Articles, Email Marketing

The Apology Email Formula: Tips & Templates for Every Situation

As the amount of email communication increases exponentially, it’s not uncommon for errors or mistakes to happen. This could include a misused phrase or word, a delayed response, or even a technical issue. These errors could potentially wreak havoc on an otherwise meticulous and detailed email marketing campaign. Therefore, it is crucial to master the art of crafting effective apology emails. 

Studies have shown that 85% of consumers state that a business’s history of being transparent makes them more likely to give it a second chance after a bad experience. Therefore, an apology email can be an effective way to address issues and errors to build trust and increase retention.

By the end of this article, you will be equipped to address these issues appropriately and persuade your readers to give you a second chance. We will also provide real-world examples and customisable templates to make your journey easier. 

How to apologise professionaly in an email?

1) Stay on brand

Consistency is one of the most crucial aspects of any successful marketing strategy. Therefore, when formulating an apology email, aligning your message with your brand identity is important.

This often involves infusing your apology email with the same tone, personality and values your audience already associates with your business. How your business handles an apology can be as important as any other aspect of your branding strategy.

The team over at Adore Beauty accidentally sent their database an expired campaign, so the next day, they sent this email. Keeping it on brand means they speak to their audience as their best friend would. Don’t worry about it – apology accepted, Adore Beauty!

Apology email for mistake

2) Choose your subject line wisely

The subject line of your apology email can be a golden opportunity to make a lasting impression and set the tone for your message. 

Your subject line can help determine whether or not a recipient opens and reads your apology email. Crafting an effective subject line requires a strategic balance of creativity, clarity, and relevance.

To enhance the effectiveness of your apology email, consider these actionable tips:

  • Acknowledge the mistake: Ensure that your subject line alludes to the mistake, clearly communicating the purpose of the email right from the start.
  • Embrace your brand voice: Depending on your brand’s tone of voice, consider adding an emoji to the subject line. An emoji can convey sincerity, friendliness, or other emotions that align with your brand.
  • Offer compensation: You can even use the subject line to allude to a discount or special offer as a way of compensating for the inconvenience caused.
  • Personalise and be clear: Personalise the subject line by including the recipient’s name or referring to their specific experience. Ensure it’s clear and directly related to the apology, avoiding vague or misleading language.

Vision6 provides users with various examples and templates to help your business create the perfect subject line.


  1. “Whoops, Let’s make it up to you.”
  2. “We made a mistake. Here’s what happened.”
  3. “Oops! Here’s what we meant to say…”
  4. “We messed up.”
  5. “[OOPS] Let’s try this again.”

This subject line highlights the importance of the email and immediately acknowledges the need for an apology. It also specifies that there is a solution to the problem, suggesting that the company is proactive in addressing the issue.

3) Be honest and own your mistake

Honesty, as a crucial touchpoint, serves as the foundation for rebuilding trust with your subscribers, and an honest, straightforward apology email that admits fault can help recipients regain trust and confidence in your business.

Did you forget to send one of the most important wrap-up emails of the year? Pfft, no biggie, according to Really Good Emails. Just shoot out an apology and link to your awesome article.

Apology for sending a late email

4) Give an explanation

Sometimes, a simple “I’m Sorry” email isn’t enough. Your audience may seek a more comprehensive and detailed understanding of the situation. Therefore, in these situations, it may be more beneficial to provide a well-structured explanation of the problem that took place and what your business is doing to solve or prevent it. 

In this example, we needed to share an apology email with our users to explain why our system experienced downtime. This email went further than just informing users about the issue. It also highlighted the technical glitch and informed users that further analysis was being done to investigate the issue. 

Apology email for system outage

5) Focus on the positive

When creating a professional email apology, it is essential to understand that while negativity can spread like wildfire, focusing on the bright side can also be extremely effective. 

Excessive negativity in your apology email for mistakes can frustrate or dishearten your recipient. However, staying positive in your tone and approach to the issues can turn any mistake into an opportunity for growth and reconciliation.

The team at 99designs kept their apology brief and kept the focus on their 10th-anniversary discount offer.

Email apology with special discount

6) Offer additional support

Offering additional support can help separate an exceptional apology from an ordinary one. This goes one step beyond just saying sorry – it involves taking an extra step to rectify the situation and reassure recipients that their concerns are being valued.

In this example, Outbrain apologised to users for a server issue that led to disrupted service and provided a direct line to support, demonstrating their commitment to resolving the issue and assisting affected users.

Example of email apology with email support

7) Reassure customers with your action plan

Outlining a concrete action plan can help assure your recipients that steps are being taken to prevent similar issues or mistakes from happening in the future. 

