Well, the unthinkable happened. After six months on the job, I made a mistake in an e-mail… to 2700 people. It wasn’t a small mistake either. I didn’t forget to center an image or close a tag. No, this was big. I gave 2700 people the wrong event location!
Minutes after it was sent I sat there imagining our empty event a few weeks from now, and the pressure I’d feel knowing it was all my fault. Thus, I needed to fix it. If you’re ever in a similar situation – though I hope you never are – follow these six steps to fix email mistakes. Then, download my fool-proof email checklist to ensure you never make an email mistake again.
First things first, I give you permission to panic. This is a big deal, so you’re allowed to freak out – quickly. Spending too much time in panic mode because of an email mistake reduces the effectiveness of any solution you’re going to find, so get to it.
6 Steps to Fix Email Mistakes
1) Own up to it
The cat is out of the bag – you messed up. You either forgot to proof your e-mail, proofed it too quickly, or weren’t paying enough attention. Whatever the case, your audience, clients, and your entire office will respect you more if you not only own up to it, but work out a way to fix the email mistake.
2) Determine if it needs fixing
I won’t sugar coat it – every mistake you make in a mass email is bad. But, some aren’t worth calling attention to. Don’t make spelling or grammar mistakes. But, if you do, it’s not worth sending another email to fix those mistakes. The same goes for formatting issues. It’s up to you to determine if the email mistake is detrimental to your organization, cause or campaign. If it isn’t, leave it be.
3) Figure out how to fix your email mistake
There are different ways to fix email mistakes. Some can be fixed internally. For example, did you use the wrong link in your email? It may be possible to update the landing page or add a redirect so your audience never knows the difference. However, some email mistakes may only be fixed by sending a new email. That’s a decision you need to make.
4) Tell those who need to know
Even after they are fixed, mistakes may affect other people, particularly those who “signed” the email or the social media team. Let them know there was an error and how you’re planning to fix it. Remember, if you let them know in advance it gives them time to prepare for questions they will likely receive.
5) Consider your audience
This is an integral step when you have to fix email mistakes. Are they serious? Tech-Savvy? Will they understand a meme or a reference to a certain TV show? Will their email provider automatically load a GIF? These answers will guide the process you use to fix email mistakes. My email was sent to a fairly young audience, so blaming a “Case of the Thursdays” with a meme worked for me.
6) Answer direct emails or questions
Even if you fix your email mistake immediately, people will notice and they will have questions or comments. Don’t shy away from them! This is a great opportunity to connect with your audience and show them that there really is a human behind your organization. There has to be a least one silver lining, right?
So there, you’ve done it. You’ve learned how to fix email mistakes. However, the best piece of advice I can give you isdon’t make them. Every error reduces your audience’s trust in your organization, and your boss/clients’ trust in you.
To help you create quality, error-free emails I created this awesome checklist for you. Hopefully, you’ll never have to google how to fix email mistakes again.