What's The Biggest Email Blunder You Ever Made?

Discussion in 'Noob Central' started by roundabout, May 3, 2011.

  1. roundabout

    roundabout VIP

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    Figured this would be the best place to post our goofs in the past so the novice eager beaver's out there can see that everyone makes mistakes!

    So the question.. what is the worst goof that slipped past your eyes and got mailed out? And how much physically went out?

    Here's a good article on proper etiquette for "goofs":

    How to Handle Your Email Marketing “Oops” with Class

    We’ve all experienced technology fails and know that they can unfortunately strike at any time. And while it’s the job of an email marketer to test, test, and test email campaigns to ensure that they deliver as intended, you’re still bound to commit some form of human error at some point in your career. So, how do you handle it? Well, you have a couple of options:

    * Option #1: Never tell your boss and sweat out the next 48 hours hoping that no one else notices.
    * Option #2: Resend the campaign in the manner that it was intended, but without any note of the correction(s) within the email.
    * Option #3: Man up and admit the error to subscribers, and if you can, make it up to them.

    Now I know that option #3 may initially put you in the dog house with your executives because they’ll be aware of a pretty big mistake you made, will feel as though their bottom line may suffer through how you “make it up” to the subscribers, and may have to spend more on the additional email volume for the apology email. Although I’ve got to tell you, an apology email really gives you a chance reach out to your subscribers, show your transparency, and show proactive customer appreciation.

    Address the “Oops” in the Subject Line

    When San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau realized they had forgotten to add important tourism ads to their monthly email, they promptly sent out a correction email. Unfortunately, they may have rushed the correction email just a bit, as they only made note of the correction within the subject line, as they changed it from the original “Special Offers and Events from SLO County” to “Correction for Seacrest Ad and One More Special Offer from SLO County”.

    Don’t get me wrong – making note of the error in the subject line is probably the most important notification to make in correction emails. When an email looks like a duplicate email in the inbox, it will almost always be immediately deleted. Although, a brief message at the top of the email copy would reinforce that the second send does have added ads/offers that are worthwhile for the subscribers to scroll down and see. Removing the repeated image and welcome message that fills the “above the fold” area would also help subscribers understand that this email contains new, worthy content as well.

    Send Subscribers an Offer as Your Apology

    Email marketers in retail who need to send an apology email can actually get a leg up by offering a special promotion, coupon code, or other offer to make up for whatever blunder occurred. Take this Blue Sky Factory client, Russell & Mackenna. They made a pretty big mistake with an email they sent through their internal resources right before they came on as a client, so they sent the below apology email out as their first email through our services.

    Clearly State the Error in Detail in the Email Copy

    Another great example comes from the “email marketing famous” Daily Candy. Their sole product is their daily emails, so yea, there’s a decent amount of pressure on them to execute email marketing without any mistakes. Unfortunately, they recently endured a mishap of their own, by sending out the wrong information on an important promotion.

    They do a fantastic job addressing the correction they needed to make and taking full responsibility for the error. The subject line also entices the subscriber enough to open the email because clearly, something is awry, but without being too dramatic or wordy.

    Source:
    http://blog.blueskyfactory.com/best-practice/how-to-handle-your-email-marketing-oops-with-class/
     
  2. Hornet25

    Hornet25 New Member

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    Well for me, my blunders centre more around trusting the wrong people to help and advise me. On the basis that the main blunders you can do primarily occur after you have your set up, I guess I still have a way to go!

    I did however, once receive an email from Lyris UK's email marketing team that had "Lorum Ipsum ....." instead of the correct text. They sent out an apology the day after saying that they were just testing a new template!
     
  3. DKPMO

    DKPMO VIP

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    Trusting wrong people is a strategic blunder, something you can only correct if you take a hard look in the mirror.

    Dealing with "Lorem Ipsum" and most stuff in the above article are just routine tactics to acquire and refine.
     
  4. erbux

    erbux VIP

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    Besides the usual (typo on a merge field, TEST still in the subject, etc) I once sent some political slander to the wrong party. That was pretty embarrassing. Nothing like telling your own party to eat shit during an election.

    I really had to BS my way out of that one.

    I think I made the client believe my server had a Gremlin in it and it was sending on it's own to any list it wanted.
     
  5. Hornet25

    Hornet25 New Member

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    I spend a lot of my day looking in the mirror (and no, I am not vain!). I reckon if I didn't I would have given up trying to work in this industry a long time ago.

