August 5, 2013
Recently I received an email from European Football Association, UEFA. The subject line was "Welcome to UEFA.com". I don't remember receiving emails from them in the past but I have tried many times on their website to get Champions League final tickets so I know I have subscribed to receive emails. As a brand I'm interested in, I open the email in anticipation of what latest news or offers they are going to give me.
When I opened the email I immediately lost confidence in its origin and began to doubt its authenticity. Was it spam, phishing or a legitimate email ? I quickly checked the email headers , email links and landing pages. I can tell from the email headers that the email has been sent using a well known ESP and the landing pages are all uefa.com so I assume the email is from UEFA. A few minutes later I asked myself the question "What made me doubt this email so much ?"
The biggest initial factor that sowed the seed of doubt is the lack of corporate branding. I am aware of the UEFA brand from tv adverts and football matches and its pretty easy to spot. The email I receive contained very little elements of this branding and if you remove the word "UEFA" and the logo from the email then it could have been sent my anybody.
When I look more closely at the content I notice there is no unsubscribe link or any contact details for the sender. Apart from the obvious legal issues this also helps to erode any confidence I have in the email and I start reaching for the delete button.
My thoughts and actions when I received this email emphasise how important your brand is when creating an email. We all know the user's inbox is a crowded space and any email received that isn't entirely trusted is likely to be deleted. You should look to use your brand to build an email trust with the recipient. This applies the from address, the subject and the content of the email. And it goes without saying not to forget the basic legal requirements.
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