by Robert Burko
The email marketing software industry has been rapidly growing, since more and more businesses have started using email marketing software as a key component of their marketing plan. With the rise in popularity of this tactic, it's more important than ever that business owners and marketing managers start putting email marketing software to use by employing some good quality strategy.
One of the key metrics for measuring the success of your email marketing efforts is the 'open rate'. That may not be the ultimate conversion your business is measuring, but if people do not at least open your email, then they can't take advantage of the offer contained within it. One of the biggest influencers of the 'open rate' is the 'from name'. Studies consistently show that people are far more likely (by leaps and bounds!) to open an email from a person or company they recognize. People generally enjoy interacting with brands and organizations that they like, and when one of those organizations reaches out to them, they are eager and welcome the chance to open the email. Whereas, if someone receives an email from a person they don't know, then the desire to rush and open this email from a stranger is far less prevalent.
Most email marketing software solutions will let you specify the 'from name' that is sent out with your email marketing campaign, just like you can customize the subject of the email, which is equally as important (but we'll save that for another day). When you begin typing in the 'from name' that you want to use, stop and ask yourself: "Will my readers recognize this name?" For example, a lot of people subscribe to Joe's Sports Pub mailing list. At the restaurant, there was a big sign saying that if you join their email marketing list, you'll get special discounts. People were eager to signup. But, when Joe, the owner of the bar, created his email marketing campaign, he put the 'from name' as "Joe Smith". In all fairness, that was his actual name, but it was a calculated email marketing error. Joe's recipients do not know the name "Joe Smith", they know the name "Joe's Sports Pub". The exact same recipient who would see "Joe's Sports Pub" and rush to open the email in order to find the coupon could easily bypass the email from this random stranger named "Joe Smith". This example clearly illustrates how entering the proper 'from name' in your email marketing software can result in an increased amount of opens.
It's also worth noting that the 'from name' you enter into your email marketing software should work well with the subject you are using for your email marketing campaign. When your email lands in your recipient's inbox, they can usually see both your 'from name' and the 'subject'. This makes both of these items very important real estate for you. The ultimate waste is when those two pieces of information repeat each other. Using our example before, if Joe reads this article, then goes back into his email marketing software and changes his 'from name' to "Joe's Sports Pub", he'll be taking a big step in the right direction. But, if his subject is "Coupons From Joe's Sports Pub", then he has made yet another dreadful email marketing mistake. Three out of the five words in his subject are being used to repeat his 'from name'. While the 'from name' is an incredibly important part of your email marketing campaign, it should not be repeated in the subject. Your recipient is already going to be able to see the from name in your email, so the subject should be used to describe the actual contents of the message (not to, once again, drive home the point of who actually sent the email). A better subject line for Joe would be "Appetizer Coupons," for example.
Most email marketing software solutions let you measure your open rate. If you monitor this closely, you will be able to very clearly see which 'from name' your recipient's recognize most, as you will have an increased open rate. Even though the 'from name' is probably just one piece of data you enter into your email marketing software, it's important to recognize that in many ways, it is the gateway that determines if everything else in your email gets read.
Robert Burko is President of