How to Clean Up Your E-mail Mistakes

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June 1, 2010 – It happens to everyone – you hit “send” on an e-mail and moments later, regret it. It could have been a typo, information mistake or the wrong recipient list, and it’s too late to take it back. No one is truly immune to e-mail faux pas, so the real test is in how you handle the cleanup once a mistake is made.

For simple things like a minor typo, these can usually go unattended unless they create serious confusion in your message or are potentially damaging. More serious mistakes like bad Web links, incorrect information or sending to the wrong recipient usually require a follow-up e-mail to correct your mistake.

When responding to an e-mail error, you need to act quickly. Within 1-2 hours you should have a plan to fix the issue in play, whether it’s as simple as sending a correction e-mail or more complex like fixing a Web form. You need to admit to the mistake and offer a solution or apology for the inconvenience to your clients.

If you are sending an apology e-mail remember that we’re all human, and be humble about it. If appropriate, try to make the error work in your favor with a little humor. It may also be possible to turn a mistake into an opportunity. If you send out multiple e-newsletters and accidentally send your personal injury newsletter to your disability claims newsletter list, send a follow-up e-mail to your disability claims clients apologizing for the mix-up and reminding them that you also handle personal injury claims.

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