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One morning this past fall, I was going through my e-mail inbox, relentlessly deleting junk mail. As you're likely well aware, many spam messages are made to look like they're from a real person.
One name briefly caught my eye: "Jeff Bezos." But because I was in furious deletion mode, I didn't recognize it. Also, it had a salesy subject line: "New Apparel Store Now Open." So I hit the delete key.
A few minutes later, it occurred to me that I knew that name -- Jeff Bezos is the CEO of Amazon.com. I rescued the message from my delete folder and opened it. Turns out it was an announcement to all Amazon Associates (affiliates) about the opening of Amazon's new online apparel store.
What was wrong with this promotion? (Which was unusual for Amazon, by the way.)
This e-mail should have been sent FROM an address that included the name "Amazon" in it, because as an Amazon affiliate, I'd never before received an e-mail that was from a personal name. Also, the subject line made no indication the message was from Amazon. So it was a prime target for that delete key!
So ... whom should YOUR e-zine be from? You, or your company name?
The answer depends on whom your readers are familiar with and whom they're expecting to hear from.
If you are a solo professional and work on your own (e.g. coach, consultant, freelancer, practitioner), then your clients and prospects are familiar with YOU. You ARE your brand. So make sure YOUR name is in the "FROM" field of your e-zine when it's sent out.
BRANDS and LARGER COMPANIES
If you're the marketing person at a larger company who's sending out the e-zine, make sure the FROM field of the e-mail message has your COMPANY NAME.
Like in my Amazon example, your customers/clients are familiar with your company's name and not you personally.
Another example: Say your name is Suzy Q and you're the marketing manager at Clinique's corporate office. If you send out your e-zine from "Suzy Q", many of your recipients may delete your message without blinking, since they'll have no idea who you are.
However they WILL instantly recognize your e-zine if it comes from "Clinique" and also includes a related subject line.
Now, if you're a solo professional who's trying to build a brand name that's not your own personal name, you should do this as well. For example, my e-zines are from "E-zine Queen."
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CONTENT?
Whether you represent yourself or a larger company, it's still best to make your e-zine FEEL like it's from an individual when it comes to the content itself.
So think about who you want this person to be -- it may be you, it may be someone else in your company. Having the content be written from a real person will make your e-zine a more personal (and therefore effective) communication.
(c) 2002 Alexandria K. Brown
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen," is author of the award-winning manual, "Boost Business
With Your Own E-zine." To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site
Ezine-Tips for December 31, 2002
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