Focus on the Sender Name

A new survey by the Email Experience Council showed that the sender name was more important than the subject line to generate opens.

Many studies show that email users look at the sender name and address when deciding whether or not to open an email. If they recognize your sender line and think well of you, they’ll likely open. If they don’t recognize you, they may delete you or mark you as spam.

Here are the four most common branding tactics that company’s use with their sender names:

1. Brand name. It’s succinct, uncluttered and easy to recognize.

2. Dot-com branding. For instance, Macy’s uses the sender name “” and Dick’s Sporting Goods uses “” This tactic accomplishes two goals: It acts like a call-to-action, reminding subscribers to visit the site; and it familiarizes subscribers with the URL, which can be extra valuable when there’s punctuation or another issue that might lead to uncertainty as to the URL, as in the two examples above.

3. Brand name plus the name of the newsletter. For instance, Wal-Mart uses “Wal-Mart Wire”. Studies have shown that open rates are often higher when marketers work their branding into their subject lines. Beginning your subject lines with the newsletter name is a secondary form of branding.

4. Brand name plus the name of their division. Hewlett-Packard, which uses the sender name “HP Home & Home Office Store.” Most divisions really are different brands, just like Williams-Sonoma is different from Williams-Sonoma Home.

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