Why faux friendliness gets emails deleted

Do you start your emails with “I hope this finds you well”? Cut it out. Forced chumminess, apologies, and praise prompt the author—and myriad others—to trash online solicitations. Are you guilty?

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I’m not going to bother researching it for you, because I know it exists. Heck, Publishers Clearing House made its business on throwing as much personalization into its direct mail and messaging as possible.

Seeing my name on a lot of direct mail and mass email is fine. People I don’t know call me David all the time. It’s my name. What I find highly irritating is when total strangers use faux engagement in mass emails as part of an incredibly lazy ruse to try to trick me into paying attention to them.

Mass faux engagement takes many forms, such as:

Faux friendliness

Often, after a salutation, I’ll get an opening greeting such as:

How’s it going?

I hope the week is going well.

You looking forward to the Super Bowl?

I hope you’re having a good day!

What is the expected response here? It’s a mass-mailed message. The sender obviously does not care how my day is going. This is just a poorly veiled ploy to get me to respond. This is a move one would pull on a moron, and if we were morons you probably wouldn’t want us writing about your product.

Faux apologies

This is where the opening line apologizes for the mere existence of the email. I’ve received messages that begin:

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