Updated on May 26, 2023
Making the right choice when it comes to an email address for any professional is essential. Not only will this be the very first contact a client or potential sees, but it’s also important to consider things like formatting and structure of the address and the email display name. Choosing an email address should not be taken lightly as it needs to leave a good impression and be intuitive enough for people to guess correctly which direction the communication would lead.
Another factor to think about is making sure that your chosen email address displays your name and represents the brand that’s behind the communication. This requires taking the time to think of something unique and tailored towards the brand, given that this will often be one of the core elements used by customers or others researching your business before they make contact with you.
You might think now, the subject is clear: We’ll just add our name and the company name to the email name and we have the perfect combo for higher open rates.
However, after running more than 30 campaigns monthly, we were curious to put this “perfect combo” to the test and see if it really makes a difference in the performance of the outreach campaigns and the reactions of the recipients.
Elements of email names
Choosing a good email name is an important part of setting up a professional identity online. Your email address should be memorable, distinct, and easy to pronounce, and it should reflect your professional self. Besides being short and straightforward, certain conventions should be followed while choosing a suitable email name.
It is also ideal to avoid using random numbers or special characters like underscores (_), especially for Gmail users who have restricted characters in their usernames. However we’ve tested that some commonly used special characters are well received both by the email providers and by the human recipients of the emails, so our possible special characters often include a hyphen (-) or bar (|), but we stay away from @, #, &, (), for the email name.
We’ve also seen the usage of emojis in the names, especially at the beginning of the name or at the end. Not all email providers are emoji friendly yet, and also we want to keep the professional image of the email name, so we don’t recommend using emojis in the email names.
When it comes to adding your actual name, there are multiple variants you could try, for example using just your first name, a combination of your first name – company name, just your full name, only the company name, etc. The only tip here is to stick to your name and the company name only. Additional information like years, nicknames, pet names, or similar personal information can easily result in an unprofessional email name.
Email names experiment
The success of an email campaign depends heavily on the subject line, and specifically the name of the sender. Conducting an email names experiment can help businesses find the most effective sender name to use in their outreach campaigns. This can lead to higher open and response rates, ultimately resulting in a more successful campaign.
Now we come to our experimental part where we test the performance of 2 identical campaigns, set to the same ICP segment with the same subject line and email content and delays. The only A/B testing subject is the email name that displays 2 variants.
To begin with, the first email name contains only the full name of the sender, without additional information on the brand or company name. The only company indicator is the email address, having a complementary domain to the main brand domain, in our case sales.rocks.
For the first email address, we’ve only put the first and last name of the sender person, without the company name included, or any additional special characters, emojis, or symbols.
For the second email address, we’ve displayed the first name of the sender person, a special character (a bar), and the company name.
Our assumption was that there will be a difference in the open rates, as the email name is the first thing the recipient sees, besides the subject line. Another expected result was the that campaign running with the email address that contains the company name will have a higher open rate, as the cold outreach usually requires a professional introduction from the person, but also for the brand they represent.
Campaign results of the email names experiment:
Both campaigns were running for a week, and an equal amount of emails and follow-ups were sent to both batches of the same contact list, sending the same number of emails daily.
And here are the current results:
From the screenshot above, we can see that the open rate on the campaign with only the full name of the sender included has about 10% higher open rate than the campaign containing the company name in the email name.
However, we can’t judge the performance of the campaigns just by the open rates, and easily say that we shouldn’t include the company name in our professional emails.
The rest of the statistics also contribute to the open rate percentage and should be analyzed combined.
For example, we can see that the “better performing” campaign doesn’t have any clicks or replies at the time of the observation. On the other hand, the “worse performing” campaign actually has double the bounce rate compared to the other campaign, which can significantly influence the open rates in the first place, as to have an open on your email, the email needs to be delivered to a working inbox.
We can say at this point that the results of our experiment were inconclusive, as we can’t determine which campaign’s email name performed better.
The open rate for a campaign with only the sender’s name has a higher open rate than a campaign with the company name in the email name. However, open rates alone cannot determine the success of a campaign as other factors such as clicks, replies, and bounce rates should also be considered.
So, next time you think about what to include in your email name, take a risk and do a quick experiment on your own to establish what works better for your chosen contact list and your ICP.
Our only advice here is to not overthink it and not overdo it so that you ruin a very prospective outreach campaign, that will be judged by “its name”.