“The One Time” Lesson Learned

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A Wendy’s Wednesday Whimsy

Always proofread your blog posts and e-newsletters, and preview a test version before you really hit “send.”


That’s what I advise others. It’s also what I always do myself.

Well, almost always. Herein lies a lesson re-learned a few weeks ago.

I’d just added some new material to the Content-Sharing Library, coincidentally about how to avoid identity theft and financial fraud. Announcing availability on a Friday, I watched the downloads rolling in over the weekend from interested subscribers. Yay.

Then … remember the WannaCry ransomware scare? That very weekend, reports broke of this new, seemingly major threat. I certainly hadn’t planned my release to coincide with the breach, but had I been psychic, I couldn’t have timed it any better.

So, carpe diem, I decided it would be a great time to release a quick follow-up e-blast and post, with an additional cover letter advisors could use to share the newly released and incredibly timely materials.

That’s when I made a beginner’s mistake.

In my rush to send that Monday morning update, I skipped my usual quality control. It’s rare that I need to make adjustments to my template-based e-blasts (I reasoned). Even though this particular announcement required a few revisions to the template, they were minor (I told myself). Time is of the essence, and I’m a professional (I patted myself on the back); I should be good to go.

Except I was a professional who forgot to heed my own advice.

Sure enough, there was an embarrassing mistake in my e-blast. I accidentally left in some language from an earlier email, so where the current email was supposed to have ended, it instead lurched into a confusing non-sequitur. I also left in a header that referred to the post as one of my Wednesday Whimsies. Too bad it was on a Monday.

To squeeze some lemonade out of the experience, let’s at least use it as a lesson worth revisiting – for both of us. Remember this post the next time you are tempted to take a shortcut with your own client communications. Always proofread and preview your blog posts and e-newsletters before you send them out for real. Is time of the essence? Instead of skipping your disciplined processes, double up on them. When you’re in the heat of a rush, that’s when they’re needed the most.