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Email Sender Name Best Practices for Marketing

The email marketing sender name or "from" name might seem like a small thing, but following best practices for display names can make a big difference in how your email is received.
Article Outline

Marketers often ask about the best practices for email sender names (also known as the email display name or “from” name). In email marketing, sender name refers to the visible name the recipient sees in their inbox. With 1-to-1 email, the “from” name is obvious: it’s the author of the email! But when you’re sending on behalf of a brand, you have a lot more options for the email display name.

The display name is different from the “From” address. Most email clients don’t display the address until the recipient opens the email. Some careful people will take the extra step to verify the “From” address is legit. (These days, authentication systems like DMARC keep most of us safe from spoofed emails). Reassuring your audience with a credible “From” address will help you build trust.

They may seem small, but the email sender name and the “From address” can play a role in whether someone opens your email, or ignores it; engages with it, or reports it. Here’s how to make sure you’re following the best practices for email sender names and addresses.

Email Sender Name Best Practices “Dos”

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When marketing prospects check the email display name, they’re looking for signs of a credible sender.

DO: Use a brand name your recipients can instantly recognize as yours. If your recipient gets an email from a company they don’t recognize, it’s a one-way ticket to the trash.

DO: Keep the email display name as short as possible. You don’t want to risk the email client cutting off the text.

DO: Consider altering the email marketing sender name according to the content you’re sending. For instance, the New York Times might include “NEWS ALERT” in the from line for breaking news updates. For marketing messages, they may simply use New York Times. Southwest Airlines sends their offers from “Southwest Click ‘N Save” instead of “Southwest Airlines.”

DO: Use a distinct display name for important emails that aren’t marketing, like “Act-On Support” or “Billing Department.”

Email Sender Name Best Practices “Don’ts”

DON’T: Change your sender names too often. This gives your audience an inconsistent brand experience, and could even result in your emails ending up in spam. If you’re feeling indecisive about which display name to use, you can always try A/B testing before deciding.

DON’T: Use an email address as the from name. That’s a major red flag for spam bots and filters.

DON’T: Use a person’s name as the email marketing from name. Make an exception if your brand is a person’s name, e.g., Charles Schwab. You might also make an exception if using a person’s name really fits your message. For instance, maybe you have a webinar coming up and one of your executives is speaking. It’s worth testing if the email gets more opens using their name as the email display name. If you do use a person’s name, follow it with a comma and the company name anyway. Including the brand name is always a best practice.

Email Marketing From Addresses: “Dos”

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DO: Use a “From” address that matches the display name. Remember, this builds trust and helps encourage your audience to open your emails more frequently.

DO: Use your main website domain or a subdomain in the “From” address. Absolutely need to use a separate domain? Just make sure you get it as close to your brand name as possible, for reasons we mentioned earlier.

DO: Create distinct “From” addresses that give the audience more information about what you’re sending and why. For instance, you might have “[email protected]” and “[email protected]” to serve those respective content types.

Email Marketing From Addresses: “Don’ts”

DON’T: Use a no-reply address. This can ding your response rates and your deliverability. It suggests that you’re having a one-way conversation, not trying to build connections with your audience. Worse, it can make recipients think twice about adding you to the safe sender list or address book. You’ll also miss out on potentially valuable feedback from your email audience if you actually don’t monitor those replies.

DON’T: Use free B2C webmail addresses like or This might seem obvious, but you might be surprised how often marketers try it. It will usually get you nothing but a lot of bounce backs.

More on display names and email deliverability

As unimportant as the From name and From address may seem, they are small, but critical, building blocks for successful marketing and branding (not to mention email deliverability!).

For a lot more advice on getting those emails delivered, opened, and enjoyed, read the Best Email Deliverability Guide Ever.

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