Changing Your Email From Line? Consider This…

Your from line is your branding in the inbox. It

Your from line is your branding in the inbox. It sparks instant recognition of your business. And since it’s the very first thing subscribers see, it may be the biggest factor in getting your emails opened.


So hopefully you don’t just swap from names without blinking an eye. Hopefully you blink several times while you’re thinking about the consequences.

While switching from names should never be done on a whim, there are some cases where a switch is completely necessary. This change can hugely effect your campaign, so it’s vital to have some cautions in place.

Why From Names Shouldn’t Change

From lines are what stand out in the inbox. Subject lines with “20% off” certainly don’t – anyone can send them (and most people do). It’s the familiarity and goodwill inspired by a reference to your brand that can make all the difference.

Change your from line, and that reference may go unrecognized. Without knowing the email came from someone they know and trust, subscribers may not want to open it.

In fact, they may even assume it represents a new campaign – one they didn’t subscribe to. And – click! – as quick as that, you’ve been reported as spam.

For example, when I saw these emails in my inbox, I knew I’d signed up for emails from Yogasphere. I did not know who Laura and Elle were.

The first email from Laura almost got reported as spam, ’til I noticed the mention of Yogasphere in the snippet. Had I not caught that, I’d probably have ended up blocking their emails permanently.

As for Blush Salon, it appears they use their company name for one-off emails and the owners’ names for their seasonal newsletter. Again, it was the company name in the snippet text that saved them from the spam folder.

Note on name choice: to be honest, I’ve never met Steve & Jay. I’m more familiar with the salon. Individual names may be credited with a more “personal” tone, but here, I’m more comfortable with emails from the establishment.

So you see how a from name switch could cause you to lose subscribers. It’s just not something you want to do….

Unless You’re In These Situations

Some times, keeping your from name the same just isn’t a good option.

Maybe the person your emails are “from” has left your company.

Maybe you’ve chosen a formal name for your marketing campaign that you want to start using.

Or maybe you’ve been using an “info@” address in your from line, and you’d like to put on a friendlier face for your readers. You’ve carefully considered the switch, and only intend to make it once.

In Those Cases, Take Precautions

  • Plan to make the switch once and only once. The more changes you make, the more risk of losing subscribers you take. So choose the from name that’s going to work best for your company over the long haul (while still triggering positive brand recognition).
  • If your campaign is self-aware (that is, if you tend to talk directly to your subscribers about what’s going on in your emails), announce the switch beforehand. Readers who see the announcement will be prepared for your new from line.
  • If you can, work your old from line into your first few subject lines after the switch. This won’t work as well if you’ve been using someone’s name, but otherwise, it can provide that saving flash of recognition.

Any Other Transition Tips?

If you want to switch from names because you send from several different people, you could use a standard company from name and switch signatures inside the message instead.

Can you think of any other ways to avoid changing your from name – or cautions you should take if you find you have to?

6 Comments

  1. Michelle

    8/18/2011 4:20 am

    I have also learned – while switching from names should never be done on a whim, there are some cases where a switch is completely necessary. – which is priceless.

  2. Bob

    8/18/2011 1:29 pm

    It sound great but I will have to read it again. Great points just got check out again Thanks

  3. B

    8/18/2011 10:42 pm

    A precaution that needs attention if you have to change your “From” Name would be the fact that the subscriber may think someone has hacked your email account – which happens quite often with hotmail email accounts. Therefore the subscriber may just delete it right off the bat.

    Definitely plan well in advance and give your subscribers every opportunity to know what you are doing and possibly why you are changing your information. You never know you could even make a marketing campaign out of the whole situation by giving a special offer for the change that you are making. That would help in getting the word out in a bigger way.

  4. Gobala Krishnan

    8/19/2011 1:14 am

    Great tips as usual!

  5. Sassy

    9/5/2011 11:20 am

    Great Tip! Thank you so much as this was a detail I had overlooked in my business(es).

  6. Ibukun

    11/13/2012 12:27 pm

    Thanks for a great post. These tips are very useful. I especially think the from name on an email marketing campaign should not change as it will decrease general trustworthiness.