The necessary evil of automated emails

One of the many things we need to do for our new site is make sure that all the emails that are issued from it are updated and correct. This involves ditching some, merging others and creating yet more from scratch. It’s a tricky and very precise process.

Every email has to be informative, straight forward and jargon-free so that the person knows why they’re receiving it and understands any calls to action. It also has to have a good title (would you open an email with a dull subject line?), be engaging and represent the spirit of the organisation. We very deliberately have a friendly ethos – notice we never publish animal abuse pictures, for example.

I’ve drafted and redrafted this morning. I enjoy this because it’s the reason I got into a writing job in the first place, but if you’ll forgive the analogy I feel like a dog that just can’t let go of the damned tennis ball. I’ve mauled it, chewed it, slept on it and come back for another massacre but I still don’t feel 100% happy. I’m waiting for some feedback from others; when you can no longer proofread and edit yourself, turn to the outside world. Chances are their different perspective will be helpful to you even when you disagree with it. After all, sometimes you don’t know what you think until you react to someone else’s thoughts.

I call them evil, but of course they’re really not. They’re one of the most useful tools of confirmation and communication. Made a donation? Asked for more information? Interested in adopting a dog? The quickest way to respond to all of these is email.

I love and appreciate those emails, I really do. Even when they’re giving me a creative headache.

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