September 23rd, 2008 | 2 MIN READ

Email Sender Lines: Getting Creative + Testing

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Sender lines are important - perhaps even more important than subject lines - for better open rates in email marketing campaigns. The reputation of the sender (based on recognition of a brand/name and past experience with a sender's messages) determines whether the email recipient will even read and consider the subject line.

The most common retail sender names go something like:

Store Name (Brand Name) - examples: Circuit City, Victoria's Secret, dELiA*s
Store URL - examples:,,, []
Store Name + [Word] - examples: REI Gearmail, L.L. Bean Newsletter, Deals, ShopNBC Auctions, ShopNBC Clearance
[Branded Product] by Store Name - examples: StudyJams! by Scholastic

It's very rare that a retailer ever uses just a person's name - for good reason. Spammers often use fake names to get you to take a chance on their email (although Chad White caught TigerDirect using - oof!). But MyShape adds a personal by combining a person's name plus the brand: Sarah at MyShape

It's different. It's worth testing.

One caveat with testing sender lines is consistency. If an existing subscriber is part of your test group, you erode the trust and recognition of the first sender line (control). It's better to start testing on new subscribers, segmenting them out until you have enough to run a valid test.

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