How to Write an Apology Email

How to Write an Apology Email

couple laying on a natural bed

When your business makes a mistake, you need to act quickly. A sincere apology email can often help to fix the damage.

But the stakes are high. Use the wrong words in your apology email, and you might anger your audience.

To avoid disasters like this, we gathered great examples of apology emails. Consider this the hall of fame of email mistakes. Use them as a guide if you ever need to send a heartfelt — or even humorous — apology.

[Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, Passive Income Steaming™ receives compensation at no extra cost to you if you purchase through these links.]

When should you send an apology email?

Before sending an apology email, evaluate whether the situation calls for it.

Ask yourself two questions:

  • Would subscribers be inconvenienced or confused if I don’t send an apology?
  • Did I (or my business) offend or upset my audience by doing something wrong?

If you respond with a “yes” to either question, you should send an apology email.

Different mistakes require different responses. Here are examples of apology emails for some of the most common mistakes businesses make.

Incorrect info, broken links, and typos

SEMrush

If you forget to carefully review and test your emails, you might end up sending an email with broken links or typos. It happens quite a bit. (Pro tip: Test your emails before you send them.)

Related: 3 Ways to Test Your Emails before Hitting ‘Send’

If you did this, send an email to give people the correct information and to apologize for the mistake.

BuzzFeed sent a newsletter with the wrong link. They quickly sent an apology email with the right link and a lighthearted explanation.

 

Accidental email sends

If you hit send too early or deliver an email you never meant to send, keep calm and send an apology.

If the email you accidentally sent is funny (Let’s say it contains nothing but a cat.), you can even make your apology humorous, like Fab’s purrfect email below.

[Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, Passive Income Steaming™ receives compensation at no extra cost to you if you purchase through these links.]

Missing information or details

Forgot to include important information or details in your email? Send a follow up email to correct your mistake.

Notice how Really Good Emails apologizes for sending another email in the same day and shares the information they forgot.

 

Tech issues

Technology doesn’t always work. If your website goes down or you’re dealing with another tech issue that affects your audience, email them to apologize and give an update on what’s happening.

Joanna Wiebe, founder of CopyHackers, sent an apology email after her webinar platform failed to work during her presentation on apology emails. (I think she jinxed herself.)

 

Broken products or poor service

A bad experience with your company can destroy your relationship with a customer and lead to negative reviews of your product or service.

Booking.com

If a large group of customers have a bad experience because you delivered a poor product or service, the negative impact is magnified. But you can send an apology email to help alleviate the damage.

buildapreneur

After delivering defective products to their customers, Passion Planner emailed their audience an apology and an offer for a full refund.

Serious mistakes

If you’ve made a serious mistake, own it. No excuses. Apologize and explain how you’re addressing the issue so it doesn’t happen again.

Check out the apology email AirBnb sent for a serious mistake below.

 

Avocado Green Mattress

How to write an apology email subject line

Not sure what to write in your subject lines? Try one of these tips.

Be direct.

Explain exactly what happened and what you’re doing about it.

Example: Passion Planner

Subject line: Trouble with Eco? We Hear Your Concerns.

Mention your mistake.

Be clear about the mistake you made right in your subject line.

Example: Really Good Emails

Subject line: We forgot some stufferoo

Be human.

Everybody makes mistakes. As long as you haven’t made a serious one, use a human tone, like Buzzfeed, and maybe even add an emoji.

Example: BuzzFeed

Start LLC for $0 at IncFile

Subject line: Let’s try this again…

Related: Your Guide to Writing the World’s Best Email Subject Lines

Own your mistakes.

It’s much better for your brand to apologize than to say nothing when a mistake happens. Plus, it’s the right thing to do.

Need help writing other emails? Download our free What to Write in Your Emails guide. It includes 45+ fill-in-the-blank email templates.

 

AWeber is an email marketing platform that allows 100,000+ small businesses and entrepreneurs to create and send emails people love. Learn more about what AWeber can do for your small business.

For additional tools and resources click here.

[Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, Passive Income Steaming™ receives compensation at no extra cost to you if you purchase through these links.]

 

Thank you Passive Income Streaming™ readers for sharing our posts!

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