In a pleasant turn of events, sophisticated consumers are no longer automatically averse to email solicitations. Perhaps the years have instilled patience and discretion, leaving them more open to opening an email even if it isn’t from a colleague, romantic interest, or their mom.
That said, there is a method of madness to employ when crafting a direct mail campaign strategy – or really, any form of communication between your business and a current or prospective customer. And it’s something few really think about.
Let’s start this with an illustration. When you open your email app and peruse the cascading list of incoming mails, what’s the first thing that catches your eye? Chances are it’s a sender address that is recognizable. This is where we start with productive, successful marketing.
A “sent from” name can be an automatic invitation to the trash bin. Consider this one:
It goes without saying that an email with this sender name isn’t exactly inviting. And truthfully, it’s more likely to come from a larger company with a robust list of email accounts linked to their domains. Even then, with the glut of spam out there, it’s not likely to be read.
Do you have a single email account linked to your domain name, with your actual name as the prefix? That’s not a winning strategy. Add a few more. Even dedicated customers may not react to an email coming from a name they don’t recognize.
Make it fit
When you set up an email account reserved for outreach to patrons, focus on a familiar, readable, embraceable sender name. Is your business name relatively short? If not, is it conducive to shortening, making a “from” readout appear friendly? Can you configure your “send from” name to read (for example) “Lenzen’s Furnishings” instead of your full business name, “Lenzen’s Fine Contemporary Furnishings?” If the entire send-from name reads in full when recipients access their email inbox, it goes a long way toward encouraging them to open it.
Here’s a visual illustration of this, and another, simple concept:
For the purposes of a major airline, it makes sense to parcel out “sent from” names based on the nature of the communication. It may also work for you – if you choose to develop accounts for cold calling, repeat customers, and customer service. But it should be readable in whatever preview pane users access. Notice that Southwest kept it short and sweet for both.
Interested in finding what works? Set up two or three accounts for targeted purposes, and send out messages. See which attract responses. Often it’s impossible to know without a careful tracking system based on the nature of the message. If you notice a high response rate to a marketing outreach (based on general sales provoked by a promotional tactic included in that email), you may have hit the jackpot.
But the overall rule of thumb is to simplify, shorten, and make sure your patrons and prospective patrons are comfortable reading and responding to outreach emails. Perhaps the idea that a simple email may be detrimental sounds unlikely, but it’s part of the bigger marketing picture. Email campaigns are free, for the most part. But they also represent a limited window of opportunity to connect with the consuming public without deluging them and ending up in their ignore bins.