your email doesn’t get opened, your email list is useless. Effective email marketing means getting your email opened, rather than trashed, in the first three seconds after a recipient sees it. But what’s the magic formula for getting your email opened?

I found statistics covering this in the Email Marketing Metrics Guide from Marketing Sherpa (read my review of this must-have research at These were compiled from a consumer email study that asked tens of thousands of people what drove them to open their emails. And you know what single factor came out on top?

The from address.

That’s right: the name that appears in the “from” column in the recipient inbox is the single most important factor: it was cited by 60% of the study respondents. That makes it more important that the subject line and the email content preview.

But what FROM address should you really use? What FROM address gets your email opened?

The answer was simple and straightforward. It should be:

Consistent. Always use the same FROM address.

Recognizable. The recipient should recognize who you are by reading the FROM address. This translates into using your company name in most cases. If you’re, for example, the FROM address should simply read, “”


Avoid the mistake of using a personal email address as the FROM address. You don’t want it to show, “Mary Johnson” and then have [email protected] as the email address. That won’t get opened because nobody knows who Mary Johnson really is. But they do know who YOU are, assuming they subscribed or purchased something from you to get on your email list in the first place.

This is a branding effort, too, but its most important benefit is to simply get your emails opened.


The next most important factor is the subject line, and here’s where men and women differ. According to the same study cited above, 69% of men open emails that contain the word “news” or promise compelling information, vs. only 46% of women who open the same emails.

But women respond better to discount offers: 64% opened emails that focused on a price discount, whereas only 50% of men opened the same email.

Does this mean you should split your list into male / female demographics? It’s certainly worth testing, but an easier way would be to find out who you’re selling to today (mostly men or mostly women) and cater more of your email announcements to the strategy proven to work for that group.


There’s a lot more juicy information like this in the Email Marketing Metrics Guide published by Marketing Sherpa.


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Mike Adams

Michael Allen "Mike" Adams is the founder and owner of Natural News. According to his own website his interest in alternative nutrition was sparked by developing type II diabetes at the age of 30 and "completely curing" himself using natural remedies. He is a raw foods enthusiast and holistic nutritionist. He claims to eat no processed foods, dairy, sugar, meat from mammals or food products containing additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG). He also says he avoids use of prescription drugs and visits to Western medical doctors.

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