These action plans can serve as roadmaps that offer your audience a glimpse into the tangible strategies and measures used to rectify the situation. They can help show that your apology goes beyond words by demonstrating a dedication to continuous improvement and a desire to enhance customer experiences. 

Example: “We deeply regret the recent inconvenience you experienced with our service. We’re in the process of upgrading our systems to improve accuracy. Our goal is to address the issue at hand and enhance your overall experience with us. Thank you for your patience as we work to regain your trust.”

8) Make sure your customers can contact you

Ensuring that your apology email recipients can easily reach out to you is extremely important. While your initial apology is crucial, providing a clear and accessible channel for users to contact you can help reassure your audience. This can help acknowledge and address additional questions, concerns, or need for further clarification. 

Example: “We understand you may have questions or need assistance beyond this apology. Please don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated support team at or call us at [Phone Number]. Our support agents are available 24/7 to address any concerns.”

Apology Email Examples:

1) Apology email for mistakes

Dear [Recipient’s Name], 

We would like to extend our sincerest apologies for an error that occurred in our recent email campaign [name email campaign]. We understand that our mistake may have caused confusion and inconvenience, and we take full responsibility for the oversight. 

The error in question [describe the error briefly e.g. included incorrect pricing information” or “contained broken links’] was unintentional and does not reflect our commitment to delivering accurate and valuable content to our subscribers . 

We value your feedback and encourage you to share any concerns or suggestions you may have regarding our email communications. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us [customer support email/phone number]. 

Thank you for your understanding, 

[Your name]

[Your title]

[Your company]

[Contact information]

2) Apology email from senior management

We, the senior management team at [Your Company], want to address the recent incident regarding [specific situation]. We deeply regret the inconvenience and frustration this may have caused you.

It is our responsibility to ensure a seamless experience, and we fell short in this instance. We are taking immediate steps to rectify the situation and prevent such issues from occurring in the future.

Your trust and satisfaction are of utmost importance to us, and we are committed to making the necessary improvements to regain your confidence. Please accept our sincere apologies for any disruption this may have caused.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [Contact Information].


[Your name]

[Your title]

[Your company]

[Contact information]

3) Apology email for inconvenience

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

We extend our sincere apologies for the inconvenience you experienced due to [describe the situation]. We understand the frustration this may have caused and take full responsibility for it.

Rest assured, we are actively addressing the issue to prevent any future disruptions. Your satisfaction is our utmost priority, and we are committed to ensuring a seamless experience for you moving forward.

If you have any questions or would like to share any feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [Contact Information]. Your input is invaluable as we work to improve our services.

Thank you for your understanding, and once again, we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Best regards,

[Your name]

[Your title]

[Your company]

[Contact information]

4) Apology letter for product issues

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

We want to express our sincere apologies for any inconvenience you may have experienced due to the issue with [describe the product issue]. Your satisfaction is of the utmost importance to us, and we deeply regret any disruption this may have caused.

We take full responsibility for the quality lapse and have already taken significant steps to improve our quality control processes. Our goal is to ensure that such issues are resolved promptly and do not recur.

We value your loyalty and trust in our products, and we are committed to providing you with a better and seamless experience in the future. If you have any further concerns or would like to share your feedback, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at [Contact Information].

Warm regards,

[Your name]

[Your title]

[Your company]

[Contact information]

5) Apology letter for bad customer service

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I am writing to offer my heartfelt apologies for the subpar customer service experience you recently encountered with us. Your feedback and satisfaction are crucial to us, and I want to personally express my regret for any inconvenience this has caused.

The level of service you received falls significantly short of the high standards we strive to maintain. We take full responsibility for this lapse and are taking immediate steps to rectify the situation. Our team is undergoing retraining to ensure that such issues do not recur, and we are committed to delivering a superior customer service experience in the future.

Your satisfaction remains our top priority, and we are dedicated to regaining your trust. If you have any further concerns or feedback, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at [Contact Information].

Warm regards,

[Your name]

[Your title]

[Your company]

[Contact information]

Apology email templates:

Check out these beautiful apology email templates available to edit inside Vision6. These templates include pre-filled (apology) email copy to save you time and are absolutely free to use.

Whoops – template 1

Example apology email template

Uh-OH – Template 2

Vision6 email apology template

Sorry – Template 3

apology email template

Final Takeaway

Crafting an effective apology email is an indispensable skill that can take your email strategies to the next level. Vision6 can provide your business with streamlined and efficient customisable templates that can be used to create effective apology emails. 

Book a free demo today to learn more about sending the right apology email.

Article Categories