What to Do When You See an Error After You've Hit Send

Association of Strategic Marketing
March 13, 2018 — 2,595 views  
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What to Do When You See an Error After You've Hit Send

One of the worst nightmares of any marketing professional can be realizing that you shouldn’t have hit the send button on an email. Whether the email was a private conversation or contained multiple grammatical errors, there are ways for marketing professionals to recover gracefully from an email mishap. Here are some steps that any marketing professional should take when he or she realizes that a mistake has been made in sending out an email.

Assessing the Magnitude of the Error

First, a marketing professional should take time to assess the magnitude of the problem. If an email was sent with a simple grammatical error, such as the wrong punctuation mark or the misspelling of a word, then a marketing professional likely does not need to send out a revision email. On the other hand, an email that contains the wrong advertisement or promotion may require an immediate revision and apology. Customers who take an action based on the statements made in an email, such as purchasing a product, may assert a false advertising claim in the event that a company dishonors the request.

Marketing professionals should also assess which audience members received the message. If the message has only been sent out to a few individuals, then a marketing professional may be able to contact each person to remedy the issue. Messages that have been sent out to thousands or millions of people may require a mass apology email.

Determining Whether the Error Warrants an Apology

Emails that have made a false promise or advertisement require an immediate apology. Marketers should be prepared for emails that express frustration if a mistake in price displays or launching an ad campaign has been made. In some cases, marketers may want to honor the purchases of customers who have taken an action based on the statements made in an original email. Otherwise, the company may be at risk for losing long-time customers if it fails to honor these purchases.

When a marketer does send out an apology email, he or she should use an informal voice. The key is for the marketer to show that he or she is human and makes mistakes. Marketers may even want to infuse a bit of natural humor into the apology email in order to lighten the mood. Also, including a coupon or free promotional product in an apology email can also be effective in reengaging with customers after a mistake email has been sent. Customers will be less likely to hold a grudge against a company when they can receive a free product or coupon to make things right.

Preventing Future Errors in Email Blasts

Marketers should assess the reason for why the faulty email was sent. A marketer may have too many responsibilities and duties on his or her plate. If so, a marketer may wish to hire additional personnel or outsource the creation of email blasts to another company. This can ensure that accurate email blasts are sent to customers in the future. Marketers should also take extra time to carefully review, proofread and edit emails before they are sent. 

Association of Strategic Marketing