Emails have long been tried and tested for marketing and business communication. Billions of emails are sent worldwide each day, but one of these surprisingly high numbers of messages does not reach the intended recipient.
Have you created a well-written business email but have sent it to the wrong person? Another way to misdirect an email is to reply in a group conversation. We can all agree that this business mistake is awkward yet common.
Anyone can make these errors, and you might even notice the mistake late. But, once you realized you missent an email, you have the chance to do damage control before the situation spirals to even something that would be out of your control.
- Undo or Recall the Email
Some email apps have a grace period of a minute or less after the email is sent out. If you see a pop-up that asks you to undo the email, click on it immediately. This option saves you from embarrassment and grave consequences.
Check your email settings to know how to unsend emails. Make sure to have the widest window of opportunity to fix your mistake before it results in irrevocable consequences.
- Assess the Damage
Assess how the email may be used against you. Would it cause harm to you or the company? If there are attachments, do they contain sensitive information?
If the email is sent to multiple people, they can all see each other’s emails. Assess how the unintended recipient can do with the information. Be realistic on what they can do with the leaked information.
- Consider to Send a Follow-Up Apology Email to the Recipient
You might have already thought to message the recipient and notify them that the email was a mistake. But, some prefer to stay quiet or send a short email. The situation depends on the company culture you are dealing with. You can apologize for the inconvenience and ask them to delete the email. Moreover, understand that they won’t necessarily make your request.
- Notify Anyone Who Might Be Involved, Prepare to Face Consequences
A simple mistake can make you lose a client and the company’s reputation. Although this situation highly depends on the email content, you cannot avoid repercussions if it has sensitive or private data from your business partner or client.
You have to notify those involved and affected about the data leaks. Consult your legal team and find out what you can do. After all, it is your responsibility to protect sensitive client data.
You have to be careful in dealing with misdirected emails. The law is not on your side when you send an email to the wrong person. The only thing you can hope for is the goodwill of the recipient and prepare for any fines or any uncomfortable questions.
If you can find reliable email software that scans email drafts to help you avoid mistakes, you can save yourself from embarrassment or the worst-case scenario.