The From Field – Company, Name or…?

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From fields?! Really? Sure, we know you use these every day, but we’d like to highlight some areas that may benefit from your attention. For example, did you know? According to a Jupiter Research study, nearly one-third (31%) of email marketers surveyed said their biggest challenges were blacklists and SPAM filters. In fact, the problem of legitimate email with “accurate” header information being stuck in filters (“false positives”) is getting worse.


Most people decide if an email is interesting (or junk!) by previewing it – without opening it. They decide based on the sender’s email address and email subject line. (About 69% make the decision to click on the “report spam” or “junk” button based on the subject line, according to the Email Sender and Provider Coalition.)

 

So this portion of your email message, called the header, has a major impact on your open rates. While we don’t have separate data on the role From fields play, most agree that all the information visible in the header field influences the decision to open, delete, or report as spam. So…a quick review.

 

 

Email Headers

The email header is like your business card. When you send an email, your email server enters into conversation with the recipient’s email server. If the recipient’s server does not like how your header looks, it will not accept your email.


A typical email message consists of two parts: the “header”, which contains all the “postal” information, such as the recipient, sender, time and date, and so on; and the “body” or actual text of the message. The header and the body of an email message are separated by a blank line, which email servers and software interpret as the end of the header information and the beginning of the body.

 

In many email clients, header information is not even displayed. To see it, you often have to change something in your email settings to show the full headers. In AOL and some other email clients, the name field portion of the email address is not visible and only the name immediately before the @ symbol is displayed, so here are some tips to get it through with flying colors!

 

 

From Field Tips

 

  • To increase the success rate of your marketing emails, make sure your sender name is visible, trustworthy and easily recognized. Avoid using obscure or computer-generated-looking email addresses like 4Z-mailinglist-14-04-10@domain.com, or obviously spammy addresses like GetCashNow@domain.com.
  • Likewise, don’t create custom From fields for every message or promotion, thinking you’re making things interesting. We love it when you’re creative, but with From fields, it’s critical to present your brand consistently, especially if you use more than one.
  • If you’re a B2C marketer, make sure your brand is front and center on (most, see below) From fields. If B2B, including a known contact name along with the brand/address can improve open rates.
  • Personalize From fields with a person’s name if, and only if, that person is well known and closely associated with the type of message you’re sending. For example, the President of your company, or perhaps a master chef, star athlete, or guru who provides newsletter content on a regular basis. The key is relevance and consistency, so readers recognize the sender.
  • Consider modifying From fields to differentiate the types of email communications your recipients expect from you, e.g. newsletters, blog updates, discount promotions, etc. But be careful to use a small set of branded From fields so recipients can easily memorize each type of message you send. This makes it easier for you to manage, filter and track responses as well.

 

Bottom line? Use From fields that you KNOW your recipients will recognize and easily understand. Nothing gimmicky – communicate simplicity, consistency and value. After all, knowing and trusting the sender is the primary reason for opening an email, right?!

 

Not positive your audience will remember the brand or name in your From field? It’s really hard to predict – that’s why we encourage you to Split Test your From fields and use the one that returns the best results. Why risk losing sales and sign ups?! It only takes a few minutes…

 

We hope you found this topic useful.  If you’ve used different From field techniques that got great results, please let our readers know about it! We really appreciate your feedback!

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