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Apology email

Apology email: Templates to send your clients when you mess up

Key Takeaways
  • Sincere apologies can fix your professional blunders.
  • An apology email is a formal message sent to customers after making a terrible mistake.
  • Save your valuable customer relationships by acknowledging the misstep, empathizing with the inconvenience, and being ready to offer restitution.

Mistakes happen, but an apology can make all the difference. 

Thinking, why send an apology email for a mistake? 

17% higher retention rate is seen when businesses straightforwardly admit faults and apologize.  

Also, about 73% of consumers believe customer service experiences influence purchasing decisions.  

Thus, it becomes crucial for every business to owe for its mistakes and take charge of the situation to retain its customers’ trust. 

This blog talks about how to write an apology email and gives tips for writing a good one with examples. 

Plus, 10 helpful apology email templates for the customer success team.

Let’s start with the definition.

What is an apology email? 

An apology email is a formal message sent to customers after making a mistake.

In a professional workplace, apologies are excellent options for getting a chance to correct your error or can be helpful to prevent losing your precious customers.  

Thinking, what are those many mistakes to send an apology for?

Here’s a list of mistakes.

Mistakes that demand an apology email

While some errors are excusable, few might harm your company’s reputation and lower customer loyalty.

So, they demand a formal apology letter/email. 

Let’s see why it is crucial to apologize to your customers.

Why is it important to write an apology email to customers?  

Three reasons why writing an apology emails to customers is essential:  

  • It saves your brand reputation.  
  • It protects your customer loyalty from being hampered.  
  • It preserves you from losing your valuable customers. 

Sometimes, even a tiny mistake, if left unacknowledged, can cause significant loss, like damage to the brand’s reputation or losing a deal.

Your customers might think you need to be more responsible as a brand. 

Now, if you make an effort and send an apology, your customer will feel more valued and consider your actions before making further opinions.  

Remember, it takes time to get a response to your apology letter/email.  

But still, you must send your sincerest apologies if the error is worth apologizing for to save your customer relationship. 

How to write an apology email?  

As per the researchers’ study, you must follow a standard format when writing an apology email to the customer. 

Below is the ideal format that teaches how to apologize to a customer via email:

Format of an apology email

1. Subject line for an apology email 

The subject line needs to be snappy, clear, and concise.  

To help you with this, here are some apology email subject line samples:

  • Hey <customer name>! Please accept our apologies. 
  • An apology from <your name/business name>. 
  • Hi, <customer name>! We made a mistake. 
  • Get confused with our last message? 
  • I am sincerely apologizing. 

You must personalize your subject line with the customer’s name to build a better impact.

2. Humble greeting  

Use the simple format: Dear <Customer name> 

If you are sending an apology, you probably know your customer’s name or other details. If not, use professional terms like “Dear Client” and “Dear Customer” for an individual.

Use “Dear All” and “Dear Team” to address a mass audience. 

Or you can write “Dear” and begin with your opening line. 

3. The body of the email 

Be empathetic, acknowledge well & offer restitution if necessary. 

In Psychology Today, Jeffrey Bernstein, PhD, stated that there are three parts to a meaningful, heartfelt apology.

Elements of a great apology: 

  • Acknowledge the mistake: You must admit your mistake, as this gesture will positively impact your customers. 
  • Be empathetic: You must express a sense of emotions that you understand the problems faced by your customers due to the mistake that happened. It connects your readers with you naturally. 
  • Restitution: Offer compensation at the end of your email to make them feel important. It helps to regain your customers’ trust and build a stronger relationship. 

4. Apology email closing  

This section is where you must talk about restitution and anything that can contribute to correcting your mistake. 

Ensure your closing line is potent to create a good scene and helps you to retrieve your customer relationship. 

See the example below to learn how to end an apology email effectively.

Apology email closing

In the above example, the brand has apologized for sending an older email with an expired coupon CODE.  

However, they’ve beautifully corrected their mistake and extended the coupon CODE expiry for one more day. 

5. Professional email signature 

Signatures are integral to any email as it discloses the person to contact if the same mistake happens shortly.

Plus, it helps to humanize your email in case of mass outreach. 

So, it is better to send an apology letter/email from a known representative, like their relationship manager, marketing executive, director etc., that your customers are familiar with. 

