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Today’s email topic is one that I’ve wanted to talk about for some time, and a recent email that I received from Peter Thomas Roth was the perfect jumping off point.

Let’s take a look:

It is a nice message, apologizing for website issues, and offering a special free gift with any purchase to make amends.

Here’s where I get into the email marketing conspiracy theory. Did the website really have issues? I have received enough of these emails that I don’t necessarily think that these are real issues every time.

I absolutely understand the struggle of increasing engagement with promotional emails, with seeing your emails getting lost in inboxes, never to be opened or clicked on. In response to the current online environment of people (unfortunately) looking to pounce on anything that someone has done “wrong,” perhaps the open rates on emails admitting fault are impressive and worth the potential risk of someone thinking you should not have had an issue in the first place.

I see a few different scenarios in which people open this email:

  • “Ooh, what did they screw up?” (see above)
  • “Ooh, they’re sorry about something, will I get something out of it?”
  • A genuine responder who had an issue related to the content of the email
  • The rare individual who opens all emails from a specific company

Is the “sorry” email a sad development in the evolution of email marketing? I’d love to know what you think. Let’s chat on Twitter.