#NoFailMail Community Contest: Themes, Advice, and the Winner

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If you’ve ever failed at email, you’re not alone. Litmus has made mistakes, and others have too.

In our #NoFailMail community contest, dozens of email geeks shared their email fail stories, giving us all the chance to learn from the mistakes of others and put better systems and checks in place at your company to minimize the frequency and scope of future email marketing mistakes.

  1. Forgetting to change placeholders
  2. One of the most common, and the most embarrassing, fails that we saw on the community were those that involved placeholders. From (INSERT NAME HERE)s left in greetings to temporary subject lines, it’s easy to get so caught up in designing and writing the bulk of the email that we forget to go back and change any placeholders that we put in. We can only hope to catch these mistakes before we hit the send button, but for this community member, he wasn’t so lucky…

    ”For the ‘temporary’ subject line of a GDPR email template I addressed my distaste with the wording of ‘Just another f*ing GDPR Email’. Without reviewing the subject line, I sent the email to our EU marketing lists with a total recipient count of around 25k.” –Cooper L.

      Read the full story here →

  3. Sending to the Wrong List
  4. Sending to the correct list is crucial, because, as we know, each email is tailored for a specific audience. When you send to the wrong list, the wrong audience gets the wrong message. In this case, the wrong audience happened to be a crowd of angry rockers…

    “I was asked to send an email offering a free ticket to the next day’s Rolling Stones show in Chicago. I was told that it was a small list of VIP customers and not the thousands that we normally send to. I found a list under 1K labeled with the concert date, venue, and Rolling Stones and verified the list size with the marketer requesting the email. Easy peasy I thought. Unfortunately, it was the WRONG LIST! They stormed the box office. They had to call in extra staff, beef up security, and put out a statement.” –Jacklyn A.

      Read the full story here →

  5. Copy errors
  6. Since spell-check exists, we tend to think that we’re covered when it comes to spelling and grammar errors, but there are so many more ways to make copy fails—and spell-check doesn’t always catch everything. For example, when you send out a wrong number…

    “I was working on a client email that was being sent to the highest spenders, and directed them to call a specially created concierge line. Turns out the phone number we sent out was a number off and sent these people to a sexy talk line!“ -Andrea G.

      Read the full story here →

    Check out what we think are the 5 biggest copy fails you should try to avoid.

How to avoid fails like these—Some #NoFailMail Advice from the Community

Our contest participants not only shared their failure stories, but also hands-on advice for how to avoid email mistakes in the future. Here are our favorite tips from the Community.

  1. Make email reviews a team effort
  2. “Best tips for achieving #nofailmail… double, triple, quadruple checking. Getting a second or third set of eyes is always crucial—when you spend so much time working on something it’s easy to miss details.” –Veronica N.

    Improve collaboration with Litmus Proof

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  3. Remove distractions when it comes to email reviews and QA
  4. “Take sending seriously: I believe in no distractions when going through the checklist and getting ready to launch something to (in my case) half a million readers. Music gets paused, email/IM gets minimized, and the only open windows on my computer are the ESP and the checklist.” –Adam T.

  5. Have a process—and a checklist in place
  6. “My best tip for achieving #NoFailMail? Create an approval process before disaster strikes” –Jimmy P.

    Your pre-flight check for sending the perfect email

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Our Community Contest Winner!

Of all the email geeks who entered the contest, we’ve randomly drawn a lucky winner. Congratulations Christa Savickas, you have just won a bunch of awesome Litmus-y prizes!

We would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who shared their fail stories with the community and offered their best advice. By doing so, you have taken the email community one step closer to achieving #NoFailMail.

Read the #NoFailMail community discussion →