I’m amazed by how many times this happens, and it always seems to be PR folk in the technology industry who are the culprits: An email where the sender, say Geoff Blah, hasn’t filled in the ‘From’ field in his email program or service so it appears in my inbox as from ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ or, sometimes, just gblah. (Yes, very lame for a PR person to be using their AOL account to send out pitches, but that’s another story.)
Why is not having any ‘from’ name not good?
- Well, first off, it looks shoddy. It would be like sending me a letter and not bothering to actually put your name at the bottom, requiring me to decipher your handwriting. Or handing out namecards without an actual name on. Your emails are your business cards.
- Secondly, it suggests a lack of technological prowess that may undermine you, or your agency’s, claims of being ‘best of breed’ or whatever is the cool term these days. One I received this morning was from a PR agency that claims expertise in consumer technology and IT technology. (The same agency hasn’t bothered to check its DNS registration, so entering the website’s name without the www’s — blah.com, not www.blah.com – – will result in an error. This further erodes my confidence in their much trumpeted ‘technical savvy.’)
- Thirdly, it raises the chance of the email itself being discarded as spam. A lot of spam filters check these header fields for unusual or inconsistent activity and not having the ‘From’ alias field filled is one of them.
- Fourthly, it irritates me and I hate being irritated in the morning.
So, all together now: Fill in your name in your email program or online service. Anything less looks like you’re either in a real hurry or you’re not sure what you’re doing.