Email Marketing: To Err Is Human

Listen, nobody likes making mistakes. But in email marketing, as in all walks of life, mistakes occasionally happen. They are an inevitable part of being human. If you never make mistakes, you probably never do anything (which is the biggest mistake of them all).

A couple of days ago I noticed a client had dropped the ball with one of his campaigns. His email looked great — but unfortunately, the landing page it pointed to was broken. I quickly emailed the client, and it was fixed within 20 minutes.

NOTE: If you are anything like me, you spend countless hours worrying about your email creative, sending it around to your colleagues, proofreading it, etc. How many of you spend the same amount of time worrying about your landing page environment? For tips on optimizing your landing pages, check out this post.

In email, 20 minutes is a long time. The client could have lost a significant number of transactions in the time it took to fix the problem. If I hadn’t have warned them as quickly as I did, their entire campaign could have been a disaster.

Textbook Apology

The client acted quickly. By checking his iContact analytics, they were able to see the recipients who had clicked on the campaign in the first 20 minutes following the send.

He then sent those recipients a short text-based email apologizing for the broken landing page experience and advising them that the problem had been fixed.

Because this only went out to subscribers who were inconvenienced, the client didn’t look foolish in front of their entire list. It also demonstrated their commitment to their customers by showing them they cared about their experience. And it demonstrated their humanity.

In an age defined by increasing technological advances where real social interaction might not be the norm, showing your humanity is vitally important. People buy from people they like. Sometimes saying you’re sorry is the best way to win hearts and minds.

I’m not saying that making mistakes is a good thing. But understanding how to quickly and sincerely apologize for your mistake before moving on is definitely a great strategy to have up your sleeve in case of emergencies.

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

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