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Here’s How to Apologize for Texting the Wrong Person

Unsure of how to handle texting the wrong person? Use our guide to build the perfect follow-up text message.

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Raise your hand if you’ve experienced the plunging feeling in your stomach when you realize you’ve sent a text to the wrong person.

Don’t worry, we have too.

Whether you’ve simply texted the wrong person or, in a worst-case scenario, sent a screenshot of the conversation back to the sender, damage control needs to happen (and fast).

When it comes to business text messaging, the stakes of texting the wrong person are even higher. The wrong message to the wrong audience could have a lasting impact on your brand.

The good news is that customers are people too. They’re most likely going to cringe with you and laugh it off. 

But where do you even start with sending out that follow-up apology text message? We have you covered in the following guide.

What to Do When You Text the Wrong Person

Before we jump into our pre-written templates, let’s break down what you should do as soon as you realize you’ve hit send on the wrong person or people.

Respond Quickly

With this guide, you’ll have no excuse for not having a contingency plan in place. The best way to deal with texting the wrong person is to make sure you’ve sent a follow-up quickly.

This avoids any confusion and minimizes the impact of the original text message. If you’ve sent out the wrong promotional code, you could even send a good-will gesture with a more relevant one to this audience.

Say You’re Sorry

You’d be surprised by how many businesses fail to apologize for sending the wrong message. Even when the mistake doesn’t seem like a big deal, you have no idea how the customer’s day is going or the impact sending a text at that time had.

Simply including the word ‘sorry’ in your apology is a must. And just like with other types of apologies, never follow it with a ‘but…’.

Own Your Mistake

Owning your mistake is about acknowledging something has happened. In other words, please do not ignore it. Customers will take far worse to receiving the wrong text message with zero explanation than they will if they receive a humbling ‘hands up’ text message straight after. 

Ensure you’ve acknowledged exactly what text message you’re referring to in your second one. If you send multiple texts to the same customer, they may be confused as to what’s relevant and what isn’t.

Move On

Sure, we can all lie in bed cringing about past mistakes until 3:00 AM. But the reality is we’re all human. 

The most you can do is attempt to put things right, and once you’ve sent out your apology text message, it’s time to put it aside and focus on other things.

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5 Templates for When You Text the Wrong Person

There are two different considerations when it comes to apologizing for texting the wrong person.

The first is what was the mistaken text message? Was it a big deal, or is it minor? The second is how you want your brand to respond. Are you going to play it off with a joke or send a more in-depth apology?

The following five templates cover all options.

  1. Short and Sweet

“Hi [insert name], so sorry but you can ignore our last text message and continue with your day! Have a great one!”

Keeping it short and to the point is key. We’ve included an apology, and let the recipient know there’s nothing to worry about. These things happen, and if you keep it light and direct, they’ll soon move on and forget about it.

  1. Lengthy and Apologetic

“Hi [insert name], we want to let you know we’re aware you’ve just received the wrong text message. Please accept our sincere apologies if this [disrupted your day/confused /offended] you in any way. While we always try to avoid mistakes, we’re only human and are already working on fixing this. Thank you for your understanding! If you have questions, please reply to this text.”

You may need to go the extra mile if you’ve sent a text message with personal details or with inappropriate content.

In this text, we’ve left it up to you to decide why the first text message may have been poorly received. As an addition, we’ve encouraged the customer to reach out with questions, this puts ahead of any complaints that may come in as a result of the text message. 

  1. Honest and Open

“Oops! We accidentally sent you the wrong message. Sorry about that, please feel free to ignore it! We hope you’re having a great day. SimpleTexting”

A little more light-hearted than the first short and sweet message, this one remains direct while adding a little more personality. Wishing your customers a great day is a positive way to round off the text message and is a reminder that you care about them.

  1. Humorous

“Well this is awkward…  👀 Bob in marketing got hold of our phone and hit the wrong button! We’re sorry if you just received the wrong text message, we promise Bob’s about to learn some SMS marketing etiquette!”

Disclaimer: If you really do have a Bob in marketing, you should swap out the name.

Hopefully, it’s obvious that Bob doesn’t really exist. But playing it off with a joke and making light of the situation is sometimes the only way to go. Especially if you’re a brand that prides itself on being informal and conversational. 

  1. Generous

“Sorry! You just received the wrong text message from us. As a token of our apology, we’d like to offer you a 20% discount for the next 24 hours. Just use OOPS20 at the checkout to claim! txt.me/ST.”

When all else fails, a token of good will is going to soften the blow. Everyone likes a discount, and cutting your losses by sending one out in the follow-up message is a guaranteed way to keep complaints and unsubscribes to a minimum.

Texting the Wrong Person Happens to us All

You know what they say, the only guarantees in life are death, taxes, and texting the wrong person. 

It happens to everyone, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be the end of the world. If you keep your follow-up message genuine and use a version of the word ‘sorry’ you’ll likely receive minimal backlash when you reach out to apologize.

If you’re a business or organization that’s considering SMS marketing, we promise the likelihood of texting the wrong person is minimal! Use our free two-week free trial to experience the range of SimpleTexting’s features and make up your own mind with zero risk.

Alice Dodd
Alice Dodd

Alice is a copywriter at SimpleTexting. When not teaching the world about the benefits of business texting, you can find her feeding family, friends and strangers with her latest baking experiment.

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