Time of Day and Devices for Opened Emails – Time matters!

Wondering when you should send your email newsletter? We have some quick answers for you. As you might suspect, the day of the week and time of day both matter. Check the table to see how these actual “opened” times compare with your email send times. The 3:00 p.m. numbers may surprise some of you, as they did us.

Email Time of Day

When do you send your email newsletters? Time matters!

Branding With Every Email – Get Your Email Delivered – Professional Presentation

Domain emailI wrote here about using domain mail over five years ago. With the number of people not taking advantage of one of the simplest means of branding available, I believe the subject deserves another go round. I am talking about those who are not using their domain email accounts when sending or replying to business email. Domain email is simply an email account using a name of your choice, e.g., you@yourcompany.com or info@yourcompany.com.

Here are just three of many reasons it is important to use domain mail.

  • Branding
  • Deliverability
  • Professional Presentation

Branding 

In businesses and on websites of all kinds, too often you will see contact email such as billybob@yahoo.com, 2cool@hotmail.com (now outlook.com), you@yourISP.com, sally312@gmail.com or something similar. Those same addresses get used routinely in emails to clients, prospects, and co-workers. Instead of those personal addresses, your prospects, clients, vendors, and others should be seeing email from you@yourdomain.com, bill@yourdomain.com, sally@yourdomain.com, sales@yourdomain.com, support@yourdomain.com, or anyone@yourdomain.com.  EVERY email sent from and replied to your business should be reminding your prospects, clients and vendors of your brand. Using domain mail is the least expensive branding tool you can implement, and you are branding with every email you send.

Deliverability

If your email doesn’t get delivered and opened, you are wasting your time writing and sending it. Spam has become ubiquitous, and your prospects and clients may hesitate to open an email from a toocutesy@yahoo.com, allnumbers@hotmail.com, silly@gmail.com or inappropriate@someother.com address. Deliverability can be critical when you are sending a proposal or answering a specific request. Domain mail addresses are not as prone to be caught in spam filters as the “other” @ addresses I have been mentioning. Your recipients will, at a glance, know the email is coming from your business if you use your domain mail account.  Get every email you send delivered and opened.

Professional Presentation 

In other manners of communication, i.e., phone, letters, faxes, and face-to-face, nearly everyone does their best to present themselves and their business professionally. You would be surprised at the number of people who spend thousands of dollars on traditional marketing materials, their web sites and nicely done email campaigns, yet diminish their value by including an inappropriate email address. Using your domain email will present you professionally as many times as you send an email. Why wouldn’t you want to do that with every email you send?

Okay, let’s address the two most common excuses for not using domain mail. The first is, “I don’t want to check two or more email accounts.” With today’s email programs that easily check more than one account at a time (I check over a dozen at a time), that is not a very good reason to miss out on branding with every email. If you honestly feel you can only check one email account, then your email provider can forward as many accounts as you like to just one account. Of course, that account should be a domain mail account.   The second reason is, “I like Gmail, and I use mydomain@gmail.com.” I will grant that doing this is better than using personal non-domain email accounts. It still doesn’t give you the branding or level of professional presentation that is afforded by using domain mail. If you feel you can’t live without Gmail, then use Google Apps for Business, which included Gmail that uses your domain mail. Your mail will get sent from and to you@yourdomain.com, but you will still have all the advantages of Gmail’s web-based interface. Google charges $5/user/month or $50/user/year.

Start using your domain mail for every email you send today!

P.S. If you are a client of ours and are not using your domain mail, call or email us and we will be happy to help you get started.

12+ Tips for Empowering Automated eCommerce Emails

Sending emailDo you know what the automated emails sent from your website, especially your ecommerce website, look like? Hopefully, you carefully crafted them before your website went live. If not, please do yourself a favor and review them now.

Here are some quick tips to make your emails look professional. Because of the seasonal timing, we are going to talk about ecommerce “transactional” emails, though many of these tips apply to other automated emails as well.

