Optimize your Email Campaigns for Sparrow with a Gravatar

Sparrow is an email client that offers some great new features for email users, and email marketers.

Sparrow, a popular email client for iOS and the Mac, is growing in popularity and has some great features that are a welcome addition to the stagnant universe of email clients, most notably – avatars.

As you can see from the photo above, not only is the traditional “from” name and subject line of each message displayed, but also an avatar of each sender, similar to most social experiences on the web and mobile applications. Sparrow asks an email subscriber to give permission to access their Facebook friend list so they may include a Facebook profile photo along with traditional email display to personalize the email experience.

How does this affect email marketing messages, you ask? 

There is also a sneaky great feature for email marketers. Sparrow also pulls in images from another source – Gravatar.com.

If you simply add your “from” email addresses to Gravatar, the photo that you choose will show up along in the same place as the Facebook profile photos. Look at the brand recognition that is possible below:

Talk about standing out in the inbox! The best thing is, the whole process can be done in minutes.

First, head over to Gravatar and enter the email address your email campaigns are sent from (e.g., news@company.com). You can add multiple address under one account, so start with your most used address first.

Second, you will receive this welcome email at the address you entered:

If you don’t know where replies to the from address are delivered, you need to find out immediately! You must monitor that address for a variety of reasons, one very important reason being honoring unsubscribe requests from email replies, as explicitly stated in the CAN-SPAM act.

Simply activate your account, create your gravatar and BOOM! You are now one step ahead of you competition in Sparrow email clients on Mac and iOS clients. (If you’re struggling with what photo to choose, your Twitter avatar is a perfect fit.)

In my testing, the gravatar showed up immediately. If you don’t have access to a Sparrow client and would like to test this, send a test email to trendlineinteractive[AT]gmail[DOT]com and we’ll let you know how it looks.

As always, happy emailing!

[UPDATE: ↬ Sparrow has been acquired by Google]

2 comments on “Optimize your Email Campaigns for Sparrow with a Gravatar

    • trendlineinteractive on

      Might be tough to find exact numbers with App Store, but I’ll see what I can dig up. Litmus just added it recently to their Email Analytics product, so might take a while for data to build up. Regardless, their users tend to be very tech savvy.


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