    I spend a lot of time reading advice, but perhaps I should spend as much time asking for it as well. That may actually give me options on who to trust.
     
  6. roundabout

    roundabout VIP

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    You're so vain...
    You probably think this forum's about you.
    You're so vain...
     
  7. Hornet25

    Hornet25 New Member

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    It's not about me, but I do think it is for me. :laugh:

    Once the karaoke has finished, I do find some really good stuff here.
     
  8. DKPMO

    DKPMO VIP

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    I think that is not as bad as sending to a known scrub file of several thousands confirmed SpamHaus traps.
     
  9. DKPMO

    DKPMO VIP

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    Hell no!

    But a certain mailing system has a button with this funny text: "Maybe sending to that scrub file was a bad idea"!
     
  10. datamon

    datamon VIP

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    Last week I sent out drop with my first and last name as the friendly from...
     
  11. PushSend

    PushSend VIP

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    How'd it open? I might wanna try that....with your name.


    :trytofly:
     
  12. Mike91TT

    Mike91TT VIP

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    I think everyone here has sent out a campaign with broken links at one point...no?
     
  13. brasom

    brasom VIP

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    Was doing some testing and accidently left the "Content-Transfer-Encoding: Quoted-Printable" header value in and dropped a few 100k with non-encoded links. I had always double checked my drops before mailing, images looked OK but this time I didn't check the links... now I always triple check! :)
     
  14. karoma12

    karoma12 New Member

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    lucky to find this forum - signed up today
    In mailing industry since 2005
    outside US, so my english not good, let me introduce myself - doing mailing since 2005
    2005 to 2007 - proxy mailing ( :) who can forget DM and proxies during those days, SM/DM/Sendsafe/Nexus - used all those days)
    closed proxy mailing in 2007, and become 100% complaint (from 2007 to 2010)
    bought 2 license of Volomp from Dzeni,and worked with hydra/clickbooth/cpaempire/xy7 during those days

    My biggest mistake:
    was cleaning my lists (i mail ONLY yahoo then), decided to scrub my lists from "Hydra Remove Lists" (their remove lists was about 400K )
    accidently loaded the Hydra removal list in Volo and Bang...
    no wonder, i got calls from Hydra at 2 AM (i live opp. US time zone), lot of problems and my account gets closed
    also lost my GxxxxY server, took me almost 15 days to recover from that shit
     
  15. Pinnacle99

    Pinnacle99 VIP

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    Old Oxygen? IS that fossil still around?
     
  16. PepeLePew

    PepeLePew VIP

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    A few years ago, I hired a programmer at the office to help in the development of our email platform. When the testing phase started, he blasted away a 4 mil suppression file instead of our data. Needless to say, our CB account got shut down, we lost all the revenue for the month and I fired him.
    Live and learn I guess.
     
  17. arbydar

    arbydar VIP

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    Some years ago I got in with a great Data Center who allowed me to send mail right beside their hosting clients. Even though I was mailing co-reg (don't do that anymore) I convinced them that my lists were clean - which they were until....

    ...those damn expired domains that SH buys turned into a trap. The whole DC - every IP that they had - got haused. These guys were so cool that they not only apologized for kicking me out, they even refunded the unused portion of the month.
     
  18. roundabout

    roundabout VIP

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    We had a similar mishap happen YEARS ago. It's very easy for an employee who had a crappy night's sleep to upload a suppression list by accident, it happens to the best of us.

    I've thought about this in the past - a way to stop it. For a quick solution just add an exclusive seed to the very top of every suppression list, and have it alert you via phone if that name is ever mailed. Still, this could allow tens of thousands to actually send if you happened to be away from a pc or didnt have access to stop the drop. Some company needs to come up with a module/add-on that just shuts the software down/stops the drop if that seed ever enters the system.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  19. afc_pmc

    afc_pmc New Member

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    Depending on how much access you have to your injector, you could use that seed address, or even just make a fake address that halts the broadcast, something like [email protected] and add a line to your injector that checks for that address before it sends, and if found, sends you an email (or logs) and exits.There's lots of ways to approach this, but that method would stop every email from being sent.
     
  20. DKPMO

    DKPMO VIP

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    The solution is so simple it is not even funny -

    1) Keep your development and production systems separate
    2) Design the system so it would never allow to mail any file marked as suppression
    3) Watch new employees with access to critical systems like a hawk
     

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