May 08, 2002
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Arrgh! We're launching a new newsletter, MarketingSherpa, at noon today so I was up most of the night getting it ready. Then when I stumbled into the office bleary-eyed this morning, I did the final test: Signing several of my alternate email accounts up to check the welcome message, etc. That's when I noticed something really uncool. Our welcome messages don't come "from" the list name, or "from" us, even if we input all of that correctly into the Lyris-based system who hosts us.
Instead, the welcome message comes "from" our host. In this case a vendor called SparkLIST. That means brand new subscribers think a company who's not us is sending them mail. This is an even worse problem when you realize that I often "play" with my subject lines to get maximum viral pass-along effect from new subscribers.
Instead of "Welcome to Listname" which is so boring most people delete without reading, I try things like "Your free Top 10 Case Studies... Pls. forward" (referring to a hotlink to one of our best-of articles).
I didn't realize (until now) that when I did that, recipients had no idea that this message was from the list they just signed up for. Instead, they probably think SparkLIST is spamming them.
Tech support was sort-of helpful. Turns out that unless you pop bigger bucks for a custom version of Lyris, you don't get your name in the Welcome "from" line, although it can appear on all your issues. Weird but true. So, if you're on an outsourced Lyris server, check your own Welcome From today.
[NOTE: After I posted this, SparkLIST CEO Chris Knight emailed over that he's been in touch with the Lyris folks about this exact issue and they are definitely considering doing something about it. Go Chris!]