Here's what I found in just one day's worth of email messages recently:
1. Wrong landing page
2. Spelling mistake in the subject line
3. Test subject line not removed
4. Email sent to the wrong company division list
5. Personalisation code showing instead of name
6. 2007 copyright date
7. Broken link to Web version
8. Images failed to load even when enabled
9. Brand name misspelled
Yes, everyone makes mistakes. But how you recover from them will either save your reputation and business or make readers think you're unprofessional and untrustworthy.
A good recovery isn't enough, though. Know where your greatest vulnerabilities are in your email program and what you have to do to make sure errors either don't happen or get caught before you click "send."
First Rule: Don't Panic!
Don't rush out an immediate email correction. Sending a second email to your entire list right after the first one can make you look like a spammer to ISPs if your list has too many undeliverable email addresses. You look like you're pounding on addresses that don't exist, belong to closed accounts, have become inactive or are temporarily unavailable.
If the mistake doesn't involve an email function – broken or wrong links, wrong price, incorrect image, wrong copy -- or won't mislead your readers, don't send out a follow-up to the whole list. Instead, include a short apology in your next regular email.
Second Rule: Fix the Mistake
You must correct the mistake if it could mislead readers or if it breaks the email's functionality. Also, if you are sending the email on an advertiser's or partner's behalf, you have to make good. However, it's still not time to rush out a correction email to your entire list.
If the mistake involves your Web site –- the landing-page link is broken, or you published the wrong link or the wrong offer –- post a note on the page with an apology and a link to the correct page. Post a similar note on your front page, again with a link to the correct page.
How to send follow-up emails:
1. Send a follow-up email only to those who either opened or clicked within 24 hours. This is a typical watch period for most ISPs and spares you from hitting all those inactive or undeliverable addresses again.