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Email Marketing Lesson: If You Realize You Made A Mistake After You Press Send, Just Admit It - Articles Surfing

A few months ago I started getting a bunch of junk Spam messages. All the messages had the same subject line. Thinking that the emails were hocking cheap Ritalin, I left them in my Spam filter and continued with my daily tasks. Besides, my ADHD was under control with my five Starbucks lattes-a-day personal remedy. Within seconds, I totally forgot about the Spam messages.

When I was doing my up my Christmas list a few weeks later, I got to my Dad's name and thought, 'Dad is pushing eighty, I wonder if he might like some Viagra as a stocking stuffer?' I suddenly remembered all those Ritalin emails. Maybe the online drug shops had a whole variety of pharmaceuticals other than Ritalin, and I could get a great deal on my Dad's Viagra.

I went back to my Spam filter and searched for all the messages with that same subject line. They weren't hard to find, the subject was only one word '


But there was no Viagra to be found. No Ritalin for that matter either. What a rip! Now what would I get my Dad for Christmas?

To make matters even worse, I realized all those Spam emails with the 'Whoops!' subject line weren't Spam at all. They were a whack of messages from a whole bunch of email lists I actually subscribe to. It seems a 'Whoops!' message is a legitimate message that really means,

'I made a mistake, check within for details.'

All my 'Whoops!' email messages detailed URLs that had been mistyped, web addresses that had been moved, wrong dates, wrong product prices, incorrect phone numbers and a whole variety of other issues all covered under the subject line -- 'Whoops!'

I even had one message that had 'Double Whoops!' as a subject line since this was the second email message from the same company in a two-day time period that was riddled with errors.

I don't know if 'Whoops!' is the greatest way to admit you made an error. How many people even have 'Whoops!' in their active vocabulary? I wonder what else might be a more effective email newsletter subject line when a mistake has been made?

- "Whoopsy daisy" -- No, too, childish.

- "My parents are cousins, I can't help it!" -- No, too personal.

- 'Gall darn it, dagnamit, another error!' -- No, your subscribers will think you need a few sessions of anger therapy.

- 'Sorry, I am too cheap to get an editor' -- No, that is what your subscribers will think, but it probably isn't the greatest option for your subject line.


*Sincerest apologies, URL error in [insert newsletter name here]

*Sorry to have wasted your time, telephone number error

*We will try harder next time, pricing error in [insert newsletter name here]

I asked a few business associates what they thought of the 'Whoops!' subject line. They all agreed it sounded like someone attempting to be 'down home' and trying to appear like a bumbling friend instead of a business who is having some difficulty with the e-newsletter editing process.

I guess the lesson here is to just admit you made an error and not try to cover it up with a 'Gee wilickers, I think I just might be a moron' type subject line.

None of this gets me my Dad's Viagra, but it has lessened the load on my over-worked Spam software. I have set the software to rescue all 'Whoops!' email marketing messages and put them in the Deleted box where they belong.

Submitted by:

Joan Pasay

Joan Pasay

Brought to you by the -- Email Marketing Club: The only place on the Internet where Email Marketing is FUN!

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Copyright Joan Pasay - 2005



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