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How to Apologize for Incorrectly Addressing an Email

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It is a panic-inducing moment when you realize that you sent your email to the wrong person. Accidents happen, especially when you work over email, where there is the potential to get sloppy or mix up email addresses. What's worse is that there is no way to take back the email once it is sent out into the digital universe. What you can do, however, is apologize to the person who received your email promptly after realizing your blunder.

Visit the person who received your email in error in person. Apologies are always most effective when done in person. If the email recipient is remote, then call him on the phone. If you do not have his phone number, then resort to an email apology note.

Offer a sincere apology. Explain that you sent off the email in a hurry, and that it is your fault for having been a little reckless.

Ask the recipient to kindly disregard the contents of the email. It could be that you accidentally sent sensitive or confidential information in the email. In this case, request that the recipient delete the message from his email box as soon as possible.

Avoid making excuses for your error. The person that you are apologizing to does not care that you had a long day, a late night or skipped your morning cup of coffee. Just stick with the plain and simple apology approach, which is all the person really needs.

Don't blame the technology. Even if your email system automatically inserted the email address into the "To" field, it is still your fault for not having paid attention before pressing the "Send" button.

Promise that this sort of thing will not happen again. Explain that going forward you will use more caution when sending emails.


To prevent sending emails to incorrect addressees, complete your "To" field of the email last--after the message of the email is composed. Also, do not hit the "Reply to All" button, as this can get you into trouble.

Avoid filling your emails with gossip or unprofessional information, just in case you mean to send the email to your friend Anne, but the email winds up in your boss Anna's email box.