January 20, 2011

Power of the From Name

by Kelly Lorenz, Marketing Strategist at Bronto

I have fond memories from when I was younger of running to the mailbox every day after the bus dropped me off at my house because I loved getting mail (still do, hint hint). I would quickly scan the envelopes to see 1) if anything was for me and 2) who sent the mail. My little 10-year-old heart broke every time I received a piece of mail only to discover it was from Publishers' Clearing House.

The reason I'm telling you this story is to convey the importance of the from name. The from name in an email conveys two things very quickly:

  1. Who’s sending this message?
  2. Is it important to me?

#1 is an easy question to address. Typically, if you are sending a marketing message to a customer or prospect, you will want to use your company name and a customer service-type email address. This creates immediate recognition in the recipient's mind and there (should be) no confusion.

I recommend to clients not to use a person's name in the from name unless that person is famous and tied into the brand - think Oprah and Steve Jobs - not your manager or editor whom is known only to a small population. Approach it as if you are meeting a new person that knows nothing about you. You wouldn't go to a party and introduce yourself by your company name would you? Think about the reverse when emailing - they know your company, not you.

However, there are some instances where you can utilize this opportunity to create a personal touch by using a person's name in the from name without sacrificing recognition. Let's take a look at an example: 

Pandora from line

This is a welcome message I received from Pandora. Even though the email is from a person, Pandora is immediately visible in both the from address and subject line so there's no confusion as to how I got the email or who it's from. If you check out the message itself, you'll see that it's a letter from the CEO, Tim Westergren. I like this idea because I feel that if I replied to this email, which companies really want subscribers to do, Tim would respond back personally.

What a great way to add a personal touch without sacrificing recognition.

Now, to answer recipient question #2 is much more difficult. It requires that you send quality content to subscribers that want it so they value receiving your emails and don't de-prioritize in Gmail Priority Inbox or sweep your message to the side in Hotmail.

Are you sending the right message with your from name?

Kelly Lorenz
Email Marketing Strategist at Bronto
@KNLorenz

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Kelly Lorenz, Marketing Strategist at Bronto

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Comments

Spot on... I think who is sending a message to you is the natural thing to look at first when you receive an email... It is a very important part of email marketing.

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