  • Do not send them from a no-reply@yourcompany.com email account. Send from an email address that gets monitored daily (preferably multiple times per day). Respond quickly to any email received.
  • Put the most important information right at the beginning of the subject, to make your emails more helpful, e.g., “Thanks for Order #12345 – My estore” (Be careful of the length so it does not get truncated.)
  • Make sure your emails are consistently branded and well-designed.
  • Make the words Thank You bold or bigger than the other text. While you are at it, tell them you appreciate their business.
  • If you won’t be furnishing a tracking number, tell them why, and when and how they can expect delivery.
  • Include links back to your shipping and returns page(s).
  • Be sure to prominently display your Toll-Free phone number. If you don’t have a Toll-Free customer service number, you are not serious about wanting repeat customers.
  • Include office hours (and time zone), so your customers have the opportunity to talk to a real person.
  • Prominently display your customer service email address they can use if they want to contact you later instead of having to use your form again.
  • Use Google’s URL Builder for Google Analytics (or something similar) to track your links. Remember marketing without measurement is not marketing.
  • Test all of your email responses with multiple email clients for both PC and Apple computers.
  • Don’t forget to test on mobile devices including iPhones & iPads, Android Phones & tablets, and others when possible.

Please don’t underestimate the power of automated email. They are often read at a critical point of your relationship with your customers. Use the opportunity wisely.

Phishing email warning

In today’s world, we all have to be careful of any link we click on in email that we receive. If you don’t know the sender, don’t click. The risk of infecting your computer is high when clicking on unknown links.

Sometimes knowing the sender is not enough. As many of you have seen, the thieves who write these emails are smart enough to “spoof” your own email address. Unfortunately, one of the phishing attacks arriving in many mail boxes the last couple of weeks, looks (as many do) to be legitimate. It tricks many users because it uses your email address and domain name. A couple of addresses it may come from are noreply@youremaildomainname.com or operator@youremaildomain.com, or something similar.

The email “Subject” may be “For the owner of the yourusername@youremaildomain.com e-mail account” or “A new settings file for the yourusername@youremaildomain.com” or something similar. The body of the email will read something like this:

Dear user of the youremaildomainname.com mailing service!
We are informing you that because of the security upgrade of the mailing service your mailbox (yourusername@youremaildomain.com) settings were changed. In order to apply the new set of settings click on the following link:
http://youremaildomainname.com/owa/service_directory/settings.php?email=xxxxxxxx…

Best regards, yourdomainnamecom Technical Support.

If you receive an email like this, and you mouseover the link and read carefully, you will see that it leads to a different server other than youremaildomain.com. If you click on it you will be redirected to a site that will likely infect your computer. Just delete the email. Do not click on the link!

If you are a WebWise Design & Marketing customer, please know that we would never send an email asking you to apply new settings by clicking on a link. No other responsible email provider would ask that of you either.

Protect your computer with good antivirus and malware software that includes anti-phishing protection.

Most importantly do not click on links without looking to see where they will lead you!

Practice safe clicking.

Don’t bet your job that someone read your email.

Can you count on your email getting delivered or read? Don’t bet your job on it.

What should you do if you send an important email, and you have not received a reply within a reasonable amount of time? First, check your “Sent” or “Out Box” folder to make sure your email actually got sent. If it did, send a follow up. If you still get no reply, pick up the phone and call your intended recipient. Don’t apply pressure, just ask if they received your email. If they answer affirmatively, just say, thanks and that you wanted to be sure they received it.

There are many reasons an email may not get delivered or opened. Did you send to the correct email address? (You would be surprised at the number of emails sent to the wrong person.) Previously, we talked about spam filters and anti-spam programs. Another reason could also be the size of the attachment you sent. Many users have mail boxes that are relatively small. Five and ten MB mailboxes are not uncommon, so very large attachments (or multiple attachments) can render your email undeliverable. Even larger mailboxes fill up quickly, especially for someone who doesn’t check mail frequently (or leaves their mail on the server for a long time). Think before you hit the send button.

Emails do get lost in the etherland. In general, there is no guaranteed delivery. For those of you who really need a guarantee, there are some paid services that guarantee delivery.

In short:

  • Don’t assume someone read your email.
  • Check your out box to see if your email was sent.
  • Check your recipient address for accuracy.
  • Check the file size of your attachment if you have one.
  • Think before you hit the send button.
  • Follow up with another email or call.

As I said, don’t bet your job that someone read your email.