How to Say "Mea Culpa" Through Email

By EXCLUSIVE Insights Team
TOPICSEmail Marketing

In life people mess up. It’s the saying sorry part that’s important. If you can’t say it, won’t say it or don’t say it, this lack of remorse says a lot about you. The same goes for Email Marketing. If you’ve sent out a poorly timed email, a blast with an error in the subject line, or an offer that’s incorrect, an apology email is a must. And it’s got to be better than that post-it breakup note Berger left Carrie in that Sex and the City episode.

In the event your marketing department pushed the send button on an erroneous email, timeliness is essential to saving face and maintaining customer loyalty. Here are a few pointers for typing up that Mea Culpa email.

  • The subject line should directly address your mistake. Make it clear and concise. A variation on “Oops. We messed up” works well with more minor mistakes, while something a little more formal is better for a major email error that may have been tasteless or timed wrong.
  • The content should address several things – what happened, why it happened, what it affected and how sorry you are. If it was a tasteless or badly timed email, it may come off as crass to include a special offer in your email. But if you sent something out that included a wrong sale date or erroneous pricing, include an offer in your apology blast. Done right, this will most likely increase conversions as well as customer appreciation.
  • The email should apologize multiple times for the incident, while the tone of the copy will depend on your email campaigns as well as the nature of the mistake. It’s okay to be a little bit repetitive here to get your point across.
  • The signature of the email is extremely important too. An apology from the CEO or a higher-up holds a lot of water because responsibility ultimately falls on their shoulders.

These are just a few tips for creating an apology email. Circumstances will bring a lot more ideas to light because each situation needs to be handled differently. And as with all mistakes, they’re learning experiences in themselves and will make you appear human to your audience. Before you send your next email out, make sure you plan for the future better. Check, double check and have others look it over, and always send yourself a preview email first.