Everyone has experienced the dread that comes from hitting send and realising you’ve made a major mistake in your email, whether it’s emailing the wrong person, sharing incorrect information or attaching the wrong document to your email. But it’s human nature to make mistakes – it’s how you respond to them that makes the difference.
Here are some tips on apologising for email marketing mistakes – these will help to protect your reputation and keep your recipients on board.
Adopt the right tone
Tone is important in any email but especially if you’re sending an apology. You need your audience to instantly recognise your apology as genuine, so they know you want to make amends.
Make sure your subject line is in keeping with your brand voice but that the tone reflects the seriousness of your mistake – if it was a light-hearted error, the tone will be very different to an apology for something serious and offensive.
Maybe your subject line reads something like:
- “Let’s resolve this”
- “We made a mistake – let us make it up to you”
- “Whoops, this is what we meant to send”
Every situation is different, so think carefully when writing the subject line and email copy to match the severity of the situation.
You want to show that you understand that your mistake might have impacted your audience, so put yourself in their shoes. Empathy is essential in making sure your email response comes across in the right way, so don’t be afraid to add a personal touch to your message and show that you care about your subscribers.
Use humour (if it’s appropriate)
If the issue is less severe, such as a broken link or a typo, then including humour can make your apology land in the right way, such as a funny GIF or a pun.
Humour is subjective, so you need to know when it’s appropriate and when to leave it out. Humour at the wrong time can simply make things worse, and means your subscribers won’t take your apology seriously, so tread carefully.
Make it personal
If your subscribers receive an apology from a no-reply email address, they’re unlikely to feel like a valued member of your audience. So, make sure you personalise the email so that everyone feels like they’ve been listened to. This should be your first priority in any email campaign, but especially if you’re asking for forgiveness from a mistake – it shows you care enough to reach out to them personally.
Use positive language
Just because you’ve made a mistake, it doesn’t mean you have to drag yourself through the dirt. Try to explain what happened using positive language, acknowledging what went wrong and what you plan to do about it, as well as what you’ve learned from your mistake.
For example, if you’ve sent your newsletter to the wrong email list, it’s important to apologise but you don’t need to fill your apology email with extremely negative terms that detail how embarrassed you are. It doesn’t change the situation and leaves your subscribers feeling uncomfortable. Instead, simply state that they received an email that was intended for another subscriber group and that you understand it might have been confusing.
Every business will find itself in this situation at one point or another, but knowing how to respond professionally is a skill worth learning.
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