Hey, I Can’t See Your Pictures!

By sethmsparks

It seems like I get a lot of e-mails from the companies I do business with.  They usually find some reason to send me an e-mail trying to solicit more of my marginally profitable business, and very rarely do they make it past broca’s wall.

Something I’ve noticed recently however, is that I continue to get e-mails, from the same business, under different e-mail addresses.  Each time I get a new e-mail, the pictures and majority of html content is blocked.  If your message is in the imagery of what you are sending, there’s a 75% chance that I am not seeing it.  That’s the case unless I hit the allow button, adding your senders address to my safe list; which I have done a handful of times for you already.

My problem with the scenario isn’t the extra work I have to do to see the “special” offer I am getting from the business, but it worries me for the company sending it.  With every company trying to build genuine relationships with their customers, something like this completely contradicts the personal message they’re trying to send.  Imagine if each time your best friend sent you an e-mail it came from a different new address.  Sure you’d give it a bit less thought because of your relationship, but wouldn’t you eventually ask them “What the krap are you doing?”.

Companies in the 21st century are trying every method possible to make their communications more integrated, and personal.  Many companies (like @pancheros, @nationwide, @dmregister ) have started using Twitter to reach out to their audience, and even enable the average customer to have a voice into the company.  I recently exchanged conversation with @pancheros about pricing strategy, and though I wasn’t completely satisfied with the answer, it was great to be able to ask the question.

So for the companies trying to get more personal with customers; you don’t HAVE to branch out to the Twitter.com’s of the world (not yet, anyway), but for the love of all things descent, please send your e-mails from the same address.  Start small, by allowing people (and their e-mail systems) to easily recognize who you are.  When you approach them like a friend would, they just might start taking more of the action you’re promoting.