Companies commonly ask if it’s worth including their business name in their email subject lines. The answer lies in the key issue of recognition. A sure way to make your emails stand out from all the other junk mail in your reader’s inbox is to attract instant recognition as someone they know and trust and listen to.
What are the ways to attract recognition?
One way to trigger recognition is to put your name in the subject line – your brand, newsletter name, or business name…whatever is likely to trigger that recognition most easily. Tests have proven this to increase open rates.
However, recognition is not achieved through subject line alone. Email recipients usually see a sender line, a subject line and commonly a snippet of content in a preview pane. All those visual elements combine to induce recognition. If you have a clear sender line and appropriate branding in the preview pane, these can do the heavy lifting on recognition, freeing the subject line to focus solely on generating interest and action.
How to format your subject lines
If you’re going to put your branding in your subject line, research has shown that it’s usually best to put it at the front, e.g. Subject: “[Travel Mag] Best-value holidays in Argentina and win a trip to Hawaii”. A good practice is to highlight your branding with some kind of brackets, helping it stand out and allowing people to refocus on the actual content of the subject line much faster.
But remember…the more space you take up with your branding, the less you have for communicating the content of the email to entice interest and action. If your company name, brand or newsletter title is too long, then consider acronyms and short forms, provided they are truly recognisable.
Where recognition is enough to get an open – an enviable place to be
It’s worth branding your subject lines if recognition is itself sufficient to generate interest and action. People usually open ‘transactional’ emails as a matter of course once they recognise the source – such as an order confirmation or notification of a new password. If you have built a reputation for always delivering useful, valuable content, then your main priority may just be to ensure people recognise your emails. Their positive experiences with a newsletter and/or the sender cause them to open those newsletters whatever the subject line says, once they recognise them.
So, make sure you get that instant recognition!
The bottom line is to make sure your emails are clearly recognisable, then decide how best to achieve that with sender and subject lines, and initial message content.
As a famous person once said…it’s not what you say that’s most important, but who you are and how you say it…Winston Churchill was it?