The German branch of PayPal had a bit of a crisis on its hands when an email went out a little over a week ago, telling customers that 500 EUR had been deposited into their account as part of an ongoing sweepstakes. When the recipients of the email logged on, however, they found that no money had been deposited.
Although there was some debate about the email’s legitimacy, PayPal confirmed via its official Facebook page that the emails had come from the company, but they were sent “due to a technical error.” The contest does exist, but customers were only supposed to be informed that they were in the running for the prize. Although some customers took the news in stride, others argued that the email’s promise of giving the recipients 500 EUR is enforceable by law. Although it’s been tapering off, the PayPal customer service and social media teams have been dealing with this headache for the last week or so.
So, how can you prevent a similar incident from happening to your own brand? These few extra steps of precaution will save you from assembling the Customer Service Avengers.
Double check and confirm send dates.
Yes, mistakes happen. That’s just a reality of life. But to help decrease the number of mistakes you encounter in the email space, check, double-check and confirm send dates, times and recipients for your messages. Yes, it sounds like common sense, but there’s a good chance that, had the PayPal team taken another look at their messages and their corresponding recipients, they would’ve saved themselves a lot of trouble.
Make sure drafts are just that — drafts.
It doesn’t hurt to get ahead by drafting upcoming campaigns, alerts or other messages, but it can be easy to accidentally send out a missive before it’s been approved or before its target date. Make sure that messages aren’t scheduled until they’ve been approved, and the send date and time have been confirmed.
Decrease the number of individuals with access to service credentials.
Since you’re probably using an email marketing service to handle your communications, make sure that as few people as possible have access to the login credentials. The more hands that are involved, the more chances there are for messages and scheduling to get screwed up. Not only that, if an error does occur, having fewer people in charge of it all makes it easier to pinpoint where the problem took place.
Make users aware of phishing scams to help keep accounts/credentials safe.
The Onion’s recent hacking made brands take notice of the reality of phishing scams. Although that hacking focused mainly on the brand’s social accounts, a hacking could just as easily give the culprits access to your valued customers’ contact information. To help prevent it before it happens, educate your staff about how to properly filter incoming messages from questionable senders.
Once you’re sure it’s in safe hands, improve your email marketing strategy with our tips, lists and guides.