Don’t Be Afraid To Warn People When Things Go Wrong

When Things Go Wrong

Some people think that using a service like Rocket Responder is only there for sending out marketing messages or other promotional offers but it can be great at many other times too, such as when things go wrong.

As we have already seen an autoresponder is much more useful than that – you can actually send out messages where you for example:

  • give advice
  • offer tips and tricks
  • tell stories about your life (yes you really shoud do this) and
  • solicit feedback

But you can also use emails to break bad news and manage expectations.

Say if you know that you have to take your website offline for a few hours or more (maybe you are having a major server upgrade or some such other major event).

Or maybe the launch that you were planning has been delayed for a month…or you have run out of stock…or the affiliate product you are promoting has run into problems or any one of 101 other things.

Then inform your subscribers about the bad news and while many may be upset, many will welcome you being upfront and honest with them…and in any event they will be less upset than if you had not told them in the first place.

Here are some points you might want to cover in a “bad news” email:

  • Explain exactly what is happening (eg our current servers cannot cope with demand and we are moving so a super new system)
  • Explain what the effects will be on the customer (as a result we expect our site to be offline for anything up to 24 hours from this time)
  • Suggest what your subscribers should do. (so don’t panic if you can’t access the site during this time as we we should be back up and running by Monday)
  • Apologize for any problems the issue may cause. (We are really sorry that you won’t be able to access the site during this time but this is to ensure that you continue to get a great customer service from us.)

You don’t have to write it exactly like that but if you are stuck to know what to write then those points should form a solid platform for your email.

Also don’t forget that when the problem is solved then send another email saying that everything is good again – this might also be a good time to offer some sort of offer or promotion as a mark of your goodwill.


Patrick Griffin

Patrick Griffin has been marketing online for 15 years. He's a serial entrepreneur and an avid email and content marketing enthusiast with a background in publishing and journalism, including a UK Press Award.

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