Email Copywriting – When Things Go Wrong

email copywriting - dealing with mistakesWe all like to think we’re perfect – but at the end of the day we’re only human which means things go wrong now and then.

Everyone at one time or another has made a mistake.

After spending hours on your latest marketing email, you hit send only to notice at the last minute a blaring typo, you’ve sent it to the wrong list, or you got the offer details wrong.

I can see you’re nodding. But don’t feel bad because you’re not alone – everyone’s been there at some point but its how you deal with it that matters.

How to deal with mistakes

When things go wrong people tend to fall into one of three camps. They either:

  • Hide and hope no one notices
  • Realise their mistake, correct it and hastily send out the email again to the same list without an apology or explanation
  • Hold their hands up to their mistake, apologise and make it up to their customers

Which are you?

By being the honest guy in the third scenario, you’ll gain more respect and happy customers. You’ll probably still get a rap over the knuckles by the boss but at least you owned up and put things right.

Often it’s how companies deal with their mistakes that wins or loses them customers. A company that refuses to acknowledge their short comings will lose customers in spades. But one that admits it’s not always perfect and does get things wrong and is willing to go that extra mile to put it right will retain customers.

How to avoid mistakes

In an ideal world mistakes wouldn’t happen.

Whilst being human tends to mean things will go wrong now and then there are a few simple techniques you can follow to try and keep these cock-ups to a minimum.

1. Validation list

Before you send your email to your customer list, set up a validation list comprising of colleagues or friends (if you’re a one-man/woman band) who will proofread and test out your links for you. This should help flag up any errors before its broadcast.

2. Preview

If you have the ability to preview how your email will look in different browser windows, it will help you ensure your email looks good and that the layout isn’t compromised.

3. Slow down

Don’t leave it to the last minute.

Plan your email marketing carefully to make sure you have plenty of time to compose it and check it before sending it. Writing in haste is asking for trouble.

Email marketing is a very powerful tool when used properly. Whether you create your own content or use a professional copywriter to create it for you, always make sure you check and double check the text, offers and links before sending.

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#1 Lucy Smith on 05.26.11 at 11:44 pm

I once sent an email to a prospect I’d met at a networking event…but used the wrong (very similar) name. I realised just as I hit ‘send’, but it was too late. So I did a scenario two, hoping he read his email from top to bottom and would assume a glitch had meant it sent twice and delete the second copy without opening it.

I don’t actually know what happened because I never heard from him again and was too shy and embarrassed to follow it up. There’s no getting around getting someone’s name wrong. Lesson learned: check twice, and then once more!

#2 admin on 05.27.11 at 7:46 am

Hi Lucy,

Thank you for your comment – that is so easily done and great advice: check, check, check


#3 Newsletter Industry » Blog Archive » Email And Newsletter Marketing Check List on 06.07.12 at 2:26 pm

[…] Should the worse happen and something slips through the net, apologise and make it up to your customers. Never act in haste, because that could compound the problem. […]

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