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oops e-mail solution?

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oops e-mail solution?

Postby Ellen » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:07 pm

Okay, I'll admit, I'm a bit hard-nosed when it comes to receiving "oops e-mails." When received, I find the unsubscribe link, take care of business and move on.

My opinion, is if I've subscribed to a list, I expect the owner of the list to take great care to not only send me the information I've opted-in to receive, as they've explained they would... but in addition, I expect them to show they appreciate my valuable time by first making sure the information they're sending to their list of subscribers is accurate, and of course, helpful/useful.

An "oops - Sorry everyone, I made a mistake in my last e-mail, (my bad,) the link wasn't entered incorrectly... here's the REAL link to this ultra fab, limited time offer..." e-mail, is the best way for a list owner to convince me they don't respect or appreciate my time.

Worse yet, an oops e-mail is a very good way for a list owner to show me they think I'm an idiot. Someone who believes their mistake was an honest one -- leading me to jump all over their new link, as if I don't have anything better to do with my time than to follow corrected bad links. HELLO?

Yes, mistakes occur. (We're all human.) And yes, sometimes the mistakes are legitimate. But with so many list owners utilizing the "oops e-mail" tactic these days, I can't help but think; "there must be a way to weed out the real mistakes from the not-so-legit.

Being the type of person who consistently looks for solutions to problems, (I do think oops e-mails are a problem on many fronts,) I am suggesting a solution for those, who on rare occasion do make an honest mistake.

You know how some of the big-brand retailers will offer a product for free -- IF you find they've incorrectly priced an item in their check-out system?

I was at one time the Manager for a big-brand retailer, and my Retail Price Coordinator (bless her heart,) had what I considered to be one of the most important, and at times, frustrating jobs in the store. Part of her job was entering thousands of retail prices into the store check-out computer system -- and getting it right. No small feat when you're dealing with numbers all day long.

As her fingers flittered around on the keypad, she did, on occasion, enter incorrect retail prices. Her mistakes were sometimes in the stores favor - sometimes in the consumers. Either way though, her mistakes always created a problem for one or the other. (The store or the consumer.)

The solution for her honest mistakes, was really an easy one. The store would give a consumer whatever the incorrectly priced item was - for free, if they were the one who brought the error to the attention of a store staff member. (Staff members knew who to go to with any pricing errors.)

The solution was actually an incentive for consumers. If they found a pricing error, regardless of whether or not the price was in their favor, by letting us know there was a mistake at all, they got the item they were intending to buy, for free. Handling errors in this way not only saved the store money -- it also saved staff time and frustration in general.

Instead of sending an "oops e-mail" when there has been a legitimate human error/mistake, why not confront the possibility if mistakes occurring, cuz it happens, by openly admitting it might happen -- but because you do appreciate your subscribers time, if they're willing to take the time to let you know there was a mistake made, the first one who brings the mistake/error to your attention will get the advertised product/service for free? (Or at an attractive discounted price?)

At that point you could send out a revised e-mail, explaining the mistake/ error, crediting one of your subscribers for bringing the error to your attention. Yes, handling your mistakes this way might cost you (if you're honest,) but the cost won't ever be as huge as it potentially can be, if your subscribers become fed-up with oops e-mails, as I and many others have.

Food for thought...
Last edited by Ellen on Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby JosephRatliff » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:11 pm

Ellen,

Great points. I have received a number of "oops" emails myself, and immediately unsubscribe from that list.

I also love the "Re: IMPORTANT...blah blah blah etc..." subject line.

Funny.
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Postby Ellen » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:24 pm

Ditto, Joseph. :cry: I've recieved the "re: oh-so-important, blah, blah, blah" emails too. For me, the important thing almost always involves my finding the unsubscribe (or blocked senders,) link -- so I can save myself the time the sender clearly doesn't have any appreciation for.

Funny - because what they've done, ends up being a total waste of their own time too.
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Postby Mommyland » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:27 pm

I have noticed alot more of the oops emails are going out. I get at least one a day from different people. At first I thought yea we are human and didn't think much about it but with everyone doing it I am going to unsubscribe from all of the list except for a few.
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Postby Ellen » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:17 am

I think everyone is getting more and more oops e-mails these days, Tamara. If I received one only once in awhile, I might think there was an honest mistake made. But I think it's obvious it's being abused by some so I've personally made the choice not to accept the oops excuse anymore - choosing instead to unsubscribe myself from the list of whomever is sending them.

If enough people start unsubscribing from lists that use the oops e-mail tactic, those abusing it will quickly learn they're only harming themselves.

For HONEST mistakes, I believe there is a better way to handle them. A list owner simply has to want to do what they can to prevent mistakes from occurring at all, and have a responsible way of handling those that might slip by in place.

My idea of offering a free item to the first subscriber who alerts a list owner of an error, is actually an incentive for the list owner to make sure their copy is correct before they send it to their list.

Honest people will do what is necessary - even if it means more work and/or greater cost, because doing things the right way, respecting those they do business with and helping as much as they can, is engrained in their character.

Not-so-honest people will use and abuse whatever and whoever they can to get ahead, as quickly, cheaply and easily as possible. And they're the ones, in my opinion, saying "oops" the most.
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Postby Michelle Waters » Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:52 pm

I think this sounds like an excellent idea. In the past, I've offered discounts or a free month of hosting, for example, to people who have found mistakes on my websites. I get a free proofreader, and they get a great discount or a freebie. :D
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Postby Ellen » Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:03 am

Hi Michelle,

I'm wondering how you went about letting people know you were willing to offer something, in exhange for them letting you know they've found a mistake?

And, were you specific regarding the type of mistakes/errors you wanted to know about or did it matter?
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Postby Michelle Waters » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:43 am

I've just usually posted something on my forum. You could make an announcement via your mailing list as well.
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