"A strong passion for any object will ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means." - William Hazlitt
|Improve Your Online Small Business Profits
Who Are You?
Before we answer the phone, read an email or even open a
postal letter - we want to know who is contacting us. If we
don't know you, more often than not, you'll be ignored,
deleted or trashed.
Your email's 'From' field answers the "Who Are You?"
question and it is critical to getting your message opened.
A Return Path survey found 59.1% of recipients said knowing
and trusting the sender is the main reason they open and read
an email message. The Email Sender and Provider Coalition
further reports that 73% of recipients make the decision to
click on the "report spam" or "junk" button "based on the
The 'From' field can make or break the success of your
email marketing campaign. While a subject line might grab
your subscriber's attention, it's the 'From' field that he/she
checks before opening your message. A recipient looks to
see if the email is 'legitimate' - as in, he/she recognizes
It is not only your recipients who review the 'From' field
of incoming email messages - ISPs look at the 'From' field
information as well.
ISPs track 'From' fields' email addresses and build
reputation databases for every email address that
sends messages to their users.
Email addresses with good reputations get good delivery.
Email addresses with bad reputations, get poor delivery.
ISPs base the sending reputation of your email addresses on -
* Reports of spam
* Number of recipients who have whitelisted your email
* Engagement level of your emails - opens, clicks, replies
* Bounced message volume (due to sending to invalid emails)
To improve your email delivery, your email opens and your
click through rates - you need a good recognizable 'From'
field - name and email address. Once you've established a
'From' field that works - don't change it.
Why should you avoid changing your 'From' field?
First, always having the same 'From' field name makes it
easier for your subscribers to recognize you. When recipients
know you they're more likely to open your emails.
Second, you ask subscribers to add your 'From' email address
to their whitelist and address books to avoid having your
emails go to their spam or junk folder. You want your
'From' email address to match their address book entry.
Third, using a consistent 'From' address allows your email's
reputation to build positively with ISPs improving your
So how do you select the best 'From' field for your emails?
Run a split test on your 'From' field and you may find the
results surprising. A recognizable and trustworthy 'From'
field can have a significant impact on your results.
Let's review some of the top 'From' field choices you can
test to find the best option for your business:
1) Company Name and Email
The company name and email option can work effectively
for new prospects. When individuals first contact a company
they do not know any one person specifically - but they will
recognize the company's name.
Using a company name is an impersonal approach. The goal
of an email campaign is to develop a relationship with
your subscribers. Your recipients may feel less connected
when your email looks to be general communication from a
When creating your company email address avoid spam filters
by staying away from machine generated type email addresses
such as - firstname.lastname@example.org
as well as spam looking addresses like -
2) Brand Name and Email
Brand X, email@example.com
When your product's brand name is more recognizable than
your company, use the brand. In the B2C marketplace a brand
can have a big impact as it is known well among its customer
base. What's more, individuals do develop strong feelings for
brands and using the brand name in your email can maintain
If your brand reputation is a bit shaky or you are just
starting out, your brand will not generate the recognition
nor the trustworthiness you desire.
3) Individual Name and Email
John Doe, firstname.lastname@example.org
The benefit of using a personal name is it makes your emails
appear more individualized to the reader. The individual name
can work well if your business has a recognizable president or
front person. The individual name can also work if a sales
manager in charge of prospects/customers uses his/her name.
There are 2 potential downsides when using an individual's
name in your From field. If the name you use is not known
well enough and not recognized, you'll lose subscribers.
They'll simply ignore or delete your emails as being from
Further, you could lose credibility and look less professional
if you use an individual name with a non-domain email
address such as -
John Doe, email@example.com
Too much spam is sent from generic looking addresses as in
the example above. Invest in having your own domain email
address as it will makes a big difference in the success
of your email campaigns.
Start to consider how you can improve your 'From' field
with these 3 options and stay tuned.
Next week, I will review 2 additional 'From' field ideas.
One 'From' field tactic is commonly used but in reality
it is the worst choice you could make.
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