Deliverability

What From address should I use ??

By July 14, 2011 No Comments

This is a simple question with a simple answer that – surprisingly! – a lot of marketers get very wrong. The From address you use in your email campaigns is a fundamental part of the success of your marketing efforts. It has as much impact on your open/click rates as the Subject line and is one of the first things people see when deciding whether (or not) to open your email.

Most important, it has to be recognizable and should remain static. The recipient should know instantly who this email is from and trust that the sender is sending them something of value that they have asked to receive. If a recipient doesn’t recognize you (the sender) they’ll be more likely to unsubscribe from your emails. Worse, they might flag your message as spam, making it harder for subsequent messages to reach others who want to receive it as well as tarnishing your reputation in the process.

Ideally, the domain in the From address should be the same domain the recipient used to sign up and the same domain in your Welcome email. It should also be able to receive mail (unsubscribe requests) – but try to avoid using a no-reply@ address.

Here are some more tips:

  • The From domain should point to a valid website and should have functioning abuse@ and postmaster@  addresses
  • It should have valid, public WHOIS data
  • Encourage each recipient to add your From address to their Contact list, Safe Senders list or allow your images to “Always be displayed” to take advantage of whitelisting
  • The From domain used should be set up with both SPF/SenderID and DKIM (see below for more details)
  • Ensure you always reflect your brand well with legitimate “From” names and a valid reply address that is managed by a real person
  • Keep your From email address short and sweet – too long and it’s likely to run off the screen of most mobile devices
  • Consistency is important! It should never change unless absolutely necessary (if you do change it, you should run a separate campaign informing everyone of the change)

Authentication

I see a few people using @gmail, @hotmail  or @yahoo addresses from time to time and this is a big no-no. Not only are these addresses generic and often a target of spammers, it’s also a good bet that the recipient didn’t sign up to your list via any of these domains! Large ISPs like this also have SPF/SenderID, DKIM records that do NOT include any of CakeMail’s servers so any authentication verification during transmission will fail and increase the likelihood of your email going to Junk or not show up at all.

Both Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and SenderID are setup by the domain owner publishing a list of trusted servers/IPs that are allowed to send email on it’s behalf in their DNS. The receiving end can then check whether the message complies with the domain’s stated policy and if not, send it to junk, label it as ‘worrisome’ or block it altogether. This varies by ISP and depends entirely on how much weight they apply to the authentication process, but in general, an email that is authenticated will perform better than one that has no authentication, and worse still if the domain is setup but the person sending the email is not among those listed in your DNS.

Reputation

Many receivers will assign a reputation not only to the IP used to send your email, but the domain used to send the email as well. This is particularly true if you are sending from a shared pool of IP addresses and if you change the From domain, you will instantly loose any domain-based reputation you have garnered to-date, not to mention any Whitelisting associated with that domain.

Almost all ISPs these days (even the small ones) are looking at some form of authentication to filter spam. Even the SMB crowd looks at authentication (however indirectly) by incorporating outside filtering services such as Postini, McAfee, Brightmail, Spam Assassin, etc.. to their anti-spam filtering solution. Allowing Cakemail to send on behalf of your domain will go a long way towards ensuring your email gets delivered.

For information on making sure your domain’s DNS is set up properly, please contact our Deliverability team.

Bye for now,

Kevin

Please wait...

Author Kevin Huxham

More posts by Kevin Huxham