Total Articles : 80 - TimeStamp : 19 2018f June 2018   


Optimising Your From and Subject Fields

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How important are the 'From' and 'Subject' lines? In short: Very important.

These are the factors which will decide whether your email gets delivered to the inbox or to the junk mail box.

From Line

Generally speaking the 'From' field is used by both the recipient and the spam filters. The recipients uses the 'From' field to determine whether to delete the email whereas the spam filters check to see if the email address has been 'whitelisted' (i.e added to the contacts list) to determine whether to deliver the email to the inbox or not. Some factors to consider:


  • Whitelist. Ask your readers to whitelist your 'From' name. They simple have to add your 'From' name (& the associated email address) to their address books/contacts. This then paves the way for your email to be delivered to their inbox, not their junk mail box. For this reason, you also need to ensure that the email address which is used is the same each month. For this reason, you may decide not to use an individual's email address (as staff can come and go), but a generic address such as newsletter@. Of course, it goes without saying that the reply address (which in many systems, can be the same as the 'From' address or a different address), needs to be attended.
  • Who is the email from? Whether the email should come from a person in the Company or the Company itself is best decided by you. If it is a person, then the person should be identifiable with the recipient - but also believable. It is no use sending a personalized email to a recipient from the CEO of the company if it is obvious that the CEO did not write it. You will lose credibility by doing this. If it is a person, then they need to be accessible - either via email or phone. By sending it from an individual, you are presenting a personal communication, which needs to be supported.
  • If you decide to send it using the Company's name in the 'From' field, then you need to be sure to use 2 words. For example, our newsletter, EzeNews is sent out from 'Ezemail's EzeNews'. The reason for doing this is simple. Email was design to be sent from one person to another and the 'From' field was designed to contain a first name and a surname. And so, spam filters expect there to be 2 words within the 'from' field and can penalize your deliverability of there is only one word within this field.
  • Have procedures in place. If you are off sick or on holidays, and someone else is doing the newsletter for you, have the basics on hand. For instance, last week I received a newsletter which I regularly look forward to, but instead of the familiar From name and subject line, I received it form "website support' (yes, you can guess which department was filling in on this occasion!) - with absolutely no mention of the company's name in either the 'from' field or 'subject' line… it was very nearly deleted.
Subject Line


The 'Subject' line is what motivates people to actually open the email. A couple of factors to consider are:

Consistency: Whatever you decide to do, be consistent. Don't change it every week. Let the readers become familiar with your 'From' name and 'Subject' line, so that even if an issue does end up in the junk mail box, they will be able to scan and pull it out easily.

Branding: Additionally, after considerable testing we have also found that what is in the 'Subject' line can affect deliverability. By adding the recipient's name within the subject line, you can improve your deliverability - but only use this if it is applicable i.e the newsletter is from a 'person' rather than a company. We also recommend that where possible you add either the company's name or the name of the Newsletter in the subject line. For example Clickz ( uses: 'ClickZ E-Mail Marketing: E-Newsletters and the Power of Change' with the 'ClickZ E-Mail Marketing:' being constant in each issue.

Email ClientShows in 'From' fieldOutlookName or Email addressOutlook ExpressName or Email addressGmailNameHotmailNameYahooNameEudoraNameExciteNameAOLEmailAs you can see in the above table, AOL is the only email client which does not show the 'From' name, but only displays the email address. If you have a high percentage of AOL recipients you may want to consider adding the Brand name within the subject line.

By implementing some or all of the above suggestions I am sure you will be able to improve deliverability of your e-newsletter! Good luck!

Copyright Kath Pay 2005

Kath Pay is Marketing Director of Ezemail, an innovative company that provides comprehensive email marketing solutions including a fully re-brandable Agency solution. For more information on how easily email marketing can be implemented, please contact Kath at

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