|VI. E-Mail Marketing – From & Subject Lines Explored
July 16th, 2009 by Missi
Making a good first impression is one of the cornerstones of a fruitful relationship. The same could be said about e-mail marketing. From Names and Subject Lines are the first impression your recipients have with your product or brand. Smart marketers will make sure it is a good one.
From Names are the text that shows up next to the subject line in the recipient’s Inbox. This is usually not the same as the From Address, but it can be. You should make your From Name something easily identifiable with your brand or product, and it should stay consistent throughout your mailing. If you are mailing an offer through an affiliate program, check the terms and conditions for the offer.
From Names must be real. This means the Name used must refer to your company or an employee of your company. If you are running an offer for Debbie Meyer’s Green Bags, for example, you cannot use Debbie Meyer as the From Name, even if it is her product. The correct usage would be XYZ Company Newsletter or XZY Deals. I am using XYZ as a placeholder for your own company name. Your subject line can indicate what kind of offer or product your e-mail contains, but the From Name is something that must be familiar to your list.
The From Address is the e-mail address listed as being the sending party of the e-mail message. This is not necessarily the actual address that sent the e-mail, especially if you are using an ESP on a shared IP. The actual sending e-mail address may be from your ESP, but you should be able to select your own From Address that displays to your list. This address must be a real, working and monitored address. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your e-mail address, but it must be checked at least as often as you are processing unsubscribes (at least once per week) – as this is another viable unsubscribe option.
Example From Names and From Addresses:
Got Web Host News (firstname.lastname@example.org)
GWH Tips & Tricks (email@example.com)
Missi Maynard – GotWebHost.com (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Got Web Host Specials (email@example.com)
Next to your From Name in a user’s inbox is your Subject Line. The Subject Line is without a doubt the most important part of your e-mail that must be conveyed in 5 seconds (or less!). The Subject Line is a short description of the content of your e-mail and should never exceed 50 characters. This length should accommodate most, if not all e-mail clients, both web- and desktop-based.
Like the From Name and From Address, the Subject Line must be authentic to the content that will be experienced once a user opens the e-mail. Again, using the example of Debbie Meyer’s Green Bags, if your content is a creative for the Green Bags, and the subject line is “Brittany Spears Latest Courtroom Drama,” you are being deceptive. Granted you will likely get more people on your list to open your e-mail, but once they do, your click through rate will suffer.
Because of their overuse and affiliation with spammy subject lines, many words that are perfectly fine to put on your landing page will never fly in an e-mail. Cash, Earn Money, Read Now, Click Here and Buy Now are all words that are monitored by Spam Filters. Enough of these types of words (and sometimes just one) and your e-mail is labeled as spam or junk and bounced/blocked or sent to the junk mail folder automatically. The words that are monitored by Spam Filters are constantly evolving. Check online often for new words that should not be used with mailings.
In brief, Subject Lines, From Names and From Address all have a common theme – They must be Authentic! Keep them focused on your offer and your company, keeping in mind what words you should and should not use – and the opens and clicks will come. A professional e-mail marketer can also help with spam testing your From & Subject Lines as well as make suggestions for improvement.
Coming Soon in our E-Mail Marketing Series – Part 7: E-mail Campaign Statistics & Reporting