Sometimes you have a time-sensitive mass email that needs to be sent in order to accomplish an immediate goal or meet a requirement. We saw a lot of these types of mass emails in the spring of this year as the GDPR was going into effect, but there are a lot of other use cases for time-sensitive emails depending on your industry, including:

  • Company or product announcement
  • Update to your terms of service
  • System outage alert, or even a crisis management notification

Or, if you’re Carlos Zetina, this need hits more personally.

A student at the University of Calgary, Carlos met an exchange student Nicole at a bar and got her number. When Carlos tried to contact Nicole, it turned out he had the wrong number.

Instead of feeling defeated, Carlos got creative. He found every single “Nicole,” “Nicolette,” and “Nickie” in the university’s directory and sent all 246 of them an email. His email was a “missed connections” type message:

“If you [sic] name is Nicole and you’re from Holland and you think Nietzsche is depressing then text me.”

Talk about urgent and time sensitive email need! (Read through to the end of this post if you want to learn Carlos’ fate).

How to optimize time-sensitive email

Communications deemed “one-off” or “urgent” often come as an immediate directive from above and require that you work quickly to develop content, gather your full subscriber list, and send the email. In order to do that efficiently and confidently, you require an intuitive yet robust email application, but you’ll also need to prepare accordingly.

Pro-tip: develop a pre-send checklist

One of the best things you can do to prepare for future time-sensitive email campaigns is to create a pre-send checklist for these type of campaigns specifically. Depending on your typical process, perhaps fewer people need to review in order to get the email campaign out on time. Whatever you decide, having a process in advance of your next urgent email campaign will save you time in the long run!

If you don’t have an email tool for your time-sensitive email and are looking for an ESP for your time-sensitive email campaign, SendGrid’s Marketing Campaigns was the right solution for many senders over the GDPR period when they needed to notify their full subscriber lists about updates to their privacy policies.

These senders told us that they chose Marketing Campaigns because it:

  • Is simple to use and easy to get started with, meaning that they could get their campaign set up and sent quickly
  • Allows them to work their way with flexible and streamlined workflows—no complicated or unnecessary steps to learn!
  • Provides them with accessible and actionable analytics so they could easily track engagement on their important campaign
  • Comes with unparalleled scale, deliverability, and support, which allowed them to send with confidence and know their email would be delivered on time

In addition, Marketing Campaigns offers easy yet high-impact segmentation, enabling senders to send personalized email to exactly the right group of subscribers—which comes in handy when you need to email only the Nicoles, Nicolettes, and Nickies.

For more on optimizing your next time-sensitive mass email campaign, check out SendGrid’s 2018 Email Deliverability Best Practice Guide so that no matter who you’re trying to reach with email, it makes it to their inbox!

So whatever happened to Carlos and the 246 Nicoles?

In a lovely turn of events, the email banded the Nicoles together and a “Nicole From Last Night” Facebook group was started. Some of the Nicoles met up at a bar and have now become friends!

The “real Nicole” actually never received the email since she was an exchange student and didn’t have a University of Calgary email address. And it turns out she mistakenly gave Carlos the wrong number since she hadn’t properly memorized her Canadian number yet.

But in a major win for email, through the newly-formed Nicole network, the “real Nicole” was found and reunited with the innovative and persistent Carlos.

Here’s to love at first click.



Joanna Roberts
Joanna Roberts has a unique role at SendGrid where she is on the Product Marketing team, but is focused on sales enablement. Her #1 goal is to ensure SendGrid’s sales and service teams have the resources they need to demonstrate to customers and soon-to-be-customers how awesome SendGrid is and how we can help them achieve their email goals. Outside of work, Joanna loves to hike with her husband and dog, drink craft beer, and experiment with new vegetarian recipes.