HomeAdviceWhat's the best send-from address to use?

What’s the best send-from address to use?

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This is a topic that is often overlooked, but it does have a dramatic effect on your inbox placement.  When your recipient’s mail filter receives your email it will look at a few key areas before it decides whether to deliver your email to the inbox or to send it to the junk folder.

These areas are all equally important and are as follows:

  • Sender’s previous sending reputation
  • Spam phrases contained within the mailer body text
  • Sending domain has both SPF and DKIM record in place
  • Any images are optimised properly in terms of file and pixel size
  • Send from address is valid and passes spam tests

The first four points in the above list and fairly well known and most email marketers check their sends against these key principles. All of the above play a part in successful inbox placement – the send-from address however plays a major role, but is often overlooked.

So, what are the common mistakes that email marketers make when selecting their send from email address and what issues can this cause?:

Invalid Mailbox

It’s quite common to receive email marketing from an email address such as no-reply@ – often these are dead email addresses that don’t exist. Email marketers often do this because they don’t want their email inboxes to be bombarded with autoresponders such as ‘out of office’. There are two big issues why this is a really bad idea:

  • Spam filters check the validity of the address, if it’s a dead email address they will route the email through to the spam folder or may even add the sender’s domain to a block list.
  • If people want to reply to your email, their reply won’t go anywhere. Email marketing is very much a two-way conversion, sending people an email that they can’t reply to is a completely pointless exercise.

  Generic email mailbox

This is something that most email marketers fall fowl of; sending from a generic email address. When we are talking about a generic email address, we mean an address such as: sales@, marketing@ or news@ for example – basically an email address that is not a person.

So, why is this a bad idea? – the first reason is that spam filters are looking for emails that look like they might be marketing emails and generic send-from addresses are a sure-fire way to identify these. This can often result in delivery straight to the spam folder.

The second reason is that your recipients don’t like to feel that they are part of a huge marketing campaign – a blanket send that has gone out to thousands of recipients. In the test, engagement rates fall off dramatically when generic send-from addresses are used.

Using a consumer, free email address such as @gmail

Most of us nowadays use a free email address such as Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail. For those of us running small businesses, this is often sufficient to use for our communications and marketing.

When compared to using a commercial domain name such as @YourCompanyName.co.uk – it does however have some fairly significant drawbacks:

  1. Engagement rates are much lower, generally, recipients are hesitant about interacting with an email from a free email account such as Gmail etc. Historically these easy-to-obtain free addresses had been associated with large-scale spam email campaigns. This means that for the purposes f marketing – they do have quite a few negative connotations. 
  1. These free email accounts will often be prohibited for use with commercial email marketing software. This means that if you attempt to send an email marketing campaign out with commercial software, GMAIL etc will block it’s use. This means that your email marketing would be barred from delivery to your recipient’s inboxes.

Summary

The send-from email address that you use does have quite a significant effect on your inbox placement. As we have previously touched on, this one is often overlooked. Making one small change to your email marketing regarding the send-from address could have quite a dramatic positive effect on the success of your email marketing.

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