, fine another way to distribute that piece of information. Your email blast should not be the only way you communicate with your clients. You should also have some additional touch points like: phone calling, personally inviting them to events, your social media pages like Facebook or LinkedIn;etc. Periodically calling your clients to personally touch base is important - and you can use this as a forcing function to institute this procedure. You can also add sending postcards (through regular post) to set yourself apart a little. And you can include this "very important piece of information" as part of a postcard campaign. (sendoutcards.com is a convenient tool to send out campaign postcards).
The bottom line is that things happen and information will unexpectedly change. If you setup several types of touch points (not just a monthly email blast), you can find a way to give timely updates without panic.
Hope this helps.
From my experience, E-mail somehow or by nature of itself, is not the best way to correct mistakes. Neither is Twitter. Put the information prominently on your website, mail flyer, or in a newspaper advert. People tend to hate-believe e-mails which is a danger to marketers!
First you need to compose yourself. What people tend to do is to worry when they make a mistake instead of looking for a solution. Worrying will not help but take your time.
I myself publish a lot and make lots of mistakes. When I check the article, I would often notice minor mistakes...As someone else replied, some mistakes can go unnoticed. News papers make mistakes-it is not a cause for alarm. It is simple; if it is a big deal, write 'correction' on subject, correct where necessary, and send it again.
It all depends on how important this piece of information truly is – and to whom.
If it's something you feel the company would have benefited from if it had been included, swallow it and move on. If it was so important, you would have included it. You didn't, because it wasn't that important to hold up the newsletter.
If it is something like a contact number or email, you could reissue it and say "A number of people have contacted us to ask why we didn't include..." and then explain the mistake.
If it isn't essential at al, wait until next month and learn from your mistake. Chances are, you won't do it again.
If it's a crucial piece of information, you should most definitely correct the mistake right away, especially when it's your first monthly newsletter. Waiting a month would undermine your credibility with your customers. Honest mistakes happen.
This sounds like a case where everybody was rushing and perhaps proofreading wasn't thorough enough. It's always important to proofread with more than one set of eyes doing it. Unfortunately, this is the kind of thing that can happen -- which you don't want to happen -- when you're rushing things.
In my experience, the best thing to do in a case like this is, send out a corrected version as soon as the error/omission is discovered. Slug it CORRECTION in the subject line -- that way, people don't think they're being bombarded by you again. Simply add a note indicating the wrong and corrected information, apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused, and let it ride. When you own up to an error and fix it right away, you maintain your credibility.
I'll give you an example that happened to me. A few years ago when I was a communication specialist for a major financial services company, a financial advisor recognition conference was happening in Australia. The top advisor's name inadvertently got left off the graphics developed for rolling on a giant HD screen. EVERYBODY had missed it during final communications review before the conference. Even the CEO of the organization (all conference communications were reviewed by all the execs). We got an email about it first thing on a Friday morning when we got to work. The VP of corporate affairs (who was at the conference in Sydney) was steaming at Communications for the omission. What did we do? While my colleges in London, Ont., fixed the graphics file, I, in Toronto, used a long-standing relationship with a supplier I'd worked with in previous jobs, to borrow some bandwidth so we could transmit the fixed file to Sydney. It was night there. In three hours, the file was fixed and transmitted to Australia while people there slept. When the folks there woke up and went to breakfast at the conference, where the graphics rolled as a backdrop…voila. There was the advisor's name. We got another email from the VP of corporate affairs…proclaiming us as geniuses and heroes, thanking us profusely for all our efforts.
This too, can happen to you if you take the right action, quickly. :-)
Hope this helps!
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.
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.
I feel it should be sent out right away as an addendum.
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.