Teams don’t send emails, individuals do…

Have a nice day,
The Team at Big Brand

You’ve probably received one of those email messages? You know the ones.

They are delivered usually by auto-responder and the signature file claims the message has been sent to you by a team.

Picture it for a second. There’s the whole customer service team excitedly gathered around a single keyboard. All pointing one of their digits at the keyboard together, like one big connected finger, waiting in anticipation of pressing the send button.

The team leader starts the cheer: “On the count of 3, 2, 1…send” they hit send as one team, and then go back to their individual jobs.

"3, 2, 1... send"
“3, 2, 1… send”

Possible? Not Likely. Does anyone really believe a team sends an email to an individual?

I know they don’t, because I’ve tested it. Yes folks, I received a message from the team at a big brand in financial services.

So I immediately rang them. When I eventually connected to a human I asked to speak with the team.

The person was confused, “which team sir?” I explained the team that just sent me the email. I suggested she gather them around, as I had some questions I needed answering before I bought.

She became confused, “but I can’t connect you to a team…”. I replied “but the team just sent me a message and asked me to contact them if I had any questions, so here I am – go get the team for me please?”

Then she hung up, thinking I was some kind of nutter.

But I’d made my point. Email is a personal media – so treat it as such and write from one individual to another, not from a team to an individual. Unless of course you put each signature of all the individuals in the team, into the signature file of the message – which really only works with a small team.

And use more text than images in your message. Apart from the spam filter defaults that block messages dominated by images, most email systems also require the recipient to right-click to view images. And given humans are the laziest species on Earth, it’s all too hard, so we don’t click, we delete. See more email marketing tips here.

Curiously I received a letter this week from Telstra. The writer says “My team had recently tried to call you blah blah blah…”.

At first I was flattered – a whole team at Telstra tried to call little old me? How disappointing I’d missed the call.

But I hadn’t missed the call – it was never made. I’ll cover this in my next blog – the rise and rise of lying as the new benchmark for customer service.

Oh look I’ve just received an email. The “From Line” says it’s from “Telstra Team”.

I’m off to make a call:)





  1. I agree totally with your article, Malcolm.

    I’m astounded at how often I receive emails from ‘teams’.

    You also touch on another subject that irks me with email marketing; imagery.

    On a daily basis I get emails showing a mess of boxes with small print in them. I never read the text but I presume it might be alternative text for the images.

    Who do you find the worst culprits of this are in Australia?

    Rather depressingly I find marketing and design agencies to be biggest offenders here in the UK..

    And they’re people who should know better.



    • Thanks Carl

      Unfortunately most marketers think email is an advertising channel so they send impersonal advertisements to their lists without considering the consequences. My travel agency always got better results with personalised text emails with no images, than with image-dominated email messages.

      Most digi-marketers haven’t studied history or care about what works and what doesn’t. “I’m in digital, therefore I am.”



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