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Email from & subject lines

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Wednesday February 20, 2008 )

From: ksg
Subject line – Re: Other

Doesn’t say a lot, does it? This is what I received in reply to an email to a merchant. The surprising part was it wasn’t a small business, but a major online player.

Even with spam filtering, I get between 400 and 500 emails a day; I could get it down further, but not without inconveniencing people writing to me. It’s quite a task sifting through it all and I’ve become quite adept at deleting spam without having to read the contents of each note – I go mainly by the From address in conjunction with subject line. Any I’m not sure on at first glance, I put to one side to review later on.

The email I referred to above would usually fall victim to my speedy delete finger, but I’m glad it wasn’t scrubbed as it was an important message.

When you reply to pre-sales queries, do you make it really clear whom the response is from and what it’s in relation to? If not, you may be missing out on sales. While most people don’t get the levels of spam that those of us in online business do, it’s still usually at a high enough level that they can get delete button happy too.

I’ve spoken with some people who complain about the amount of spam received and when asked how many junk items a day they get, it can be as little as 6! If I received 6 spam emails a day, I’d be worried that it was a harbinger of the apocalypse! Regardless, that’s how sensitive some are to spam – and they are the ones likely to shoot (delete) first.. and ask no questions later.

In addition to have very clear from and subject lines, sign your email with your name rather than just your company name – it helps to humanize the pre-sales and support experience and gives the person a name to reference if need be in future communications.

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