No matter how well you plan, unexpected events and blunders occur. Not unlike when you send an email and realize it wasn’t what you intended, there is no magical undo button. You know how we learn? Making a mistake usually teaches us a valuable lesson. Undeniably, the situation can be improved.
Marketers aren’t battle-tested until they can recover from sending an incorrect email. An apology email is sometimes sent. An apology email should be brief and to the point, without compromising your brand’s image. You don’t want them to unsubscribe or lose faith in your brand, so assess whether an apology and increased publicity are necessary. Then use the advice below to get back on the road.
Here are four steps to writing a restitution apology email:
1. Fix it
Even the most seasoned road warrior can miss an exit and get lost, but by correcting the error, they can quickly re-enter the road. To fix an email marketing mistake, email warriors must first admit it. This begins with your apology email’s opening.
Don’t overexplain your error; just get to the point. If you send a quick apology email to your email recipients, you can catch them before they open the original email. So you can correct them before they react negatively.
“We sent you the wrong email today,” you could start. You own up to what happened without sounding overly concerned or wordy (even if you are, save your real feelings for internal conversations).
Accepting blame for a mistake clears the air. Clarity and conciseness can convey confidence, security, and sincerity. Your time is valuable, as is theirs, and you must proceed.
Whether you’re emailing customers or driving with friends, proper etiquette still applies. One of the rules of the road is to apologize to other passengers. So, if you ate the last piece of beef jerky without asking, you owe an apology. An apology email is similar. Finally, you must apologize.
Sending the wrong email may not raise any red flags for your recipients, but it may be a sign that your team is faltering. Depending on your business and the information you have on your customers (credit card, sensitive data), a simple mistake like sending the wrong email can cause stress.
To put everyone at ease, include an apology section in your email that explains what went wrong and what you’re doing to prevent it from happening again. Assuring customers that you can fix a problem helps them trust your brand.
This section can also be used to show your team’s humility. If your company isn’t known for its wit, stick to the facts. “We apologize for the error,” for example. We have addressed the issue with our team and are taking steps to prevent recurrence.” The subject line can say “Correction,” “Oops,” or “We Apologize.”
3. Seek forgiveness and make things right
When things go wrong, it doesn’t hurt to ask for forgiveness and try to make amends. Nobody wants a road trip to end in tragedy, and your subscribers don’t either. Give your followers a reason to forgive you and reconnect with your brand.
Turn your blunder into an opportunity to re-engage inactive subscribers. Giving people a reason to forgive you works better than offering them a sweet deal. If you finish the road trip snacks, offer to pay for the next batch. For marketers, your apology email could end with “Click here for an extra 10% off.” If you don’t have a deal to offer, you could say “Our customers come first.” If you have any questions or concerns, please email us.
4. Final Pit Stops Before Hitting the Road Again
While it’s impossible to avoid all marketing blunders, you can prepare for them and respond appropriately when they occur. Of course, testing and scanning every email, as well as double-checking your lists and campaigns, is the best way to avoid a mistake. Good email marketers know that each email should go through a series of checks before being sent. As you review your emails, consider the following questions:
- The right lists and segments will be emailed.
- Do the custom fields in the email reflect the correct data?
- Is the content current? Is it free of errors?
- Do the images render?
- Do all the buttons and links work?
These checks and balances ensure you’ve thoroughly reviewed your email for errors. And if you make a mistake, go back and fix it to avoid repeating it. The last thing you want to do is send out another incorrect email.