To send a correction email or not? We’ve all been there… You’ve spent hours crafting the perfect email: proofreading every word, testing every link, and hitting send with TOTAL CONFIDENCE! But then, horror of horrors, you realize you’ve made a blunder.
Maybe you’ve misspelled someone’s name, sent the wrong offer, or included a broken link. And we all know that once an email’s been sent, it can’t be unsent. You hang your head in shame and accept your professional life is basically over! Well, maybe not quite but there’s no denying that it’s embarrassing and potentially damaging to your reputation/credibility.
So, what to do? Do you send a correction email to apologize and fix the error, or do you ignore it and hope for the best?! The answer is not always clear-cut, and it depends on several factors, such as:
Severity: How big is the impact of your error on your recipients and your business? Is it a minor typo or a major mistake? Does it affect the meaning, value, or functionality of your email? Does it (gulp!) violate any laws or regulations?
Visibility: How noticeable is your error to your recipients? Is it in the subject line, the headline, or the body of your email? Is it in the first paragraph or the last one? How many people have opened and clicked on your email?
Timing: How soon did you discover your error after sending your email? Is it within minutes, hours, or days? How long will your email campaign run for? Is it a one-time blast or a recurring newsletter?
Depending on these factors, you may send a correction email or not. Here are some guidelines to help you make the best decision:
If your mistake is severe, visible, and timely, you should send a correction email as soon as possible. This means that your error has a significant negative impact on your recipients and your business, that it is easily spotted by most of your recipients, and that you have detected it shortly after sending your email. In this case, sending a correction email is necessary to apologize, rectify, and prevent further damage. For example, if you’ve sent an email with the wrong price or date for an event, you should send a correction email to inform your recipients of the correct information and avoid confusion and frustration.
For mistakes that are minor, hidden, and late, it’s not necessary to send a correction email. This means that your error has little or no impact on your recipients and your business, that it is hardly noticed by most of your recipients, and that you have discovered it long after sending your email. In this case, sending a correction email may not be worth it, as it may draw more attention to your mistake and annoy your recipients (which might lead to them unsubscribing or marking your emails as spam). For example, if you’ve made a small spelling or grammar mistake in the middle of your email body, you may not need to send a correction email to point it out and apologize. Sending an “oops” email can often draw more attention to the error and skyrocket it out of proportion.
Errors that fall somewhere between these two extremes, will need your judgment to weigh up the pros and cons of sending a correction email. You may also consider other options, such as updating your website or landing page with the correct information, sending a follow-up email with additional value or content, or contacting individual recipients who may be affected by your error.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that mistakes happen to everyone and are not the end of the world. The most important thing is to learn from them and avoid repeating them in the future. Oh, and ALWAYS read your work over and over again!