One area of email marketing which is often not talked about is your ‘From-Address’. Now an email marketer can use their From-Address for good (more conversions and results from your newsletter) and for bad (the opposite or at least make your mail look quite strange to the recipient). There are actually quite some things to say about the From-Address So what are the DOs and Don’ts? 

From-Address

Your From-Address is rarely seen by the recipient, normally because it is hidden by the inbox’s interface. However, if they ever reply or add you to their address book, they will obviously have to see it. Also, it is popular for the content to ask the recipient to add the From-Address to an address and/or safe list.

Branding via your From Address

So there is an element of branding required, but more importantly the address can affect trust and to a small extent deliverability.

Brand and trust should go hand in hand; essentially if someone looks at the From-Address of the email they must be able to link it to the brand claiming to send that email, therefore it really helps if your brand name is in the domain. It is important to remember that the more sensitive the content the more important the wording in the From-Address is.

Avoid that your email looks like a Phising attempt

An increasing amount of people are being forced to be familiar with Phishing.

This is where an email comes through pretending to be from your bank, for instance, asking you to go to an official-looking page and enter in your passwords with the aim to collect your private information and enter your bank account.

Consequently people are now more savvy about what to look for in an official email. This means that if someone is having trouble trusting your email; maybe they were surprised to receive it for instance, they may view the domain in the From-Address and even put it in a browser to check authenticity.

If the domain does not match the brand sending it, they might simply hit spam. If the address does look like the brand, the choice of wording might still put them off, so it is important to bear this in mind when choosing your From-Address.

Effect of from Name on Deliverability

Deliverability can also be affected; Spam has been around almost as long as email, so junk filters have a huge amount of rules when it comes to excluding or allowing email into the inbox. Additionally, with the introduction of domain reputation and authentication the sending domain and full address is a vital part of your ability to get into the inbox.

To increase your chances of getting into the inbox, the best thing to do is send from a sub-domain of your web-domain, eg: if your web-domain is andyjeans. com a sub-domain could be email.andyjeans. com.

By doing this the From-Address is already part of your web-site, so the parent domain (eg: andyjeans. com) already has a reputation, therefore any recipient will be aware of the link between the From-Address and domain and will be more likely to trust your email.

Be sure to consider what to put before the ‘@’ sign – the prefix. This also has to be inviting and in context with the email, so make sure that you do not overlook it.

The No-reply no-no

Many senders still use noreply@ because they do not want to man the inbox after sending a campaign, however this is not good recipient experience. It conveys to your recipients that this is a one way relationship, that you want to market to them but do not care what they think. Therefore invite replies! Social media has proven to brands that being able to communicate with the customer makes a brand more accountable and personable as opposed to a faceless company.

In terms of deliverability, some filters including SpamAssassin have problems with From-Addresses that have too many consecutive consonants. It appears that 4 or more consonants in a row, without vowels, hyphens or dots in between them can cause a problem.

Different from addresses for different kinds of emails

Many people think of the email address as the “unique identifier” for the list. You have more than one kind of email from the same brand, eg: events, newsletter, product updates, or you may have separate lists for different departments or sub-brands, eg: men, women, kids etc. It is very beneficial to have the email address different for each, this way if someone unsubscribes from one department and then gets an email from the other, they can tell the difference.

From-address Dos and Don’ts

Dos DON’Ts
Use a sub-domain of your web-domain where possible Don’t use info. / offers.  As the subdomain, it has been burned out by spammers
Make sure the sub-domain is in context with its use, eg: email. / emails. / e. / response. / newsletter / Don’t have .info as the domain’s prefix is has been burned out by spammers
Use an inviting prefix to avoid alienating recipietns and try to keep it in context, eg: alerts@ / newsletter@ / updates@ / Don’t use info@. Like other generic ‘role’ addresses (eg: contact@, sales@, marketing@ etc.) it is for receiving emails. Also info@ has been burned by other spam.
Feel free to be novel and/or quirky: eg:Foryou / pleasereply / customerlove etc. etc. Avoid any kind of frequently spammed keywords as the sub-domain or prefix: eg: info, offers, PPI, discounts, free, finance, loans, payday etc.
If you cannot do a sub-domain make sure the domain you use is very close to your web-domain, eg: yourdomain-email.co.uk Don’t alienate recipients by making it look one way, eg: noreply@
If you are in the UK, try to use co.uk instead of .com. Many junk filters are more forgiving of a more local email. Avoid having 4 or more consonants in a row as part of the email address.
Use different addresses for different types of email.

This shows that a detail like the From-Address can even make a difference and is something to care about. But it of course isn’t the whole story. Next time in the DOs and DONts, another important part of the Email Envelope: the From Name.

Andy Thorpe

Author

Andy Thorpe is the Deliverability and Compliance Manager for Pure360 and is also the author of Get in the Inbox , where Andy blogs and tweets about email marketing under his comical alias of Captain Inbox.