From line

The ‘from’ line of an email shows the recipient who sent it.

As you scroll through your messages, the ‘from’ line sits at the top of each email’s details, usually in bold, and is the most prominent text of this preview.

It’s the first thing your recipient sees.

Below it, you’ll find the ‘subject’ line and then the pre-header (the first part of the text in the message body).

Surely, you can’t get the ‘from’ line wrong—or can you?

It’s just your name—right? How can you get that wrong? Trust us. We’ve seen it all. Senders who have left the default text in place, have inserted ‘name’, or even left some dummy text saying they’ll complete it later.

Testing your ‘from’ lines

For marketing emails, it’s imperative your ‘from’ line must work. Works? What does that mean? It’s just your name—isn’t it?

Don’t overlook the importance of the name you use in your ‘from’ line. Consider what’s expected from your brand, and test different versions to see which get the most opens and engagement.

Is it a personal message or business? Is your business brand corporate and straight-laced, or fun and friendly? Whichever it is, that’s what your recipients will expect to recognize from any branded communication.

Don’t leave anyone in any doubt of who you are

Consider this. You open your emails, and you see a message from John Smith. That could be anyone, from anywhere. What do you with it? Well, if you’ve got a hundred and fifty emails to wade through, there’s a chance you’ll drop it straight in the bin.

If the same email arrived in your inbox with a ‘from’ line that read John Smith –Woodpecker, or John at Woodpecker, then your brain recognizes the brand straight away and gets excited about the fabulous news you’re about to receive.

Personal or business?

But which of these is right for you, and when should you use them?

Here are a few things to think about before deciding on your best option.

  • A ‘from’ line that includes your full name and brand will appear more professional and less personal. This type of sender appeals to recipients interested in the business’s product or service.
  • Using just a first name is much more personal, encouraging businesses to believe the message could be a new enquiry from a customer.
  • Choosing something in between—a first name and the company name—gives the impression that you’ve made a personal connection with someone who works in a business you deal with.
  • Use your brand and drop any personal details. If the brand is stronger than the contact, this is your best option for engagement.

And all of a sudden, it’s not so simple! Consider your message content and be consistent with that. What you have to say in your email, and how you say it, should give you all the clues you need to put together the perfect ‘from’ line, and for every instance.