Many people include quotes at the bottom of their emails – some inspirational, some from movies, some just whimsical – but this one had very specific meaning for us today:

“You can’t always control what happens, but you can control how you react.”

You see, it came from a woman who was reaching out to let us know that the email we had sent out today regarding Brand ManageCamp had non-working links.  Now, of course, we already knew this as we have received a barrage of emails telling us that fact with varying degrees of animosity.  But, the woman who sent this email stood out – not just because the quote was so appropriate today, but because she was so nice about the whole thing.

Here’s the backstory – in the months leading up to the Brand ManageCamp conference, we typically send out 1 (maximum 2) emails to promote the event and make folks aware of any promotions or offers (like the upcoming free webinar next Tuesday).  We put a great deal of effort and care into making sure the emails are as informative as possible and, of course, are in good working order.

However, when we checked on the progress of the email this morning, it became clear that things were not as they should be.  It turns out that our email delivery service provider experienced a major meltdown this morning, resulting in our emails being sent out with faulty and/or non-existant links and images.  Not only didn’t the emails look the way they should, but even if someone could see past that and still want to click through, they couldn’t.  To make matters worse, if a recipient wanted to unsubscribe, the unsubscribe link also did not work – leading to greater frustration on their part.

The first course of action was to cancel whatever emails had not been sent.  And now, we are settling into damage control mode – attempting to determine who did receive the faulty emails and beginning to determine the best way to reach out to them and apologize without making matters worse.  I’d be lying if I said we had it figured out yet, but we will certainly do the best we can to retain the trust and confidence we have worked so hard to build.

The other aspect of this has been individually monitoring each email we have received back to look for unsubscribes.  With thousands of out of office replies coming in, and with many folks not putting an obvious ‘Remove’ subject line, this has been a tedious yet necessary task.

All through this ordeal, though, I firmly believe and draw strength from the quote found in that one woman’s email.  It is something we have always lived by here at ManageCamp, but nonetheless a philosophy always worthy of a reminder.  What happened prior to the email going out was just dumb, bad luck – no amount of preparation or caution could have helped avoid it.  What we do from that moment on, though, is completely up to us and will define who we are as people and as an organization.  At the end of the day, we will rest easy knowing that we have done our best.  If we can do that, regardless of all the stress, I’ll rack it up as a good day.  Hope yours is too.