The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

Two most important parts of email

The two most important parts of any email that arrives in my inbox are:

1. The sender, and

2. The subject.

These are the scraps of information upon which I decide whether to open the email and read it, delete it, file it away unread, or mark it as spam.

Obviously there is a great deal of flexibility what you, as an email marketer, put in the subject line.  There is also a lot of room for determining what is displayed as sender.

From what I’ve see, email marketers could benefit by putting more though into what shows up as the email sender.

Generally, there are two parts to and email address: The actual email address, and the alias.  The alias is optional.  If the alias is omitted, just the actual email address is displayed as the sender.  If the alias is included nearly every email client I’ve see will display the alias, and hide the actual address.

This is the format for an address that uses both parts:

Tom Fox <>

“Tom Fox” will display as sender.

Basically, you can put anything you want in the alias part, and change it as often as you wish, without affecting the actual email address.  There are practical length limitations to an alias, I’m sure, but I don’t know what they are.

If “” is all that’s included in the email sender field, that is all that will show up in the email client.

Not everyone will recognize either your name or your email address.  Sometimes a more functional and descriptive alias works well in conjunction with the subject line.

The primary objective is to have the email opened, and to avoid the  spam folder.


Written by Tom Fox

12/03/2007 at 12:42 pm

Posted in Email Marketing

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