Using friendly from names to improve deliverability

Using Friendly From Names To Improve Deliverability

Platform – MailChimp / General

Level – Beginner/Intermediate

Subject Type – Strategy

Open your inbox, and your eyes are drawn to the friendly from names over generic “team or no-reply” names. Combine that with a friendly email address, and you are giving your communications a touch of personality. An excellent example of this is from Trello, who have their emails coming from Taco (Taco is a dog). Vicon’s emails come from the product managers and marketing team by name. Mine come from me, why do we do it? The reason is simple; it builds relationships and trust.

In real life, you build relationships with people, and you know their names. When they call you, caller ID allows you to see who it is. It builds trust in a growing relationship and anticipation when it is something that you are waiting for. You see their name and it encourages you to open the email. It also makes the email feel more personal.

I’ve tested from names for clients and in-house campaigns as part of the email marketing strategy to improve both deliverability and open rates. These have included testing Male vs Female vs Company name on gender and age segmented audiences. The average open rate for a  generic name was around 16% while from a Male or Female friendly name the open rates were over 24%, and the average click rates were 4-5% higher than from the generic names. While this might not sound like a massive change, even just a 1% increase in either of these metrics can be a difference of 1000’s of people engaging. When you have a big enough list, quickly generating significant increases in ROI.

To get the most out of this, it is best to test multiple from names (keeping the email address the same for deliverability) and measure the results against each other. Best practice to get valuable metrics out of it would be to test them on your most engaged audience segments. The aim is to identify a name that delivers the best open rates. If you want to give it an identity that people can associate with, a company mascot or an office pet are both excellent starting points (and can be tied to offline promotional items too). For sending from real people,  if you have a very niche industry you work with or multiple niches, try sending from specific team members. All these factors should be included in the testing phase. If your audience is big enough, then you can test multiple names at once.

While this post focuses on friendly from names, another element to consider is the email address that it is sent from. If you have set Mailchimp to use a no-reply@ email, stop! It screams that you don’t want to hear from your audience, which harms your customer/audience perception of you. While in some cases this might be true, people want to feel like they can’t talk to a company. You can take full advantage of Mailchimps’ conversation management to handle incoming communications. Not forgetting that MailChimp is an integrated marketing CRM platform, keeping track of an audience members conversation history. 

To plan and execute a friendly from name strategy, it is straightforward, follow these four elements:

  • Draw up a list of names that you want to test
  • Test the name(s) selected and choose one to continue forward with, based on your open rates.
  • Once you have chosen a name, stick with it and build trust around that name.
  • Remember the send name (and reply email address) should also be a friendly name and email address.

If you want to know more about how to improve both deliverability and open rates, drop us a line via the contact page. To find out more about our services, visit the services page.

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