Today we talk about email with Rajeeb Dey MBE, Founder and CEO of Learnerbly, which is a professional development platform. The British entrepreneur told us what prompts him to unsubscribe and gave us some great tips to grow an email list.
Let’s dive in!
The best email you received today:
An email telling me that a complaint I submitted based on a flight experience in Dec 2019 was finally being looked into and action taken. I won’t name the airline but I suppose it’s a case of better late than never!
The last email you sent:
I am part of a number of groups for Founders and CEOs which are a great way to get insights/support from peers. I sent an email to the group today about hiring best practices and received lots of great advice!
The most intriguing subject line you’ve ever seen:
I got an email from Aaron Krall, who runs a SaaS marketing group my colleague told me about, with the subject line ‘free ticket thingy’. Something about this just looked so weird and unprofessional that when it landed in my inbox it caught my eye. Plus, who doesn’t want a free ticket thingy?
Your biggest email pet peeve:
Someone spelling my name or our company name wrong
How often do you check your email?
Whilst I’d love to say that I dedicate certain slots in the day to respond to email, I must admit that I am quite attached to my inbox. It’s pretty much always open and if I’m not on a video call, I’m probably replying to an email!
I’m also often checking it on my phone at weird times of the day to delete spam or things I don’t need to focus on. Once I am at my desk, my inbox has the emails I need to properly spend time responding to (if I haven’t managed to quickly respond on my phone already!).
The word or phrase you most use in your emails:
The best thing about sending a newsletter:
You get to share things you enjoy, find interesting or think are beneficial. I think there’s a lot of joy and satisfaction you can get from sharing something of value with someone else. Newsletters are a great way to do that with a much larger audience.
If you would email any famous person, who would it be – and why?
Probably Elon Musk to find out what next amazing innovation he’s working on!
Who is the person you don’t email enough?
You may expect me to say family members but actually, my family is not great with email!
I find myself using email mainly for work communication. For personal communication, I use other channels, such as WhatsApp, calls or texts. So I feel that I email the people I need to regularly enough. 😊
The newsletters you look forward to the most:
I like the newsletter from Sifted – a European tech publication which helps me keep abreast of the interesting new developments in the world of tech startups.
Of course, I love our Learnerbly newsletter sent out every Tuesday to our users too! It covers learning trends and introduces topics that are relevant to people – such as how to deal with conflict at work – where we give nods to specific resources.
An email you wish you’d never sent:
Fortunately, due to the Undo button and the time delay on Gmail, I’ve managed to avoid near mishaps of sending emails potentially to the wrong person.
Also, there are times where I’ll write an email in an angry state of mind but I’ve always managed to stop myself from sending them. However, writing it out in the first place is cathartic.
An email you’d be happy to get:
My absolute favorite kind of email to receive is from happy Learnerbly users who let us know about how our platform has improved their life at work or feedback from our clients in HR teams.
These don’t always come directly to me. But seeing our customer success team share these on Slack always puts a smile on my face and reminds me why we do what we do.
To inbox zero or to not inbox zero?
As long as my email inbox is organized, I don’t need it to get down to zero. I definitely can’t leave a ton of unopened emails, though, that would drive me crazy.
It’s worth noting that I do use my inbox as a to-do list, so I may often send myself an email as a reminder for a task that needs to be completed.
The no. 1 reason why you unsubscribe:
If an email or newsletter starts to deviate massively from the initial thing I subscribed to, that’s a sure-fire way to get me to hit the Unsubscribe button.
Also, I often receive spam – things I never subscribed to in the first place which then requires me to unsubscribe.
The biggest no-no in an email campaign:
I’m sure this has been said before, but if you’re sending automated emails without an Unsubscribe link, you’re definitely doing it wrong. Let people easily change their email marketing preferences.
The best way to grow your email list:
I would say that the best way to grow your email list is through creating genuinely useful and interesting gated content. I suppose this is marketing 101 strategy but it’s surprising how often you’ll receive content which is more about promoting a product or service versus genuinely adding value to the reader.
You can’t expect someone to opt-in to an email list without giving them something in return.
We recently published a list of the Top 5 L&D trends for 2021 which has helped us grow our email list already.
By providing content that’s valuable, you’re growing your list and keeping people around. They will look forward to the future content you send out.
One thing that should change about email:
I think email etiquette is a funny thing and can differ between cultures.
For instance, our Content Editor at Learnerbly is an American and she says she will question how to sign off emails when contacting someone who is British because her ‘Best,’ might be interpreted as cold.
So maybe email could have a guide for email etiquette depending on who you’re sending it to?
A brand email you always open:
LinkedIn. I’m always acting upon the notifications driving me to check my messages on there.
What do you most love about email?
I love how instant it is, which is really just a reflection on most of our communication methods in this day and age. I also love that responses are all kept to a thread so you can easily revisit what came before to prompt different responses.
With messaging apps, things can get lost in context or can be hard to pinpoint when and where something was discussed. The conversation can move so quickly.
I also love the control it gives you in terms of when you reply. For instance, if I don’t have time, I can mark as Unread and come back to it later.
So lots of things I love about email – so hard to just pick one!
What is Learnerbly?
Rajeeb Dey MBE is the Founder and CEO of Learnerbly, a multi-modal Learning and Development marketplace.
Learnerbly connects employees to 200+ professional development suppliers, allowing people to learn and grow at their own pace. The platform also simplifies HR processes by providing a fully managed service and only one invoice.
Curious to see how it works? Book a free demo.