On a recent flight from San Francisco to Seattle, I took a few minutes to organize my personal email in box. Recently I noticed that some of my filters had stopped working. What I discovered as I cleaned them up, and added some new ones was that many of the â€œnon-profit-yâ€? types of lists i was on has no little consistency in sender names and addresses (while most of the totally commercial ones were standard). For example, one political action committee sent me emails from no less than three different addresses, and none of them were from a particular â€œpersonâ€? so that was not the reason for the differences. A major national non profit rights group similarly used more than one sender address. A few organizations were even using â€œfreeâ€? email addresses as the sender (think @gmail.com).
Most subscribers to these lists might never notice these inconsistencies consciously, but I think that many would subconsciously pick up on the differences and the savvy amongst us would certianly notice.
What does it matter? Subscribers who use filtering will run into the problems that I did. Maybe this is a good thing, since if I can’t filter it reliably into the right folder, it is more likely to sit in my inbox and maybe I am more likely to read it. On the other hand, I might just get frustrated and unsubscribe.
As for the â€œfreeâ€? email addresses, or those not similar or the same as the organization’s domain errode trust. Do i have any proof to back this up? No. Just a hunch. If i get an email from a major political candidate and it comes from a Gmail account, my gut tells me they do not have their operation together. If it comes from some long strange email address, I get a little concerned about the security of my information.