You know, I really do hate to love talking about political entities and email, but there are just so many silly and downright stupid things that political mailers do that it can be a real smorgasbord of blog fodder.  And just as I’d never anticipated my first blog post to be about political emailers, I didn’t expect my first post after a brief hiatus to be about political emailers….  Until I received a “Shameless” email from Dawn Smith…. Who was at the “End of [her] Rope”….

You don’t know who Dawn Smith is?  Didn’t you get the email from Justin?

Now it’s no secret that Sender Rouletteis a bad email practice.  According to the 2002 DoubleClick Consumer Email Study, 60% of respondents cited the “From” line as the most important factor motivating them to open an email, with 35% citing the “Subject” line.  In the 2009 Epsilon Global Email Study (PDF), 68% of respondents cited the “From” line as the most important factor, with 26% citing the “Subject” line.  Unless I’m missing something, the importance of sender recognition has increased while the importance of the subject line has declined.

But don’t let little things like studies – or books – get in the way of what you want to do.  And it’s not like these books and studies are a hidden-away secret….  But before I get side-tracked let me get back to Dawn Smith….

I don’t know who the hell Dawn Smith is (yeah, I know, well I would if I’d have read her email – or the one from Justin two weeks before and remembered it), so what I am supposed think when I get an email from unknown woman with “Shameless” in the subject line?


I received the same message from Justin – come on, everybody knows Justin – at both my Yahoo! and Gmail addresses where I’ve also subscribed. But at Yahoo & Gmail, the subject lines were, “The End of My Rope”.  It doesn’t matter, I still don’t recognize your name or know who you are…. 

yahoo-spam_folderJustin sent a follow up before the email from Dawn; at least that’s what I think was the plan.  I wouldn’t have known at my primary and secondary email addresses, but at y Yahoo address, that follow up ended up in the spam folder.  (Remember the message from Dr. Alice Chen, we’ll talk about that next time)

So, now with Dawn mailing me as recently as this morning, that makes something like 12 (13 if you include “The public option“) different names that I have to remember coming from the same organization/brand under the same sender address.  Are you trying to trick or confuse me with all these different sender names? 

I mean, seriously!  Why would  send me from people that I don’t know?  Sure, I get the “it makes the messages so ‘personal'” BS, but it isn’t “personal” if I don’t know the frickin’ person sending me the email.  That doesn’t make it personal, it makes it spam.  And it would be bad enough if it were just doing this kind of stupid crap, but it’s every lemming that follows them regardless of political persuasion.

Why does continually go against the grain of what can truly be considered an elementary email marketing Best Practice regarding Sender Names and Subject Lines.  Ignorance (no excuse)?  Arrogance?  And why do so many just follow these bad practices blindly?

I don’t know; you tell me…. seriously….