Oops! It happens: you work tirelessly on a campaign and right when you hit send, you realize you’ve made a mistake! With no way to revoke your emails from hundreds or even thousands of inboxes, it’s time for you to send the apology email to explain what went wrong.

The need for an apology email can feel like a digital marketing emergency at the time. Statistically, apology emails have the largest open and click rates compared to any other type of emails in a campaign. Therefore, understanding why can highly impact your relationship with your audience should give you a better idea as to how to approach this situation if needed.

Why apology emails have huge open and click rates

Here is a list of reasons that affect the open rates along with examples of proper apology email examples sent in the past.

1. Redemption from your audience

Boohoo's apology email response and offer to their subscribers after the mistake
Boohoo Clothing email via Pinterest

Emails where a company owns up to their own mistake will generally offer a chance to redeem themselves. Offers such as coupon codes that are included in the apology email show that a brand values those subscribed and their relationship.

2. A double-take at the email mistake

Dorothy Perkins apology email and 20% off coupon code for a mistake on their part
Dorothy Perkins email via Pinterest

If caught quickly, not everyone will open the initial email or notice right away that there has been a mistake. Words like “oops!” and “correction” in a subject line are more likely catch someone’s attention that there is a mistake to be found in the first place. It is clear what the email is about right away and intrigues your subscribers on what the mistake is.

3. Humanizes your brand

MyHabit email via Pinterest

Another reason that affects the open-rate of apology emails is that it reminds people that everyone makes mistakes. In the end a quick response in correcting your mistake shows that your brand is responsive when it comes to fixing issues. This is much more respectable than waiting for a large amount of your audience to point out your own mistakes without resolve.

Next steps after sending an apology email

At the time it can feel very scary and intimidating to have to send out an apology email. Avoid making any apology emails in the future by proof reading or having an extra set of eyes before you send out an email blast.

If the issue rises, you can use this opportunity to come back stronger from a marketing slip up. Everyone makes mistakes, acknowledge and own up to them. It is how you own up to your mistakes that has a large impact and what your audience will remember.

Originally published on

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