3 things we learnt from the email inventor, Ray Tomlinson

It’s with sad hearts that we learnt over the weekend that email inventor, Ray Tomlinson, died of a heart attack at 74. We thought we’d take this time to acknowledge what the internet pioneer taught us about email that we still use to this day.

There’s nothing wrong with email, just the way people use it

With almost all businesses using email as a form of marketing, of course, there are ways it can go wrong. There are phishing attacks, spam and the dreaded “reply all” curse that goes out the entire company. However, as a form of communication, email has never failed. Instead, people have used email with bad practice.

We work to always provide email best practices to our customers and prospects. From how to write personal emails in a business world to providing email content that actually engages with your audience. That was what email was created for after all – to be a useful form of communication.

Write memorable content

Tomlinson sent what was known as the first email while working in Boston as an engineer for Bolt, Beranek and Newman. However, when asked at a later date what the first email said, Tomlinson couldn’t remember. What he said was that it was “completely forgettable”.

With email having only grown in that time, all of us are now sending emails that are completely forgettable. In the swarm of email mass-marketing, we have lost our way a little. So we endeavour to bring the memorability back to email marketing. Our email best practices focus on ways you can stand out from the email crowd. From using plain text emails to which email addresses you send from. It’s all relevant to what Tomlinson envisioned email to be used for.

Keep it simple

Tomlinson came up with the idea of sending electronic messages from one network to another in 1971. He was known to simplify the process by using the @ symbol in email addresses, which we now couldn’t imagine being without.

With the initial idea behind email being so simple, we try and reflect that in our email campaigns. We believe simple email is more effective. From what you send in your emails to how many emails you send within a business. It should have a smooth, simple process. Email was never designed to be complicated. That’s why we strip back our email marketing. We hope you’ll join us in this best practice.


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