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Plain-text emails, friendly vs. formal tone, and a must-buy printer

This piece was first emailed to 56k Postmark subscribers on Mar 29, 2023.
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Hi friend,

Welcome to another issue of Postmark’s monthly newsletter, “Happy Sending,” in which we bring you industry news, useful tools, and tips for sending great emails—plus the occasional update about our product and what it can do for you.

This month we ponder important questions like: should you still use plain-text emails?, will customer service be replaced by robots?, and did we just stumble upon the greatest product review of all time?

(For the record, the answers are: of course, probably not, oh yes 100%.)

Hey, Abdu 👋

Industry news and useful tools #

Today’s section is curated by our Senior Customer Success Specialist Abdullah Al-hennawy, who describes himself as a “customer helper, father of 2 beauties, lover of long walks, and recently a gym rat!”

Here is what Abdu recommends that you check out, and why:

The sun hasn’t set on plain-text emails!

While it’s true that business emails nowadays are all about HTML, it is still important to include a plain-text version of your message wherever possible. This blog post by Litmus nicely goes through why this is and how to make your plain-text emails engaging.

Will customer service be replaced by robots?

When ChatGPT was released in November last year, I started worrying about the future of my career… so much so that I asked my manager about it and opened it for discussion in our weekly team meeting!

The truth is we can never know for sure which jobs will be affected as AI gets more adopted by businesses, but this blog post helped me look at it from different angles (and frankly, helped me calm down a little 😅)

In working with customers, a friendly tone vs a formal tone

For the majority of my career in customer support/success, I worked for companies that preferred formal communication with customers. I thought that was the only way—then about two years ago I started working for Postmark and here we love a friendly, conversational tone. I fell in love with this approach because it’s human and helps you focus on the matter at hand without alienating your customer with big words or formal boundaries.

I’m not saying it works in all cases, but if you don’t have to be super-formal, try it for your business. There’s a big chance your customers and support staff will love it!

Words of wisdom from a Postmark customer #

In this month’s customer interview we talk to Alison Kay, the founder of Ancestral Kitchen and “a passionate home-cook who cares a lot about our world.”

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the work you do? #

I create and share foods that benefit our biomes, our communities and our environment. I teach fermentation classes online and co-host a podcast that celebrates ancestral food wisdom in a modern-world kitchen.

How are you using Postmark on projects today? #

My list has got a lot bigger in the last year and I was looking for a reliable way to get good deliverability without hours of research or admin! I’m using Postmark to develop community through a regular newsletter that shares information, recipes and ancestral cooking ideas/tips.

If you could give folks one piece of advice about how to implement and manage their email, what would it be? #

Consistency, simplicity and giving something of value are three pillars of good email communication. It’s also important to spend time thinking about the title of your emails (from the point of view of your busy, email-laden customer).

🙌 We love to publish our customers’ stories. Would you like to be featured next month? Fill in this quick and extremely yellow form, just like Alison did, and we’ll make it happen.

Postmark news and updates

Postmark’s WordPress plugin & Java library updates #

A while back, our friend DorZuberi requested an update to Postmark’s WordPress plugin so it could include tag support. Well, sometimes all you have to do is ask: we just added tag support!

And while we’re on the subject of updates, we also updated our Postmark Java library to provide better support for the Jakarta community and to fully support newer versions of Java JDK.

read the full update for more of the juicy, technical WP and Java details.

Cool ideas & resources from the community #

We love it when people do cool things with Postmark and tell us about it!
Here are three projects that popped on our radars recently:

  • Josef Strzibny wrote a short (but effective!) go-to guide on setting up Rails email delivery with Postmark, covering configuring desired sender signatures and adjusting Rails production configuration.
  • Joe Tannenbaum filmed a tutorial on how to get your Laravel site from computer to server fully configured in under 60 secs—and here is what he said about us: “Personally, I think the Postmark section starting at 2:15 is a bit of a ‘wow’ moment…
  • Pete from Rapid Ruby also filmed a video overview of how he put his newsletter together using a Broadcast Stream. Look out for the discount code about 40 seconds in!

And speaking of Broadcast Streams...

Bulk email in Postmark? Yes, you can!  #

Postmark has allowed customers to send bulk/marketing emails with Message Streams since 2020, but we still occasionally get asked if this is something our product can do.

On the off chance you had the same question, here is a quick write-up to remind you that you can, indeed, send out all your different types of email with Postmark—transactional, broadcast, and everything in between. 

Are you doing transactional email right? [webinar] #

Transactional emails are often treated as the ‘set it and forget it’ notifications that allow a business to function—which means most people underestimate their impact on customer experience, retention, and revenue.
Don’t be like most people!

Come along to learn about all things transactional email in this free webinar with our Head of Marketing, Justine, on April 6th at 10:00 AM PDT | 1:00 PM EDT | 7:00 PM CEST

Behind the scenes at Postmark  #

Is this the greatest product review of all time or what? It’s making folks in our team want to buy a printer we don’t even need, so we’re going with: yes.

Until next time,
Happy sending 💛

Fio Dossetto

Fio Dossetto

Fio was Postmark’s Brand and Editorial lead until June 2023.