The Power of the “Oops, We Made A Mistake” Email

On her July 7th article “Top E-mail Tips to Drive Response”, Jeanniey Mullen from The ClickZ Network shares some tips about driving email response. She mentions that forms (search, first name, telephone, etc.) and rich media (Flash, animated .gif’s) work well in terms of getting action (clicks or completions), but forms and animated graphics may be blocked by some email clients. This is so, because in the fight against spam and viruses most email programs, especially web-based email clients (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.), block embedded forms and Flash files.

What comes right to your inbox and gets a ton of readership is honesty; yes, old- fashioned acceptance of a mistake turns out to get a lot of readership. If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense, because everyone likes it when you “come clean” and apologize for a mistake, then you admit guilt and ask for mercy.

This works just as well face-to-face as it does in email communications. I’m not suggesting you start sending apologies to your clients and prospective clients to improve your email marketing success; what I want to bring to light is that if you make a mistake, it is important to apologize quickly and take the opportunity to increase readership by offering amends… and a promotional coupon, offer, or incentive.

Want proof of the power of apology? Check out JetBlue CEO David Neeleman’s video apology. Take a look at the very positive comments below and don’t overlook the fact that the video has over 329,000 viewings.