[linux-elitists] eMail from web apps

Peter Lowe pgl at yoyo.org
Wed Oct 9 06:59:34 PDT 2013


On Tue, Oct 08, 2013 at 10:09:51PM +0100, Andy Bennett wrote:
> What do you expect from a "welcome eMail"? How about a notification eMail?

...

> I hope that this is not too off topic for this list but I figured that
> people here might not only have some strong opinions on the topic but
> might be able to offer some actual insights that "normal" people might
> be oblivious to.

There are generally two types of emails sent automatically:
transactional and marketing. Stuff like monthly updates and new feature
emails are marketing; password reminders and subscription notifications
are transactional.

Depending on what content you want to send, the welcome email might be
marketing (ie, introducing / selling new features of your app, promoting
recent highlights or updates, etc.), or it could be transactional
("Thanks for registering, your details are...").

It depends on what you want to do with that welcome email. Personally,
I'd add a "marketing" page to your blog or site, and link to that in the
welcome email - gives people a chance to find out more if they want, or
just ignore it and use your app otherwise. But decide what you want to
do with it first, then figure out what content you want to include.

Marketing emails are generally best sent from a person who is good at
elucidating a point without writing too much (eg, I'm shit at this
without heavy editing - see this email for an example). Mailchimp (and
Ben) are *excellent* at this kind of stuff - see their blog for some
nice examples.

For transactional emails, in addition to Don's comments, I'd also add
that you should check the text-only versions first. Don is pretty spot
on - keep the information clean, useful, easy to access. Just, if you
don't make the text only version *also* easy to access, you risk losing
a small but vocal, and often influential, minority.

One teeensy tiny point to add... I'd perhaps question usage of the
capitalisation of the word "eMail". Are you trying to aim for the mass
market? Because I'm not sure that's an entirely common way of writing
"email".

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