All sent emails, at the very least, contain two parts, the body of the message and the message header.  In fact, each part is analogous to an actual mail piece, the header being the fully addressed envelope (address of the recipient and sender) along with the subject line and other identifying data.  In other cases, the header is considered “the stamp” of the envelope.  The body, or letter, is the actual message with attachments.

Key to Email Opens

Depending on the email client used, the header information is usually displayed as:

From: – Sender@mycompany.com
To: – Reciever@hotmail.com
Date: – The date when the message was sent.
Subject: – The subject line

Simple stuff, right?  Well yes and no.  Headers can be mandatory, displaying specific information whereas other information can be optional.   Some headers contain the sending and the receiving time stamps of all actions taken on an email, such as forwarding the message to a friend to transferring the message from one computer to another.  In fact, if the email had several destinations, there may be several RECEIVED headers.  Likewise, a physical mail piece, routed by the post office to different destinations, will receive a stamp at each post office: hence, the analogy of the header instead of the envelope becomes the stamp on an actual envelope.

So you’re sitting at your desk opening todays delivered mail.  There’s an envelope sitting on top of the pile, it’s stamped, the stamp canceled by the local post office with yesterday’s date, your name and address is typed on the front, but there’s no return address.  Do you toss it or open it?   Curiosity gets the best of most of us, so you open it.  It’s junk mail, without so much as a glance, you toss it in the circular bin.  Next, an envelope correctly addressed to you with a return address from the Local Farmers Market.  You received these from this vendor before, discount coupons, coupons that you look for and want.   You put that letter aside; it’s useful, in fact, now that you have coupons today, you may go shopping after you open the rest of your mail, why wait.

Just like the envelope’s return address, sent from a name you know, prompted you to open the letter, the “from” line in your email,

is the prompt or key for recipients to unlock your marketing emails and actually open and read them.

Designing the right key is essential. There’s a few rules to consider deciding who the email should actually be coming from.  There’s several reasons to use different From Addresses, even went sent from the same company.  A company with many product and services may use a specific “Brand” in their “from” address: From Penny Lane Paper Towels, a person: From the Desk Peter your Gift Wrap Expert, or just “From”: Paper Mills Product.

Regardless of the “From” address used the name needs to fit, so the senders identity is clear to the recipient.   It also needs to be:

  1. Obvious and transparent – never a trick or alias
  2. Identifiable, not changing each time you send out a campaign
  3. From your company or service, not sent from an @yahoo or @aol home address
  4. Non-assuming, they may have signed up but don’t remember you
  5. More importantly if it’s your first marketing email to them your “from” address should spark some familiarity; you had sent them a confirmation and hello letter.  Always use the “from” address combined with a persuasive subject line to target higher open rates.

Finally yet essential, realize when your recipients receive email their email client may only display the “From” name, address (or both) from the header.  Therefore the “From” address needs to:

  1. Be consistent so that it is recognized and your message read
  2. Become regarded as a trusted sender
  3. Be significant so the recipient has a reason to open your email
  4. Use a From Name and Address the recipient will recognize
  5. Kept at a reasonable length,  so the entire name or From address is displayed

In summary, the recipient of your email, sees the “From” (and the “Subject” line) before any other part of your message.  As stated in a prior blog, if the subject line is dull and spammy, coming “from” a non-recognizable or trusted source, your message has a high delete probability: unlikely your message will be open and read.   Keep your “From” transparent, build a relationship “from” consistency – because who the email is “From” may have more influence than what you have to say.   Need help: contact Dundee Internet email List Services today.

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