Thursday, March 14, 2013

your email sucks - from address personalization gone wrong

in the world of email, there is a lot of talk about personalization and how it helps with open rates, click-thru rates, and conversion. personalization has been proven to help with all of those situations - let's face it who doesn't want to like to be called by their name and to have some bit of their world reflected in what they are reading -- it could be something as simple as their name or as complicated as what they left in their shopping cart.

there is even debate about how we can influence a person to open the email by personalizing the from address. using a person's name instead of an organization's name can get a person to open the email because it looks as though someone took the time to reach out to them personally instead of a "robocall" from a corporation, company, or local retailer.

and that brings me to this webisode of your email sucks. not so much because it's a bad from identity, but because it's a totally different domain. it does make me wonder (1) why it was sent like this, (2) how it got into my inbox and not my spam folder, and (3) now that i know what sending tool they use, what sending tool do you use?

personalizing your from line is a good idea but it's
best to use an address associated with your
organization or you run the risk of hitting the
spam folder.
it's not very clear in the image, but this email is from disney family deals - a disney version of groupon - and they usually come to my inbox from disneydeals. but this one, was special...it came to me from clinton winkler at exact target.

why did clinton send me that issue of disney family deals? i'm guessing, because i have experience with exact target that, something was wrong with the sending platform that day or the creative and there was issue with sending. a helpdesk ticket was opened and more than likely clinton was testing stuff for them and hit send on the "actual interaction", instead of a test that he was doing internally. whoops - having not actually clicked on the message, i don't know if the links worked or anything like that - i should have to see if this email send cost them potential conversions. but i found it somewhat funny, and proudly can say this has never happened to me (yet - knock on wood).

but then i started to wonder how it actually made it into my inbox, and not my spamfolder. i've never gotten email from clinton before so he's not whitelisted. the from address is a totally different domain than the dkim associated with the sending ip - which is usually a big huge offender for gmail, and a big spammet tactic. of course this is a one time situation, so the sender reputation probably took a small hit, but wasn't something that couldn't be recovered from quickly. i'm also pretty sure that not that many people who actually sign up for the disney family deals are tagging it as spam or complaining.

that said, i've used homegrown systems, small esps, and big commercial ones like marketo, magnet mail and exact target. all of which have their own pros and cons. which one do you use, or used in the past. and do you ever wonder when you get html based email from your competitors or even from companies you like which esp they are using?

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