Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Error Check

In my internship, we use a good email management program to create emails that we sent out to clients. It processes data and builds customized emails. And yet, as reliable as our vendor program is, we always run test emails to make sure that we don't have any errors in our messages. Errors could include broken pictures or links, typos, or misaligned margins. Good email communications build credibility with a company's brand. Email is a particularly important place to present the best image, because it's a type of communication that everyone uses and knows how to format or manipulate. It's as easy to prevent email errors as it is to send them. The instantaneous nature of email means that you don't have a chance to recall it, and if your name is on it, it makes an indelible impression on the recipient of you and your brand.

Today I received an email from the man-who-would-be-mayor, Sam Yoon. Take a quick look at it:

The first thing I noticed about this email is that the data field in the greeting wasn't properly populated. It's nice to get an email that starts with "Dear Kate"--it's less pleasing to get the email equivalent of a robo-call, that starts with "Dear {FIRST_NAME}".

Sam Yoon has, as a city councilor, not made much of a name for himself outside of "the first Asian-American on Boston's City Council." This email doesn't add much to my impression of him. For example, this looks like a news update from a concerned city councilor. What gives this away as an election shill piece is the text at the bottom of the email:

Paid for and Authorized by the Committee to Elect Sam Yoon.

(This is not in the picture because of my limited screen shot capabilities. I would link to the "view this email as a web page" except there isn't any such link on this piece.)

Another oversight on this piece is the fact that there is no blurb saying why I am getting this email (so I don't know how he got my name), and there is no option to unsubscribe from this email. I'm not looking forward to getting any more emails from Sam Yoon, and it would be nice to be able to take myself off of his email list.

Needless to say, I'm not voting for Sam Yoon for mayor (and I don't want to give him any traffic, which is why there are no links to his webpage; you can Google him for yourself). I don't know who I'm voting for in the mayoral race yet. But I do know for City Councilor, I'm voting for Andrew Kenneally.

1 responses:

Kevin M. Keating said...

This is awful. (And pretty insane that you chose to write about this today - I wrote a related post, as did a good friend/colleague of mine in Ireland.)

Shortly, the lack of a clear unsubscribe link is against the law. And not including a view as a webpage link is such a bad idea. Finally, not paying attention to these details (especially First_Name stuff) can be really damaging to your brand - as evidenced (if only anecdotally) by your decision to vote for another candidate.

Here are the other posts I mentioned:

KLM Email Marketing

and mine:

You Suck at Email Advertising

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