Lorem Ipsum Oops-um: What To Do When Email Mistakes Strikes

Sending out the wrong email is an email marketer’s worse nightmare! As a Marketing Programs Manager at ON24, I manage a variety of campaigns and the various moving parts that make a campaign successful. With every email that goes out, there is an extensive building, revising and quality-assurance process involved. There are many iterations made to email copy, styles, subject lines and more. When all pieces are finalized, the email is constructed, put into the automation flow and sent out to the designated audience.

MOST of the time, this executes successfully. But then there are the times where the wrong email is sent and your whole world flips upside down? Seamlessly handling how to deal with an email error or mistake is the beauty of being a marketer! When something does not go as expected, you don’t have time to sit and point out mistakes or faults. Instead, you collaborate with your team and determine an action plan!

A few months ago, we had an email fiasco where the incorrect email went out promoting our popular Webinar Best Practices Series. Everything looked great upon setup and QA, but the automation failed to save the email and reverted back to its template – the dreaded Lorem Ipsum. I woke up to a flurry of email and social messages from our prospects and customers pointing out the issue. I knew I had to take action as soon as possible to repair the situation and continue investigating the issue after. If an email disaster ever comes your way, here are some tips based on my experience for a strong action plan:

  • Transparency: Send an email out to your manager and involved stakeholders pointing out the issue, discussing what went wrong so they are aware before they hear from someone else
  • Start the investigation: submit a support ticket or communicate with your operations team or person to investigate the issue
  • Write an effective follow-up: Work with your content team or copywriter to craft an effective follow-up email-slash-apology response
  • Communication is key: Send the apology email out the same day to those that received the wrong email as quickly as possible
  • Follow-up: Send an email out to stakeholders involved noting the apology email is scheduled and provide any status updates from the investigation

Email marketing can be tedious, but your audience will understand that mistakes happen if you accept the mistake and communicate it effectively! We are lucky that we market to marketers, therefore our audience understood and responded positively to our apology. The apology email that we sent out was witty, admitted our mistake, and addressed the situation in a humorous manner. Your audience is human too and everyone makes mistakes! It’s what you do and how you build and execute your come back strategy that truly matters! All’s well that ends well!