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CORRECTION is not a marketing strategy

Welcome to a new blog post series called Missed Opportunities. Every so often, I’ll share a personal anecdote where a business could have done something brilliant from a marketing perspective — but didn’t quite reach that goal. I’ll unpack how they missed their goal, why that matters, and how they could improve on it going forward.

As someone very involved in the marketing industry, I’m always watching for what others are doing, usually bigger organizations that have huge marketing departments – industry leaders at the vanguard with new ideas and strategies. After all, those should be the best examples, right?

The other day, I received an email from a sizable bank. Twice. The first email had this subject line:

Special Uber Offer for Cash Card Members

A few minutes later, I got another email, exactly the same, only it had one extra word at the beginning:

CORRECTION: Special Uber Offer for Cash Card Members

You can see where this is going.

When a multinational bank makes a mistake like this, clearly something fell through the cracks. There was obviously an error in the details of the email that was so important, a follow-up email had to be sent immediately to correct said details. Yikes.

So what’s the point here?

Sadly, the “CORRECTION” was hugely distracting. What a missed opportunity to send a great email and get readers to take action! Everyone makes mistakes, but the takeaway is that there need to be checklists, workflows – any form of double- and triple- checking — to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen. There needs to be at least another pair of eyeballs and quality controls on this email before it goes out.

Imagine an airplane. What if a flight took off without the crew going through their regular pre-flight checklist? If you think of your marketing strategy (department, team, or maybe just yourself) as a crew preparing for flight, it’s vital there are standard procedures in place, no matter the size of the project. The last thing you want to do is throw away an impressive campaign with a follow up email that says “sorry, we messed up.”

Use this company’s misfortune as a reminder to brush up on your procedures, workflows, and attention to detail. I’m always working with my team to double and triple check our work so this sort of thing doesn’t happen. You should too. Whether you’re doing all of your own marketing for your business or have a team of 10, double-check your work!

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