Email marketing mistakes – A checklist for how you deal with a mistake

3 minute read

Team Adestra

Email marketing mistakes happen; everyone makes them occasionally, and it’s inevitable when there is human involvement. However, it’s how you deal with the mistakes that matters most.

Below are some steps that you should consider when dealing with the problem:

Decide how bad things are:

You need to gauge the scale of the situation and what impact the mistake is likely to have had.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. How many customers has the mistake affected?

E.g. Size of list, previous engagement of particular recipients etc.

2. What are the financial implications?

E.g. Was the wrong price / discount offered?

3. Was the customer experience affected?

E.g. Did the recipient receive more than one email? Did it contain the wrong links? Did you call them by the wrong name or call them {FirstName}?

4. How was your reputation affected?

E.g. Have you seen an increased number of unsubscribes / complaints? Have you had any negative feedback on social networks? etc.

Once you know exactly what the impact has been make sure all relevant departments within the organization are informed of the situation.

Decide how you are going to respond:

Depending on the type of mistake made, a different response will be needed. Here are two scenarios:

Financial mistake:

If it is a price you can’t honor, then work out what you can offer instead to make up for the mistake.

Personalization mistake:

If you’ve called someone by the wrong name, or worse still the {FirstName} merge didn’t work as expected, then send a follow up email to let them know that the mistake has been identified, and in most cases your customers will appreciate the follow up.

*Remember timing is everything

The speed of your follow-up response can be key in order to minimize the impact, however, beware that you can’t afford to make another mistake! You do not want to have to send out a second apology email. Also monitor all communication channels, not just email, to check if customers have complain on social media. Be sure to issue an apology on here as well.

Lastly, make sure it doesn’t happen again:

Learn from your past mistakes. Figure out how the mistake happened in the first place. Was it due to lack of communication? Or perhaps lack of process? Always ensure that you have an approval process in place. Adestra’s Approval System allows for the sign off process of email campaigns to be controlled and recorded reducing the risk of mistakes happening. You’ll be able to send a copy of the email as the recipient would receive it to a group of stakeholders for approval. Stakeholders can then send feedback which is collated in Adestra ready for the creator to amend. You can also set a campaign to launch only on approval of all stakeholders ensuring that a campaign will never be launched unless everybody approves.


Upland Adestra has a range of tools to help ensure mistakes are minimized. Book a demo to find out more.

Book a demo


Reliable products. Real results.

Everyday, thousands of companies rely on Upland to get their jobs done simply and effectively. See how brands are putting Upland to work.

View Success Stories