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Bonus material: How to increase email open rates [infographic]

Scan over your inbox and check for friendly from names, friendly email addresses and just a touch of personality. You’ll probably find that there are only a few companies that have given their email its own persona.

Trello has their emails coming from Taco (Taco is a dog), Vicon has their emails coming from a number of people internally depending on the message. Mr. Scruff’s emails appear to come from him directly.

Why do they do it, well the reason is simple, relationships.

Offline you build a relationship with a person, you know them by name. They call you up, you see their name on the phone screen or you see their name on a badge. You associate that name to the person that you are talking to. It builds trust or even excitement if you know they send something specific. You see their name and you want to open the email. It also gives a personal feel to your emails and people like to deal with people, not faceless entities.

MailNinja tests from names for client campaigns to see what name resonates best with their audience. Some of the recent tests we have been carrying out have been male names for a male audience and female names for a female audience vs the company name. The average open rate for the generic names was 45% lower than the friendly name and the average click rate has seen a 40% increase on the emails with a friendly from name over the company name.

The reason behind testing in this way is audiences are sensitive and we wanted to see if speaking to somebody of the same gender would work better against a generic company name. The next round of testing we’re going to perform is going to be a single name to the whole audience vs the company name and the winning name from each test group will be tested against each other in an MVT within Mailchimp.

The aim of all this testing is to identify which name gains more trust.

This is obviously very specific to this particular set of campaigns, but the practice can be replicated to other campaigns very easily. Maybe you have a company mascot or an office pet that people already know about, maybe you have members of the team who are well known in the industry and their name is already respected and trusted. All these factors can be worked into the testing. If you have a big enough, qualified database then you can test multiple names at once. If your database isn’t as well qualified as you would like you can segment the data into your most engaged and use them to test against.

Whilst we’re talking about friendly from names, something else we should mention is the email address itself. If you are still using a [email protected] email address please stop.

What does ‘No Reply’ say to your audience? You are literally saying “we don’t want to hear from you”. And maybe you don’t, but the last thing a contact wants to feel is that you are not interested in what they feel or have to say. Even if you change it a generic department email address that is a better alternative. You can set one email address to send from and set a reply to another email address if you wanted somebody else to receive the responses – you can also use the conversation settings within Mailchimp to manage these communications.

To recap:

  • Pick some names to test on your audience
  • Test, test and test again until you are confident in your results
  • Once you have narrowed a name down, stick with it and build trust in that name
  • Send (and reply email address) should also be friendly.

If you want to know more about how we can help you with testing for both deliverability and improving open rates the drop me a line or fill in our contact form.