There are few things as nerve-wracking as sending your next big email campaign. After all, you’ve spent a lot of time making each line of the copy and choosing the perfect images to find the right tone for your audience.
You also spent time, energy, and resources Build your list, Craft segments, and A / B tests. As if those stakes weren’t enough, you also have a specific goal tied to your campaigns, whether it’s a ROI goal for your email strategy or a custom goal linked to your E -Mail should be reached.
And after all that work, something as simple as a broken link can throw all that work out the window. That’s why we launched our new link review tool.
A broken or missing link shouldn’t ruin your email or your day. When you know that your links are working properly, you need to worry less.
Despite their best plans, marketers are only human, and plans can still go wrong. But mistakes don’t mean the end of your career. It just means you have something else to add Pre-flight email marketing checklist and a few extra chores to make it up.
Below are two email experts sharing their stories about an email that didn’t go as planned and, more importantly, what they did next.
Lizze Newbern is the Email Marketing Manager for Asurion with over five years of experience. (When Lizzie isn’t working, she likes to spend her time illustrating!)
Despite that experience, she missed how a subject line would be cut off for a specific inbox provider on the phone. Needless to say, it’s a mistake she won’t make again.
As with many email marketers, the subject line is one of the biggest stressors when hitting the submit button. That one line of text is essentially the subscriber’s first impression of your email, and it can seriously affect your open rates and the sender’s reputation. You can do your best to check and recheck and test and re-test, but unfortunately at the end of the day we’re not computers. And we all have days off when our kid kept us up until 4 a.m. to watch the latest Frozen movie.
We are human and mistakes can happen. Although some mistakes are worse than others … like a perfect one-time shortening of the subject line.
One of my previous roles was as an email marketing manager for one of the leading senior living companies in the industry. We have occasionally marketed events for the local communities where we sent an email invitation to residents and other interested parties in the area. This event was specifically designed for a cocktail evening where potential residents could tour the community and meet some of the residents over some craft cocktails.
The subject line was, “Celebrate the long weekend with cocktails and conversation.” Pretty harmless. The email has been tested, checked and sent on the go. As the day progressed, I noticed I was getting some replies in my inbox.
I immediately started sweating when I saw answers like “SO inappropriate”. “Wow, so unprofessional.” “Looks like someone didn’t check the subject!”
I finally found a reply that included a screenshot of the subject line and how it was displayed in their inbox. There was in all its glory “Celebrate the long weekend with c *** …”
Immediately all panicked thoughts came in: “How can I recover from this?” and “where is the next hole to stick my head in?”
I had to take a deep breath. The first step was to find out the damage: how big was our audience? How many people, realistically, have had this cutback problem? Fortunately – if there was any luck in this situation – our audience for this particular show was very small. We’re talking less than 100.
I felt a little better, but not great. Next, I had to find out how many were open on the phone. It turned out to be over 45%, and at that point I was feeling less and better.
We had to decide if we wanted to take an additional risk by sending a follow-up email fixing the problem. At the end of the day, you need to weigh your mistake against the impact on your message. In this particular case, we felt that we were going to let this error lie due to the size of the audience and the low number of responses. It’s not the most exciting answer to the situation, but as an email marketer, you need to make these decisions when errors inevitably arise.
I feel like every email marketer I know has a document or note page titled, “ERRORS IN PREVIOUS EMAILS”. DO NOT DO THIS AGAIN. ” At the end of the day, You take your mistakes and learn from them. You become more aware of the problems under test and move forward.
Most of the people in the email box have “send button wiggles”. (If you don’t, you are either a robot or you have an English degree.) The biggest challenge is dealing with the inevitable mistakes that can sometimes occur, and most importantly, how you move forward.
Justin is the CM Group’s Email Marketing Manager and has over 6 years of experience. However, if you work in email the technology is always evolving and the introduction of dark mode resulted in an email bug.
Dark fashion faux pas
Once you’ve been into email marketing for a while, you will begin to notice a few quirks in how your sent campaign will look different on email clients. There are tons of different apps and thousands of screen sizes. What looks one way in Outlook might look different in Gmail.
And while testing every email I’ve created, I haven’t recently been able to test any campaign for dark mode compatibility. Parts of my email were unreadable in Gmail’s dark mode.
While none of our subscribers reported the problem, some of my team members were on the email list for this campaign and immediately noticed.
The first thing I wanted to do was round up all of the stakeholders for this email and let them know of the potential problem customers might have with the email. From there, I really wanted to identify the source of the legibility issues and write down what needs to be changed for the next shipment.
I also made sure to go back to Litmus where I run all of my tests and make sure that all of the dark mode email previews have been checked in my test settings.
My confidence trembled a bit after sending this. If you’re an email marketer and you’re making a mistake, you know your next several broadcasts will get extra exposure, but I think that extra exposure is an opportunity too.
Because of this experience, I have more team members willing to help me test future emails. I was able to recheck the designs with the rest of the team to review other templates to make sure the same problem wasn’t recurring and to add more time to test before each scheduled shipment.
Having a supportive team around me helped regain confidence.
Whether you’re just starting out in email marketing or just around the corner, mistakes are an inevitable part of any email marketer career. Fortunately, nobody expects you to be anything other than human.
Most importantly, you learn from your mistakes and take steps to keep them from progressing. Find out when to send an apology email and when to contact stakeholders. Sometimes, as in Lizzie’s case, it’s better to do nothing than to pay more attention to the problem.
Whatever your next email broadcast, you can rest assured there is less testing on your plate. Link validation monitors your URLs so you can spend your time and energy on other areas of your email.