The "from" or sender name is one of the most important elements of your email message. Yet, judging by my own inbox experience, it's also the one many marketers fail to optimize.
Getting the "from" name right is even more important today. Email recipients are more time-pressed than ever, scanning email quickly on their mobile devices or racing through overflowing inboxes on their desktops or laptops.
Having an informative "from" name factors into a recipient's decision to open and act on the message or skim over it. A "friendly" name, one that tells the recipient clearly who sent the message, makes your message more visible and trustworthy - more "open-worthy" - than one with an obscure email address or an unknown person's name in the field.
Does 'Thanks for Staying!' Work for You?
An email message I received from a hotel where I had stayed for several nights illustrates my point.
Like most hotels, this one sent me a confirmation of my bill and thanked me for staying. But the "from" name was a rather unusual "Thanks for Staying!" with the from email address being "firstname.lastname@example.org". The subject line was: "Your Feb 21, 2011 - Feb 24, 2011 stay at the (Name of hotel)".
While this "from" name approach was intriguing – it also flies in the face of generally accepted best practices for "from" names that recommend using the company or brand name, which recipients should recognize and trust.
I obviously had no idea who the sender was as I scanned from names in my inbox – and had assumed it was spam. A look at the actual subject line though suggested it was a legitimate email from the hotel chain where I had recently changed.
While this example is rather extreme, the point is that "from names" have never been more important to the success of your emails. Between the issue of less subject line real estate on many mobile devices, smart labels and inbox prioritization from Webmail providers, overloaded inboxes and "inbox ADD" – an unrecognized from name puts your program at a significant disadvantage.
Get Tips and Advice in This New Silverpop White Paper
"Standing Out in the Inbox: Secrets of Successful 'From' Names and Subject Lines" addresses the complexities that affect "from" name and subject line creation in today's email environment.
It takes the mystery out of creating an informative inbox presence with advice for creating the "from" name that works best for your company.
Other sections cover the ways that companies go wrong with "from" names, walk you through "12 Keys for Subject Line Success" and offer a guide for effective subject-line testing.
Your "from" name puts a face on your email messages. Is yours friendly and welcoming or is it the face of a stranger?
Also, what do you think about "Thanks for Staying!" as a "from" name? Does it work for you, or would you ignore it? Let me know in the comments section below.