What is the one thing that helps us differ people and put a face to the words we read or an object we buy? What makes everyone unique and in the same time recognized by their surroundings? It’s of course the thing we’re given at birth and carry with us our whole lives. Our name. Yes. Our name is what tells the others who they’re talking to.

In the online era and the quick progress of email marketing all users have a display name to worry about. Questions about the name you should use when sending out your emails rise every day. How long should it be? How should it look like? And one of the most frequent ones – How important is your display name for the email and is it worth it to waste your time thinking about it at all?

There are a lot of contrasting opinions among marketers, but they all lead to the inevitable fact that you simply can’t go around it and forget it. It’s your own name we’re talking about here, how could it not matter? But I’ll let you decide for yourself after we go through all the points on this matter, so follow me!

In the sea of emails

stormy sea

Most of the users wake up to find their inboxes flooded with both useful and junk emails. What do you think they see first in those situations? The subject line is there, yes, but it’s not always the most valid indicator of the relevance of the email. Not when you have the display name right next to it. Ah… That’s a completely different thing. Seeing a name that is familiar to the recipient or simply sounds real to them will make them open your email, at the very least, and consider cooperating with you.

The display name is what helps them sort out all the emails they get and search their inboxes for messages that’ll actually bring them some benefits just like your own. With that you’ll swim out of the sea of emails as an accurate sender whose text is worth reading. That’s why always pay attention to the name you write in the ‘From’ field at the top of the email.

For example, if you run a food restaurant and you want to notify people that you are moving on a new location, don’t write a random name or a vague ‘Food restaurant’ as your display name. Instead go with something more approachable like your actual name, let’s say ‘Mike Tyler’, or the name of the restaurant if you want to keep your privacy like ‘Pizza Hut’ or something like that. I think you get the point.

Building trust and relationships

Worker building masonry house wall with bricks

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to use a whole email address as your display name. W-R-O-N-G! It’s wrong on all levels starting from the poor image it shows of yourself up to the prospect of the email ending in the recipient’s junk folder. Check your own junk folder to see what I’m talking about. Not to mention that with whole addresses as a sender people find it hard to connect and build a relationship. That’s another field where your display name can come at your aid. Trust and relationships. A friendly, personal name is a win if you are seeking to establish a long lasting connection with your recipients. That’s why you should focus your attention more on that kind of display names.

In the above example, if you neglect the name and leave an address like ‘[email protected]’ you may as well throw the email in the trash yourself. No one would trust a sender like that and would probably think of your message as spam, even though you’ve spent a long time writing down your moving-to-a-new-location news. All in all, a personal name like ‘Mike Tyler’ does the trick and builds a relationship with the recipients before you know it.

Shouting your name

cheering young woman hiker yelling at mountain peak

You may not believe it, but a good display name helps you a great deal with your promotion. Seeing your name at the top of the email, the recipients will remember it and attach the content they read on your blog/site to it more easily. Also as they would know who the actual sender of the email is, they would shout your name around and in the same time promote you on social media. With that, your reputation will go sky-high and launch you as a professional in your field.

Don’t be fooled by that “We’ve been using this display name for ages, we’re not going to change now”. Yes. Change it now, because that’s one more step toward your recipients reading what you send them and plus literally fishing out the emails from the spam folders.

For instance, if your name on Facebook or Twitter is ‘X Company’, it would be nice if you use that as your display name, too. Don’t experiment too much – just go with what people know and let them do the shouting for you.

Mobile screens love display names

businessman using a smartphone

It’s the dawn of the mobiles and slowly but surely email marketing is leaning in that direction. But there’s a small problem marketers face and that is the inability of the small screens to fit the whole subject lines of the emails (particularly if they’re over 15 characters). Guess what? Here’s where your display name comes into focus.

To illustrate, take a look at what happens with subject lines and display names on the mobile screens:

  • Your original subject line: “You don’t need to go to Italy to taste Italian pizzas anymore”
  • Your mobile screen’s subject line: “You don’t need to go to…”

Go where? You realize that your recipients will be left hanging. Having in mind people’s short amount of free time and a low attention span, they might give up in the end leaving your message unopened and straight to the bin icon. But not if they’re satisfied with a familiar and personal display name next to it.

  • Your original display name: “Company Y”
  • Your mobile screen’s display name: “Company Y”

The role of the display name couldn’t be clearer, right?

I know what you’re thinking. As much as it doesn’t seem like it at first glance, your display name is more vital and crucial for your email marketing than you think. From standing out from the other emails that will likely meet their end in the trash to building a connection to promoting yourself and fitting on the mobile screens, the lesson for the display name’s importance is, I believe, well-learnt. Halt your previous thoughts about neglecting it and shift toward change. Now go on and make the great display name everyone would recognize! I know you will!