Always keep your email signature professional with sign-off such as: 

  • Kindest regards 
  • Sincerely 
  • Thank you  

To summarize your learning, scan the apology email example below: 

Essentials of an apology email

Best customer apology email examples to learn from

Your customer service team can look up these examples from top brands to use in your case effectively. 

1. Personal apology email for missing a meeting 

This type of email is sent when you’ve made a mistake that impacts your customer directly. 

So, by taking all the responsibility for the outcomes, you write your sincere apology email to amend the loss. 

Generally, this type of email is sent by an individual, say a sales rep, customer relationship manager, or a team, e.g., a customer success team. 

For example, a sales rep cancelled a scheduled appointment at the last moment.

Below is an apology made by Zocdoc for not making up for a scheduled meeting. 

Personal apology email example

Highlights of the Zocdoc’s example:

  • They addressed the recipient with its name, making it personalized.  
  • Proposed an offer, “an Amazon gift card,” to turn things in their favor again.  
  • Motivated the customers to provide feedback to make them feel important.  

Such efforts in the above sample enable the sender to indicate the company’s intention to sustain a better customer relationship. 

2. Managerial apology email 

Sometimes the blunders by a rep demand senior involvement to make a positive impact. 

Apologies sent by a senior manager, leader, or director indicate how much a brand cares about its customers and is ready to fix the issue in every possible manner.    

Outbrain used this trick. 

Managerial apology email example

Highlights of the Outbrain’s example: 

  • Explained the reason behind the misstep. 
  • They humbly apologized for the mistake.  
  • Asked for a second chance to grab the missed opportunity again. 
  • Provided contact email encouraging them to revert positively. 
  • Mentioned the name of the marketing director in the signature. 

3. Mass apology email  

You might lose some potential customers or deal with a slow website speed. But with a clever apology email, you can bring your audience back. 

See the excellent example by Forever21. 

Mass mistake email apology example

Highlights of Forever21’s example: 

  • The email design, font, and appeal match the brand’s identity.  
  • They creatively made an apology with a “SORRY.”  
  • Compelling email copy; “our cat ate our website speed.”  
  • Offered restitution with free shipping code; “SHIPFREE.” 
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10 Most used apology email templates  

Now that you’ve seen how brands smartly save customer relationships with an apology. Here are some templates based on real-life instances where you must sincerely apologize.

1. Apology email template about sending a wrong invoice  

Subject: Apology for sending an incorrect invoice 

Dear [Recipient's Name],  

We goofed! Sorry for any inconvenience caused by the incorrect invoice.

We have attached the correct invoice; kindly look into it.

Also, we want to ensure that we take the necessary steps to prevent such errors from occurring in the future.  

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any further concerns or questions.  

Regards, 
[Your Name] 
[Your Title]
[Company Name]

2. Poor customer service apology email template  

Subject: Apology for poor customer service experience  

Dear [Recipient's Name],  

We are sorry for the disappointing service you experienced with us.  

We recognize that we failed to meet your expectations.

However, we value your feedback and are taking the necessary measures to improve our service quality.

We will do everything in our power to ensure this type of situation does not occur again.  

We would appreciate the opportunity to make it up to you. We want to offer [Provide a solution] as a goodwill gesture.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. If you have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.  

Sincerely,
[Signature]

3. Apology email template for website downtime  

Subject: Apology for website downtime  

Dear [Recipient's Name],  

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the recent website downtime. Unfortunately, this might cause you some difficulty accessing our website.

We are taking immediate action to prevent future occurrences and ensure that our website remains reliable for our users.  

As a gesture of goodwill, we would like to offer [Provide a solution].  

We value your business and appreciate your patience during this time. If you have further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

Sincerely,  
[Signature]

4. Missed appointment apology email template  

Subject: Apology for a missed appointment  

Dear [Recipient's Name],  

We are writing this email to apologize for missing our scheduled meeting with you on [Date and Time].  

We understand your time is valuable, and we deeply regret any inconvenience our absence may have caused you.  

We value your time and won't repeat this in future. Also, we could reschedule the meeting if you're available in the coming week. 

Here's the link: [Mention a meeting scheduling link]. 

Hoping to hear from you soon. 

