Anne Holland

Reader Query: Newsletter name in

July 6th, 2004

Just got a question from a reader whose company is revamping its newsletter design:

“You use a specific format in your sender/subject line highlighting the most interesting topics in “subject”, while leaving the newsletter title in “sender.” I would like us to change to this format but I need specific evidence supporting that it will be useful. Do you have any data on why you chose this?”

Five reasons you should list your newsletter name and/or email sending address in the “sender” or “from” line has become a best practice in email publishing:

1. It quickly IDs you to readers who will give you a second, or less, to prove that your newsletter belongs in their in-boxes and isn’t spam.

2. It allows readers to filter you more accurately into a special folder rather than languish with all the junk mail. It also makes it easier for ISPs and individual users to whitelist you.

3. Because you now don’t have to waste characters by putting your name in the subject line, you have more room to list the things that will entice your readers to open your email.

4. Some email clients read the sender’s name in different ways. Some will use your name (Outlook), while others will use the email address (AOL is one). So, if you have your name AND the email address which should also include your company name) in the “from” line, that will make it clear to the reader who you are and why you’re in the in-box.

5. Many companies use it as a branding tool and insist on having the company name show up in the “from” line.

But ….

That’s why you SHOULD do this. Whether you CAN depends on your broadcast vendor’s software.

You SHOULD be able to format it so that your newsletter name and your email sending address (the actual email address your newsletter goes out from) in the “from” line. However, not all vendors do this. Some assign a random or job number to the email address so that it’s different every time. (This hurts you with readers who whitelist you on your name or email address, since your address will change every time.)

Ask your vendor if you can customize your “from” address with your name and/or email address. If it can’t help you, it’s probably time to start looking around for a new vendor.

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