A question we get asked a lot… when you send promotional email or an email newsletter, is it better to use your own name or the name of your company?

You probably know from experience that when you look at an email, the name and subject line play a huge part in whether or not it you decide to open it.

When you look at the messages in your inbox, or a new notification flashes up, the first thing you see is who sent it. Then you read the subject line and quickly form an opinion about whether it’s spam or a legitimate email.

Do you want it to be from you personally, or from your company?

Sorry – there are no shortcuts here. The answer is… it depends – and you need to test it. Of course, if you’re using good email marketing software, A-B split testing is easy (and fun).

(Actually, here’s a quick bit of advice… Don’t EVER put your name or subject line in ALL CAPS. It’s a dead giveaway for spam).

Example: Michael Carden from performance assessment software company Sonar6, told us at Accelerate 2011 that they test their email marketing extremely rigorously and have found that they have achieved the highest open rate by using the sender name ‘Michael J. Carden’. He’s not sure why ‘Michael J. Carden’ achieves the highest open rate, but it does. Bear in mind that Sonar6’s audience is predominantly American, and maybe Americans tend to see the middle initial as conferring authority on a person -or maybe they associate it with Michael J. Fox. Who knows?

Michael J. Carden from Sonar6

Michael J. Fox from ‘The Future’