Tell me if this sounds familiar – you get an email, and what’s the first thing you see?
The “from” name and address, and the subject line. And it’s unfamiliar.
Probably, you’ve hit the delete button within a matter of seconds. Or – sometimes your email server might have beaten you to it, routing suspect addresses to a spam folder.
So when it comes to creating an effective and “open-me-now” email newsletter, the “from” field has a big job to do.
Three “from” names to consider
- Your company name
If you are the type of company where your customers deal with various people across the business such as salespeople, account managers and project managers etc, then likely this will be your best option. Setting your from name as “ABC Widgets” will mean instant recognition/familiarity and immediately improve your open rate.
- Your name
If you are perhaps a smaller company, and deal with a majority of customers on a one-to-one basis, then you may yield better results using your own name. This will impart personal appeal.
- The relevant staff members name, e.g. an account manager
A lesser used, but highly valuable option – instead of sending just one generic campaign, split your database by salesperson/account manager and use this as the from name – again this will be familiar and personal, and yield the best possible results.
(However, for the reasons noted below – don’t change the “from” email address – just the name!)
Things to avoid in the “from” name field
- Computer-generated names
Often you’ll see names such as “website” or “admin” etc – usually when dealing with automated messages from websites, or where companies have sent email campaigns from outlook, and from a generic address that hasn’t been setup correctly.
It looks clearly computerised and often there is no case formatting, so looks even worse – your “from” name, (no matter what it is) should be formatted in Proper Case.
- “No reply”
Can you imagine a less-engaging message to potential customers than “don’t call us back – this is a one way street!” There’s absolutely no excuse for this – the only conceivable reason a company would do this is sheer laziness (I.E they can’t be bothered to deal with any replies that may come back from an email campaign).
Don’t make your customers work around your processes and IT situation. Rather, make life as easy for your customers … they’re the reason you have systems in the first place!
About the “from” email address
Your next challenge is optimising the email address that the email comes from (IE the actual email address that “hides” underneath the name – e.g. From: ABC Widgets).
This isn’t quite as important as the name that people see in their inbox, but still plays a key part. Things to think about:
- The best option is going to be something like firstname.lastname@example.org. Simple, friendly and recognisable. It might take some effort (and perhaps cost from your IT company) to setup the email address but will be worth it in the long run
- Use the same email address each time! Remember that image-blocking is one of the challenges we face once a subscriber actually opens your newsletter. Often, they’ll click the link that says “Always display images from this sender”, which is awesome.
But if you then change the “from” email address for your next newsletter, again your images won’t be downloaded. So – avoid changing your “from” email address at all costs!
- Make sure it’s not a spammy address such as email@example.com. Spam filters won’t like this, and neither will your readers.
So, the from field – not just a minor detail.
Make it familiar, and don’t change it unless you absolutely must!