bigstockphoto_Agro_46157It happens to the best of us: immediately after sending your latest email blast, you realized you accidentally included some random error. Whether big or small, avoidable or not, any mistake in your email blast means that in minutes, each one of your subscribers is going to enjoy a front-and-center view of that mistake. Since we haven’t perfected that whole time machine thing yet, you’re stuck with a serious email marketing faux pas on your hands. What should your next step be?

Option 1: Let It Go

We promise this isn’t as callous as it sounds. You’re not pretending like nothing happened in the sense that you’re oblivious, but rather because drawing unnecessary attention to a tiny little goof can end up backfiring big-time. Let minor mistakes stay minor by allowing them to simply fade from the public eye. Everyone will forget this ever happened in about 10 minutes.

Lots of mistakes—like typos, blank subject lines, or accidentally sending a dead link—are easily understood by your recipients as being no big deal. No one’s perfect, and your mailing list gets that. Those who are committed to finding that most recent blog post will visit your site directly. And those who aren’t won’t be more inspired to do so by a second mass emailing on the same subject.

Option 2: Acknowledge and Apologize

Other mistakes aren’t so minor. If an email blast inadvertently irritated, angered, or otherwise offended a decent chunk of your mailing list, pretending like nothing happened will definitely make things worse. Admitting that you made a mistake and apologizing is the most stand-up way to handle the situation.

If your gaffe falls into this category, you can take to social media to respond directly to those affected, or send out a corrective email blast. A word of caution on the latter: be sure that the initial mistake is fixed first. Check and double-check that any images, links, or dates that were wrong the first time around have been updated accordingly.

Learn from Your Mistakes

Finally, take the time to investigate your process and figure out how that mix-up happened in the first place. Implement a system of checks and balances to prevent a recurrence, and figure out how to limit the chances of future blunders.

Again, everyone makes mistakes and there’s no 100 percent way to prevent them completely. But as long as you’re continually refining your process to make improvements and handling any missteps as gracefully as you can, your screwed-up email blast shouldn’t end up running off your customers for good.

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