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7 email blunders to avoid

September 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Email’s been around for a long long time, yet it is amazing how the blunders mentioned in this article occur on almost a daily basis.

The 7 mentioned here are

1. Pay close attention. Don’t multitask

2. Don’t fall victim to auto fill. Cross check all names in the To and cc list. Especially the bcc list if you have one.

3. Please find attached. Attach document as soon as you refer to it. (I attach my document right in the beginning of my email, so I don’t forget it.)

4. Beware of reply all. Especially if by some chance there are clients/customers on the original email

5. Take care with those you copy. The incessant need to keep everyone informed about everything at a low cost means CCs are the default for emails.

6. Don’t be trigger happy. Especially while using PDAs. Besides potential for errors also sound brusque, even if you put the ubiquitous line ‘please excuse typos and short responses as this was sent from my PDA’

7. Be professional.

To this list I would add..there is still nothing that beats talking. It should be a crime that people email each other on the same floor in an office.

So the first blunder to avoid should be. Don’t email, if you can walk over and/or talk.

One should nearly make a check list of these and tick them before hitting that ‘Send’ button.

Opt-out

I have been part of many opt in programs.

With the growth of email everyone wants to build their email database . In a hurry.

The most common method I have seen is the one where there is a reward to sign up. A free lap top, a holiday, vouchers. etc

And of course it is a quick way to build up the database.

And guess what they also opt out rather quickly.

This survey says two thirds sign off because they thought the content was irrelevant.

Not surprising is it? They signed up for a freeebie. They left once they got what they want it. Databases gained in this fashion are really low quality.

I was part of a team that ran an outstandingly successful opt in program that we worked on like a proper campaign. From targeting to communications to call to action. We gave a clear reason for people to sign up and ensured that we had a ‘settling in period’ to ensure that those who opted in stayed engaged.

Very good indeed.

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New new

When I was new in the business one of the frequent asks that agencies would dread, was ‘starbursts’.

Some junior client believed that showing a Starburst, usually with FREE or NEW in it was the best way to attract attention. It came shortly after ‘make the logo bigger’.

This was part of agency lore.

Now that we are in the on-line world I think the new lingo is ‘can we have some animation?’.

Just got off a call where the client said ‘our customers get so many emails from us, we should put some animation  in the email so that it attracts attention’.

So rather than address the problem of over communication, the solution was ‘let’s get some animation’.

Led me to wonder if animation was the new NEW.

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