Trust is very important in email marketing. Research shows that the biggest factor in email open rates is whether the recipient trusts the sender or not. If you are suspicious about who an email is from, you simply aren’t going to open it.

Choosing a trustworthy “From” name and email address, and using them consistently, can help increase open rates. In this article we’ll take a look at some tips on how to do this.

Choosing a trustworthy "From" name

Recognition is key here. You want your email subscribers to instantly know that the email is from you.

So you should choose a name or title that is recognizable. This might be your company name, or the name of a specific brand or product. If you do choose the later, think about what it is your subscribers signed up to learn about.

Some brands like to send emails using an individual person’s name. In most cases this is not a very good idea. In general, it doesn’t improve open rates and makes your email more likely to go unrecognised. If you do decide to go with a person’s name, follow the name with a comma then the name of your company or organisation. Just be aware that “From” names are often cut off in inboxes. Gmail will cut a “From” name at roughly 20 characters, with Yahoo it can be even less.

Choosing a trustworthy email address to send from

Along with the “From” name, the email address itself is also decisive in whether a subscriber trusts your email and decides to open it or not. Here are some important points to remember when deciding on the email address to use.

Don’t use a free address like @gmail.com

Email addresses from Yahoo, AOL, Outlook or Gmail will not look as convincing to customers. Worse still, the servers of your customers are more likely to see these emails as suspicious. This can increase the chance of your emails being rejected.

Don’t us a no-reply email address

Firstly, using a no-reply address just doesn’t send a positive message to your subscribers. It can look uncaring, and can also be a cause of frustration if they need to contact you.

What’s more, there is a technical reason for not using a no-reply address. Emails servers look at the way users engage with your email and use this to decide where your email should land in their inbox. If a user replies to your email, this is a clear sign that your emails are of interest to them. As a result, servers will give your email a better position in the recipients inbox and you’re less likely to be relegated to a spam folder.

Of course, by enabling replies you might receive some auto-replies. But this is a small price to pay for providing a useful channel for your customers and gaining a better reputation with email service providers.

Make sure you use a valid email address

A bit like avoiding a no-reply email, making sure your send from a valid address is both a common courtesy and a smart move. Customers who reply want you to receive and read their email. And, as we already know, encouraging replies will make it more likely that an email server marks your emails as important.

Make sure your address and “From” name match

Another point about consistency is making sure the “From” name you use matches the email address you’re sending from. This is especially important to look out for if you operate more than one brand. It could look suspicious to a customer if the “From” name is for one brand, but the email address is for another one.

Clearly define the purpose in your email addresses

If it’s possible, use the email address to provide useful information about the purpose of your message.

For example, for your weekly newsletter, create an email address like this:

newsletter@yourbrand.com

You can follow the same principle for other marketing messages, and for transaction emails. Useful address names might include billing@, returns@, and support@.

Don’t forget, some of your subscribers may have written a rule to delete certain forms of emails, for example all those from newsletter@. If this is the case, they will still receive messages from addresses like discounts@ or support@.

One smart trick is to specify one reply-to email address. This way, even if you are using multiple email addresses to send from, you will receive most of your replies to one inbox, making the process easier to manage.

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