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Let’s Talk About Email: Heike Young of Salesforce
If you’re enjoying the content Salesforce publishes, you’ll love this interview with the brain behind it. Heike Young, the Director of Content Strategy at Salesforce, is not just fun to talk to. She’s also a great source of tips and tricks to improve your email marketing.
With more than 10 years of experience in creating content, Heike has been featured in USA Today, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Business Insider. We’re so thrilled to have her on the blog!
Let’s talk about email with Heike Young!
The best email you received today:
Just received my USPS Informed Delivery email telling me my first-ever jury summons is on the way. I always thought it would be interesting to serve jury duty, but have never been called upon until now!
The last email you sent:
Just a work email sharing some project timelines. Nowadays, I don’t find myself sending many emails in my personal life. Most of my personal comms happen via text.
The most intriguing subject line you’ve ever seen:
The musician Father John Misty sends out some fantastic emails. His subject lines are often peculiar, which makes them a must-open. One send from last year just had the subject line “Sports.” Immediately, I’m wondering, what does FJM have to say about sports? It was a bunch of new and satirical Laker-themed merchandise.
Your biggest email pet peeve:
Purchase confirmation emails with zero tracking details, followed by the tracking email an hour or several later. Let’s streamline those transactional emails, please!
How often do you check your email?
Monday-Friday, my email is open all day. I like to scan subject lines as they come in, and I hate to get super behind on email. On weekends, I only check it a few times throughout the day. Twitter, on the other hand…
The word or phrase you most use in your emails:
Probably “cheers.” It’s my go-to sign-off. I’m not English or Australian, but I like how jovial it sounds.
The best thing about sending a newsletter:
The results, of course. As a content person, I’m most interested in what content people actually clicked on.
If you could email any famous person, who would it be – and why?
Phoebe Waller-Bridge. I’d love to ask if I could shadow her for a week or two and understand how she maintains the capacity to make the cool things she makes.
The newsletters you look forward to the most:
The Morning and Watching from NYT. News and TV – bada bing.
An email you wish you’d never sent:
I love the Gmail Undo feature – it’s saved me from a few faux pas. I usually regret super-long emails and wish they had been a quick meeting. Gmail needs a feature that says, “This email looks long. Would you like to send a Google Calendar invite instead?”
An email you’d be happy to get:
I’d be thrilled to hear from my doctor saying it’s time to get my COVID vaccine.
To inbox zero or to not inbox zero?
Team inbox zero forever. I’ve been this way since college.
No. 1 reason why you unsubscribe:
Too. Many. Emails. See previous question. This inbox doesn’t stay clean all by itself! If you’re giving me excessive detritus to clear up, that’s a clear bye.
Biggest no-no in an email campaign:
Inaccessibility. No alt text or images of text, for example. I respect and appreciate when a brand invests in making every email accessible for everyone.
The best way to grow your email list:
In the B2B space, I think more brands should offer one-field email subscribes in lieu of multi-field forms – or make it abundantly clear that if you check this box, you’re only getting the newsletter. And if you check this box, you’ll get a phone call from a helpful rep. Otherwise, reliably good content is an awesome way to encourage forwards and word-of-mouth sharing of your emails.
One thing that should change about email:
In the workplace, a reply for the sake of replying should go the way of the dinosaur. If all you’re saying is, “Thanks!” or “Cool!”, I’d question whether an email is warranted.
A brand email you always open:
I’m going to throw out a wildcard and say my real estate agent, because she’s got such a fully realized personal brand. I haven’t worked with her in over a year, but she still sends me a monthly newsletter with interesting content. Usually there’s a video of her talking about the real estate market, some home decorating or yard maintenance tips, and pretty photos of houses she’s currently selling.
What do you most love about email?
I love its record-keeping nature. I often go back and search for old emails –whether that’s to remember which size I bought in a favorite pair of pants or to find a slick chart in an old deck. It’s almost like an electronic diary.