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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Breaking the rules

A few hours ago, while waiting for the final leg of our flight home, I drafted an email letter. The rule of the game on important correspondence is to 'sleep on it'. The fresh perspective of an extra day almost inevitably results in improvements or avoiding big mistakes.

But the combination of creative energy and impulsiveness got the best of me, so, shortly before boarding, I hit the 'send' button. Rereading the letter, I am not totally disappointed with it -- but I'm sure the message could have been better developed and communicated if I had given it an extra day or two.

Alas, in my rush, I produced a typo -- inviting readers to travel to an 'impossible' blog address. While there is no doubt I should have been more careful about the original letter, the question came to mind: How can I fix the error?

The first 'solution' might have made sense -- sending everyone on the list a correction note -- and could have perhaps increased readership and ultimately the letter's effectiveness. (There is a paradox that the less 'sales message' you can find in a letter, the more effective it is.) But I don't believe in burdening readers with excessive email volumes.

So I implemented the second solution, I created a special 'My mistake' blog with the incorrect web address. Readers who click on the mistaken blog quickly will find their way to the correct one.

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