Getting your subject line right is a constant struggle for email marketers. Brands should be constantly testing to ensure they’re righting subject lines that are engaging and drive opens and conversions. But before readers turn their attention to your subject line, they’re looking at your “from” name. That little name that lets the reader know who the email is from.
“From” names and addresses are a massively under-valued part of the customer’s experience with your email marketing. Marketers should be dedicating a lot more time and consideration to creating the perfect “from” address.
To build the all-important trust between yourself and your subscribers, consistency is key. Choosing a recognizable “from” identity is essential. You need readers to instantly know who is in their inbox. When you’ve worked so hard, gaining their trust, winning their email address, it would be awful to lose them because they don’t recognize your marketing.
“From” name vs. “from” address
Your “from” name is what readers see in the inbox. Brands often choose the company name or product or service that customers have signed up to hear about as their “from” name.
Generally, this type of “from” name works better than an individual’s name. Of course, this is not always the case. For example, if you’re a B2B brand you may find that recipients are more receptive to being spoken to from a direct contact. So long as you have data to support your decision, you know what works best for your brand, but always remember to include the name of your brand or organization in your “from” name.
It’s also important to consider that a lot of email providers will cut off “from” names in the inbox. Gmail, for example, cuts names at the 20-character mark. Ymail, on the other hand, varies depending on the size of the browser. Be sure to check out where your readers are opening, on which device, and factor this in when creating your “from” name.
“From” address is the email address attached to your email marketing account. It’s as important, if not more important, than choosing your “from” name.
Picking a bad “from” address can be damaging, not only for your customers’ trust and experience with you but to your domain reputation too.
Choosing your “from” address
To ensure your “from” name is working for you, helping you build trust and drive readers to open, there are a number of considerations you need to be aware of.
1. Never use a free webmail address
Businesses should never use a free address from providers such as Yahoo, Hotmail, or Google for their email marketing. When emails with a free webmail address are sent using a third-party provider like dotdigital, the receiving servers consider it to be more suspicious than those from a custom domain.
This increases the chance of your emails being rejected and landing in the spam inbox and ultimately damaging your sender reputation.
2. Don’t use your own business domain
It only takes one spam complaint to get your domain blacklisted. When you use your domain as your “from” address you risk your entire business’ transactional email going down.
3. Avoid no-reply email addresses
No-reply “from” addresses, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, can be damaging to your brand image. It comes across as uncaring and uninterested in your subscribers. These email address can also be damaging in the long run, as all engagement with your marketing email – including replies – help determine where you end up in the inbox.
4. Never send from an unbranded domain
A lot of third-party providers, including us here at dotdigital, will automatically provide marketing teams with a generic “from” address to use. You should not use these unbranded domains to market to your audience. You will quickly discover that if you do, your reputation and trust in your brand will degrade rapidly.
Make it part of the customer experience
You shouldn’t just select any old “from” address because you’re in a rush to get sending. They should be chosen carefully and considered in the wider context as part of the customer experience.
1. Personalize it to your purpose
If you use your email automation provider for multiple purposes, make sure subscribers know what they’re getting. Splitting these functions with their own dedicated “from” address allows readers to filter and manage their inbox, ultimately improving their experience with you.
2. Match the “from” address with your “from” name
Build trust and brand recognition by matching your “from” name to your “from” address. So, if your “from” name is ‘We Sell Showers Sales’, your address should be ‘email@example.com’. Users expect these to be linked. The more you meet these expectations, the more they’ll trust you, the better your email marketing will convert.
3. Create a valid address/set up a branded domain
Using an existing, real-life inbox to collect replies will help boost your deliverability. Email providers such as Gmail will consider recipient behavior when deciding where your email lands in the inbox. If subscribers reply to you, your emails are going to be marked as more important.
To create a valid email address, we suggest you set up a branded subdomain. This will allow you to generate your custom “from” address to look branded and familiar to your recipients.
4. Always set a reply-to address
As mentioned above, for deliverability reasons it’s important to use a “from” address that allows readers to contact you. However, if you’ve got a large mailing list, you don’t want to be bombarded by hundreds of out-of-office emails every time you send an email. Make sure you set up a different reply-to address when creating new campaigns.
The perfect “from” address
Following this advice will help you discover the right “from” name and address for your brand. But the only way you will find the perfect address it simple:
Vary your options. Try different versions of your brand name. Maybe you want to experiment with using individuals’ names. The only way you’ll discover what works is by testing, testing, and testing some more.