(Email) Accidents Can Happen—Here’s How to Fix and Prevent Them

email accidents

You have to love the email blast. Hit “send,” and reach your entire database of past, current and prospective customers, instantly. But what happens when you click that button too soon, before you catch that embarrassing typo or incorrect event date?

Don’t panic. Before you put those sweaty palms to the keyboard and start drafting an apology or follow-up, step back and evaluate the severity of the situation. Our email marketing agency noticed minor errors are often overlooked, ignored and quickly forgotten, so think twice before calling excessive attention to a blank subject line or misaligned image.

Email recipients will overlook even larger mistakes. I once received an email from my favorite car rental agency with a coupon for a free upgrade. It was quickly followed up with a second email saying, “Sorry, you don’t qualify for the offer. We can’t honor the coupon.”

Ouch. Now, according to an Experian study, the online coupon redemption rate is just 0.13% or 13 out of 1,000. The cost of honoring that errant coupon would have been far less than the brand damage caused by telling loyal customers, “You don’t qualify”.

I’m not condoning carelessness or implying that frequent mistakes are acceptable. Just be mindful of email quality, and remember that you’re competing with hundreds of other documents in any given recipient’s inbox. Here are a few tips to help you optimize your email blasts:

  • Don’t include large graphics that take too long to upload
  • Make sure your offers are relevant. Consider categorizing your list.
  • Use links back to your web site. It keeps the email smaller and allows you to provide more detail—to those who are interested.

When creating email blasts for our clients, we always send a test email. They are required to approve the test before the actual email is released. This allows them to see how the email renders in different browsers and email servers, and gives the content one last read-through for any potential errors.

Email marketing can be fast and easy, but it should never be quick and sloppy. After all, you are sending a message to your most valuable resource: your customers. Shouldn’t that communication be carefully crafted, professionally constructed and proofed repeatedly?