Instead of sending emails from Brand X, some businesses send marketing emails using the from as a person’s name. In the pursuit of higher open rates and higher click throughs, this can help to appear more friendly, personal, and encourage consistent reading and opening.
It can be a really effective method of communicating – after all, people want to know there is a human behind the interactions with your business. They want to know that if they respond then their email won’t just fly off into the vacuum of unchecked email where it will be forever lodged between a viagra spam mail and a desperate prince of Nigeria offering you millions of pounds for just a little help.
But there can be a problem with sending these ‘personal’ emails from a person. They can actually come across as more impersonal, more transparently not actually from a person if they’re not done well.
Still – it may be something you want to try and do, so I’m going to outline the minimum you need to successfully introduce and continue using a person as the email sender.
What you need to get started
Here’s what you’re going to need if you want to send from a person:
- A real person.
- An introduction to this person.
- A different way of thinking about email.
- A way of interacting with this person beyond just email marketing.
1. A real person
This may sound silly but having a real person, a person who works within your business, is actually something that shows transparency and that there can be a ‘relationship’ between the reader and the sender.
So before you start sending emails as Grace or Greg, make sure that person exists.
Make sure also that this person has a hand in writing the emails, and is involved in the process. If you’re going to be sending on their behalf or if they’re going to be the person sending then their voice is important. Their voice lends authenticity to the interaction. A voice that isn’t theirs can come off as fake, and disingenuous.
2. An Introduction
Just like a normal conversation, if you’re going to have a conversation with a subscriber you need to introduce yourself.
It can be really simple – just like a pilot does on an aircraft, “Good morning everyone I’m Captain Smith, I’m going to be your pilot today”.
It’s not hard to introduce people with a quick little hello, and by way of introduction let the subscriber know that they can interact, talk back, and what place this person plays in the whole business.
“Hi, I’m Grace the customer experience officer at Brand X – I’ll have a hand in each email you receive, and at any time you have questions please don’t hesitate to just reply directly to the email – I’ll get it, read it, and respond as necessary.”
Now it’s not an amazingly hard email to write, and it isn’t in very ‘marketing’ language but it is an introduction. If you’re going for authenticity then this is a way you can be more authentic.
Once you’ve made your introduction it’s possible for you to start sending emails from that person.
But what are you going to send?
3. A different way of thinking about email
Batch and blast is dead. Long live batch and blast!
Whatever you call it – sending an email that’s just impersonal, a list of images and links without personality, or sales sales sales emails, is not a part of sending authentic email from a person. That’s why it might be that you need to sit and think again about the way you’re putting emails together.
Fundamentally, if an email is coming from an individual to an individual, then you should be able to do more than just ‘catalogue’ emails.
Here’s a few ways that you can send personal, authentic emails:
- Customise your emails to the behaviour of your subscriber – if you can find something they are interested in you might like to show them you’re aware of who they are.
- Send plain text emails.
- If you are able to, devise a series of emails around experiences, or a semi-social interaction.
- Have an email take-over, where instead of your brand sending it’s an individual for just a period of time.
- Send small social style updates, an image and short description like Instagram could work. Keep the brand visible but low-key.
- Answer common questions that people have sent in via email or on social.
4. Interact beyond email
It’s not enough to just have a single way of communicating. If you’re wanting to be authentic and have a way of sending people messages from a person – then let them interact with you beyond just receiving an email from the person who sends.
A few ways you might like to help the authenticity is to:
- Feature this person in social channels
- Create a true 1:1 interaction by having account managers be the people who send the emails (with a managed process of course).
- Give out the person’s contact details
The thrust of having an individual represent you in the From address, is that you want to be more authentic, open, and accessible. If you’re willing to change the way you approach email from a ‘blast’ mentality to a 1:1 relationship mentality, then you can really change the way subscribers interact, and feel about your business.