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Government Departments Need Email Lessons

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Thursday October 11, 2012 )

I deleted 3 very important emails from a government department recently due to the sender not understanding basic email good practices.

I’d been waiting on some important forms and documents for a while, but that’s not uncommon when dealing with government departments here and elsewhere. After a time, I started to wonder whether I had accidentally deleted them.

After running a search on my recycle bin, I found them – and it was little wonder they were zapped.

The from address on all of them was just “customer service” – a common ploy used by spammers, phishers and other assorted bottom-feeding filth of the Internet. There was no subject line; again, a common (amateur) spammer flag. Top it off with an attachment and the spam profile was complete. I hardly would have looked at the message in my inbox before hitting the delete key.

This type of thing would have been excusable in 1996, but for a customer service section – a section focused on communication – to be sending out messages of this nature in 2012 is just nuts; whether it’s in relation to legal documents, or a general enquiry.

Even our major political parties make the same mistake. Here they are trying to drum up support for whatever and you’re sent an email with a “from” line of someone you’ve never heard from and a vague subject line. I shudder to think what their open rates are.

But it’s not just government that does it; some merchants do the same. With people’s inboxes often busting with messages, it’s really important to make sure the person you are emailing knows who you are and who you are associated with within a split second. It’s not hard to do. I just usually set my from line as:

Michael Bloch [Company name]

..that way the person knows it’s not only from X company but that also a human sent it.

We live in a world of cutting, often bleeding, edge technology, but it’s often the simple little things that can boost leads, sales and leave a better impression on those who we are trying to impress.


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