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I’ve done it, and I bet you’ve done it (or at least have seen it done.) And holy cow, it is unpleasant.

One time when I was client-side, I had been doing some pretty crazy dynamic content in MessageFocus. It was a great campaign with all sorts of crazy personalisation.

And the subject line was: “DON’T FORGET TO PUT IN A SUBJECT LINE”

Yep, that was a fail. And when it happened to me, it wasn’t fun. But with that said, I think all marketers enjoy a small amount of schadenfreude when seeing others mess up.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean exulting in the misfortune of others. What I do mean is having a wee chuckle when you see a silly subject line go out, especially when it pertains to your interests…

Case in point: I’m sure that whoever is reading this is a massive ice hockey fan. And therefore you will know that a couple days ago the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup, which you will of course know is the annual trophy handed out to the best team in the National Hockey League.

And so when this email went out flogging the “2012 Stanley Cup Champions” gear, the whole world (or at least the few million who follow hockey) chuckled:

h/t @stophameltime

To the naked eye, nothing is amiss. But, check out the subject line: “Mavs Win!”

Now of course you will all know that this refers to the 2011 National Basketball Association champion Dallas Mavericks. Clearly what’s happened here is a marketer has copied a campaign and forgot to change the subject line…!!!

To avoid this, make sure you send tests to yourself and your colleagues. It may even be worth putting a sticky note on your monitor with a quick checklist of things to check… you can never be too careful!

MessageFocus also has a great feature called the Approval system to help with this. It allows you to send a copy of the email as it would look like on launch to a group of stakeholders. The stakeholders can then feedback via an online forum. You’ll then be informed of their feedback via email. For more information on this feature, download the Approval system brochure now. The For more ideas on how to avoid mistakes in the future, have a read of this useful blog by Jenna Lovell, one of Adestra’s Account Managers.