How To Avoid Oops Emails

Oops Emails occur at least three different ways.

The first happens when the e-mail author sends incorrect, incomplete, or unintended messages.

Doing so usually requires a second e-mail to correct the error of the first.

Sometimes, e-mail marketers send an “imitation” Oops E-mail as a second way of connecting with the recipients.

This article addresses the two more common types of Oops e-mails.

Have you ever sent an e-mail and announce in the text that you have sent along an attachment, only to realize you
forgot to attach it?

What follows?  Your Oops Emails.

In that second e-mail, you apologize for forgetting to attach what should have traveled with the original e-mail.

The result: embarrassment for you and wasted time for you and your recipients.

Inadvertent, machine-generated mistakes create the next type of Oops Emails.

This happens when you accidentally hit an unknown “hot key” or a combination of keys, or encounter system frailties that sometimes respond to the system the same way as hitting the Send button.

This accidental action can send your e-mail rushing along its way and you might not even realize it happened.

You think you are typing the rest of your message and, all of a sudden, your page is gone.

To avoid the last two errors, I offer the following suggestions.


If you plan to send an attachment, insert the attachment first.

Many times, the content in the attachment is the reason for sending the e-mail.

You know that you plan to send an attachment.  While you’re thinking about it, do it first.  Then create your text.

Also, somewhere in the body of your e-mail, let recipients know you have attached a file.  Some recipients may not even realize you sent an attachment.


If you are creating a new e-mail message, insert the recipient’s e-mail address in the To area as the last thing
you do.

If you are responding to an e-mail, highlight and delete the original senders address from the To area.

Doing so might prevent you from sending incomplete or incorrect messages.

Without an e-mail address in the To area, your system cannot Send a document.

Inserting the recipient’s e-mail address after you have proofread your document or leaving it blank as you create
may help you avoid embarrassment and a lot of retyping time.


One of my clients suggests an even better idea to avoid Oops e-mails.

Put your e-mail address in the “To” location in your e-mail.

That way, the only one who receives an e-mail sent by accident is you.

Sometimes, we don’t remember or know what we had already created when we hit that evil hot key that sent the
unfinished document on its way.

When you receive your Oops e-mail, you now have a record of what you had already created.

So, now you have saved yourself embarrassment and time.

And, for more ideas on how to create more effective e-mails, visit The Wonderful World of Worthwhile Webinars.

© Al Borowski, MEd, CSP, PP

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