Cindy Alvarez

Send it Personally

When you're reaching out to a prospective or current customer to request an interview, to send a survey, or solicit participants for usability testing, send it from your own email address.

It's a common mistake to think that we should send from an "official"-sounding return address, such as research@companyname.com or team@companyname.com. After all, customers may not recognize the name of an individual, so wouldn't a team handle sound better?

I've A/B tested this in the past (sending half emails from personal and half from a team@ address), and seen it in qualitative testing as well: no one wants to talk to a generic email address.

People aren't sure who is behind that email address. They get the sense that, if they reply, they're likely to kick off a 'conversation' with an unhelpful autoresponder. More importantly, a generic address doesn't make people feel as though they'll be disappointing a real human.

Be human. Send from your personal account. Make it clear that you're asking for a favor, human to human, and you'll be surprised by what a difference that makes in open- and response- rates.