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Damage Control 101

Damage Control 101

Almost everyone has experienced that dread-filled moment of spotting a typo or broken hyperlink in an email that has gone out to thousands of people. We can all find solace in knowing that mistakes happen all the time in email marketing, and the only thing to do (besides not making them) is to figure out how best to minimize the impact of the blunder.

When an error is first recognized, take a deep breath and assess the size and impact of the mistake. How many people received the email, and how bad was the error?

Let’s say there was a small typo in an email sent to tens of thousands of people; the number the mistake reached might be daunting, but the actual impact is relatively small. The takeaway: brush this one off and prevent it from happening again by enforcing a strict review and copy-editing process.

In another example, maybe you sent an event invite to just over 500 people, but the location of the event you’re promoting is totally wrong. While the size is much smaller, the impact of the mistake is greater and must be addressed as soon as possible.

It goes much farther to be honest and transparent about a mistake than to minimize the error, or even worse, ignore it. This is where a drafted template comes in handy. It’s not uncommon for things to slip through the cracks when we are busy, so always have a template at the ready to be swiftly updated during an email crisis. Your email to affected subscribers should include the following:

  1. A brief disclaimer that a mistake was made
  2. A simple explanation of the mistake and the correct information
  3. A short but warm apology and further resources for any follow-up questions, such as a customer service email address or a link to helpful FAQ guides

Despite your desire to remedy the situation as fast as possible, it’s absolutely mandatory that your follow-up email is run though all standard quality control processes you have in place. There are few things more embarrassing than making a mistake in an email apologizing for a mistake, so triple check that everything is perfect, including subject line, links, preview text, and delivery.

Before hitting send, update any colleagues or clients who may need to be prepared to answer incoming questions or concerns from those affected. This communication will also help the larger team debrief once the mistake has been addressed.

Once all is said and done (and your heart rate slows down), take time to assess the situation and figure out what went wrong so you can prevent it from happening again. Mistakes happen to everyone, but the same mistake twice only happens to people who don’t learn from the first time.

FYI – The ResponseGenius email platform does allow you fix or change live links even if a campaign has been sent. We’d love to show you this and many other advanced features offered by ResponseGenius to ensure your customer and prospecting communications are the best they can be. Let ResponseGenius help take your email marketing to the next level –

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