One topic we often discuss at Sentence Works courses is how to get people to open your emails.

There is a lot of debate about subject lines, but one thing that’s often overlooked is the “from” line.

You might think that everyone puts their name or their company in this line, but they don’t. For instance, I got one email last week from “hello” with the subject “May Client list”. I didn’t know who “hello” was and therefore why I should be interested in his or her clients.  I deleted it. A few minutes later, “hello” emailed me again with the subject line “May Client List – Take two”.  I opened that out of professional curiosity to know who was sending such poor emails but I expect most people would have deleted that one too.

It turned out to be a PR company who had forgotten to put the attachment on email number one. Presumably they sent this out to scores of journalists but few would have bothered to open the emails

I also get regular emails from “health intern” for a PR company.

This does not fill me with confidence. If the email is clearly advertised as coming from an intern, it says to me that it isn’t something that is worthy of a full-time staff member’s time. So I assume it isn’t worth my time reading it. That might be harsh, but I have no idea why they can’t simply set up an email in the intern’s name. And it would be nicer for the intern too.