Warm regards,  
[Signature]

5. Business apology email template   

Subject: Apology for the mistake

Dear [Recipient's name],  

We want to express our sincerest apologies for [describe the mistake].

We're sorry for the hassle caused by our mistake.

Please know that we are taking steps to prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future.

We value your business and want to make things right. Also, kindly let us know if we can do anything to rectify the situation.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support.  

Sincerely,  
[Your Name]  
[Your Title]   
[Your Company Name]
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6. Defective B2B products apology email template  

Subject: Apology for defective B2B products  

Dear [Recipient's Name],  

We're sorry to hear that you received defective products from us.

We deeply apologize for the inconvenience and are determined to make things right for you.

Our team is currently investigating the issue to determine the cause of the defect and prevent it from happening again. 

In the meantime, we will send you a replacement for the defective products as soon as possible.  

Please accept our sincere apologies and rest assured that we are taking all necessary steps to ensure this doesn't happen again.  

Thank you for your patience and understanding.  

Best regards,  
[Company Name]

7. Apology email template for sending incorrect information  

Subject: Apology for incorrect information  

Dear [Recipient's name],  

We are writing this email to apologize for providing incorrect information in our previous correspondence.  

We accept our mistake and apologize for the inconvenience and confusion caused, and we deeply regret any negative impact it may have had on your business.  

Here is the information we missed; [Provide the correct details]. 

We assure you that we are taking steps to ensure it does not happen again.  Please accept our apologies. 

Sincerely,  
[Your Name]
[Your Title]

8. Apology email template for the delay in the project  

Subject: Apology for the delay  

Dear [Recipient's Name],  

We apologize for the delay in [project/task]. We are ready to bear all the consequences owing to our mistakes. 

However, we assure you we are working diligently to complete the project/task as soon as possible.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.  

Thank you for your continued support.  

Sincerely,  
[Your Name]   
[Your Title]
[Your Company Name]

9. Emails not delivered apology email template 

Subject: Apology for the missed emails  

Dear [Recipient's Name],  

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the recent issue with our email system. Unfortunately, some of our emails may have yet to be delivered to you as intended due to a technical glitch.  

We have taken immediate steps to address the issue and are working to ensure all emails are delivered as scheduled.

We value your business and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

Thank you for your understanding and continued support.  

Sincerely,  
[Your Name]   
[Your Title]   
[Your Company Name]

10. Apology email template for breach of privacy

Subject: Apology for breach of privacy  

Dear [Customer Name],  

We regret to inform you that a breach of privacy occurred on [Date].

We understand that this may have caused you significant concern, and we would like to extend our deepest apologies for any inconvenience caused.  

We take protecting our customers' personal information seriously and have taken steps to investigate and address this issue.

In addition, we want to assure you that we have implemented additional security measures to prevent any similar incidents from occurring in the future.  

Kindly contact us if you have any further concerns or questions. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to resolve this issue.  

Sincerely,  
[Signature]

What are some tips for writing a good apology email?  

A well-written apology message suggests that you’ve taken the situation thoughtfully and are determined to make things right. 

Here are some quick tips that will help you apologize professionally in a better way: 

  • Be timely about sending your apology email. 
  • Begin by expressing your sincere apology to save your customer relationship. 
  • Owe for your mistake as it will bring you a better light in your customer’s eye. 
  • Explain what happened and empathize. 
  • Acknowledge your customer’s goals and offer restitution. 
  • Be specific and keep it concise to make a better impact. 
  • Proofread your email to avoid further glitches. 

A customer understands that things might go wrong, but you can save your customer relationship with a good apology.

Final thoughts 

Mistakes like poor service, defective products, missing appointments, technical issues, app outages, wrong email sent, etc., demand an apology to make the situation subtle.

You can turn your apology into an offer by flashing the option of new sales. Ask for customer feedback to give them a better brand experience.

Ensure you must be empathetic, acknowledge well and offer restitution in apology emails, so your customers never leave you.

Sonali Negi

Sonali is a writer born out of her utmost passion for writing. She is working with a passionate team of content creators at Salesmate. She enjoys learning about new ideas in marketing and sales. She is an optimistic girl and endeavors to bring the best out of every situation. In her free time, she loves to introspect and observe people.

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