What we can all learn from a Christmas email

This morning I received an email from a design agency. Actually, it was yesterday but it went into my junk folder (probably because their Mailchimp isn’t set up correctly).

I’d not heard from them all year, but they very kindly wanted to wish me Happy Christmas. That’s a really nice thought, and I really appreciate it. Firstly because it’s always nice to be wished Happy Christmas particularly after such a horrible year. Secondly, because it gave me the idea for this post.

Why did an email wishing me ‘Happy Christmas’ spark its own post? Well…

The email came from “Business Name” with a subject line of Happy Christmas from Business Name (name not disclosed to avoid any embarrassment). I didn’t remember the business or signing up to their list. Their location held no clues for me either. As you would expect from an agency the design was suitably Christmassy, but it still gave me no clue as to who was wishing me Happy Christmas.

If you’re anything like me you get lots of emails from lots of different companies and when legitimate-looking stuff arrives in my spam folder from companies I don’t recognise or can’t remember I often hit unsubscribe. This time, the agency looked genuine however there were no photos of the sender on the email and because I didn’t recognise the company name I wanted to investigate. So I visited the website and sure enough, I found a couple of selfies of the owners which helped me to vaguely remember connecting with them in the distant past.

Now I’ll let you into a little secret I’m terrible at keeping hold of emails that I don’t need to keep ‘just in case’. So I checked my mail archive; the last time I heard from the company was in January, and I realised I was on their list because we made contact in 2012. Now I may have deleted some of the emails, but I’m fairly sure that January was the last time I heard from them and it was 2015 before that.

So, what lessons can we learn from this festive message? Here were my takeaways…

  1. Make sure that you have your email list set up correctly so that your emails are less likely to drop into your list’s spam folders. (google DKIM & SPF if you want to know more)
  2. Keep in touch regularly with your list; so that when they hear from you they don’t have to wonder who you are.
  3. If it has been a while, do everything you can to make sure that they instantly remember who you are when they open your email. For many small and medium businesses, clients and prospects will remember your face much more easily than your logo. It doesn’t have to be a professional shot if you don’t have one, but a photo of you will be better than none! (Although you should have professional shots on your website!)

By the way, if you want to take a selfie to go in your Christmas email but don’t know quite how to take the best photo, come along to my how to take a selfie webinar on Thursday, it’s free and I guarantee you’ll learn something useful!

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