Email Mistakes: How Chubbies Shorts Goofed and Capitalized

By November 30, 2016Email Marketing

Have you ever been on a large email chain when someone forgot to include the link or attachment? Responses quickly come rolling in, reply all, of course. “Hey, you forgot to include the attachment.” “Hey, stupid, there’s no link.” Hopefully, your coworkers are kind enough to never respond with the latter, but hey, email mistakes happen.  

Now think of forgetting the link in an email sent to more than 100,000 people. In terms of email mistakes, that’s pretty big and it’s a cringe-worthy thought for anyone. And that’s exactly what happened to Chubbies Shorts, the industry leader in radical short-shorts based out of San Francisco.

Chubbies is known for its off-the-cuff marketing style. They have short names like “The Trophy Husbands” and “The ‘Mericas.” And their emails are just as creative. They once sent an email with six individual GIFs of Disney princesses, one of them leading to a Tom Selleck coloring book page. It’s creative. Check. And creates results. Double-check. But above all, it’s fun, and it makes people talk, sometimes for reasons not necessary planned. Or was it?

In a September campaign, Chubbies sent a message promoting the sale of a bar on Craigslist, which included “a jumbotron TV, framed pictures of Tom Selleck, kegerators, 100 free shorts, and much more.” The problem: They forgot to include the link.

It took 1 hour and 41 minutes for a follow-up message to arrive in people’s inboxes addressing the issue and including the correct link.

Hey, email mistakes happen. But here is how you can address those errors, whether you’re dealing with a mailing list of 100 or 100,000.

1.)   Don’t Overreact: Stay calm. Going into panic mode is going to prevent you from being able to make a sound decision. Instead, work with your team to address the issue and decide on a response. The sooner you own there was a mistake made, the sooner you can address the issue.

2.)   Find the Opportunity: You can’t be a pessimist in the digital marketing industry. When things don’t go as planned, you need to be ready to address the situation and find the opportunity. It can be as simple as making a well-played joke or showing that your company does, in fact, hire humans who are not immune to mistakes.

3.)   Respond: And respond timely. Just know that timely doesn’t necessarily mean quickly. Chubbies near two-hour wait allowed people to find the mistake and start some chatter. But, they didn’t wait a full day, and neither should you.

4.)   Learn and Move On: Thomas J. Watson, past chairman and CEO of IBM, is quoted, “Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?” A forgotten link shouldn’t cost any company $600,000. But if it does, just think of the experience you’ll gain.  

And as for the inspiration of this article. How did Chubbies respond? Quite simply:

About that bar…. As I’ve been told by everyone in the office, everyone on Twitter, and my mom, the previous email’s link for the Bar-V did not work. That’s a big time whoopsy daisy on my part.

I swear this link works.

Hey, we’re only human.

-Justin & all the other humans at Chubbies

Signing off,

Danny Klopfenstein

Email Marketer & human at Hawke Media

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