We might not like to admit it, but even marketers are human. Every once in a while, despite the planning, testing, and quality assurance that every digital campaign receives, a mistake can slip through. While embarrassing on any channel, a mistake can feel especially egregious in an email marketing campaign; that typo or broken link was just beamed into the inboxes of your most active audience. Should you ever experience an email error, take a deep breath: we’ve all been there. Then, follow these steps to recover gracefully:
- Evaluate the situation: Not all email marketing mistakes are created equally. Examine what happened, and decide whether or not a response is needed. As cringeworthy as a copy typo might be to you, calling attention to it with an apology or follow up email will seem like overkill to your recipients, and might call more attention to the typo than it originally garnered. If the mistake actually impacts the desired user action (you included the wrong offer, or the link to your landing page is broken), you need to respond promptly and appropriately.
- Respond to the affected audience ONLY: Don’t let unaffected audiences know about your mistake; that can only compound the problem. Apologize only to the group(s) that received the error, and be forthright with taking corrective action. For example, if you sent out a coupon or offer that was larger than originally planned, honor it, unless it causes a serious detriment to your profitability. If the coupon is simply too large, offer a compromise: an offer better than originally intended, but less than the misquoted offer.
- Be human – and empathetic: When admitting to a mistake, be authentic; don’t use a stuffy, corporate tone, but be personal and slightly informal. Just be wary of using too light or humorous a tone, depending on the depth of your mistake. Few people will laugh with you when you tell them their online discount isn’t as large as they originally thought.
How can you minimize the chances of sending a major mistake in your email marketing campaigns? Test, and test again before scheduling your campaign. Reread your copy, check your offers, view your message in multiple browsers, and click on all of the links included in the message. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. And if your email marketing needs a punch of productivity (and an extra set of eyes), talk to us; we’ve run successful lead generation campaigns for dozens of brands, and we’d love to add you to the list!