Please identify yourself

4 minute read

Trust is the foundation of the permission marketing process. Identifying yourself as a genuine marketer and building your reputation as a sender of valuable content is critical to your long term success. Getting this right will have a positive impact both for getting your email delivered and opened. By the way, transparency in identifying yourself is also the law.

Identify yourself

Things to consider:

  • Your ‘from name’ (and your ‘from address)’ – who you are
  • Your ‘reply to’ address – how people can respond
  • Email authentication – how people know you are genuine

From name

As consumers of email one of the first things we look at when a new message arrives is who it’s from. Email delivery clients also look at the sender in order to determine whether or not a campaign should be delivered. Either way, identifying yourself as the sender is a critical piece of your email anatomy.

Some tips:

  • Always include a real ‘from name’ when you send a campaign.
  • It depends on your style but using a real name (a person) reinforces the feeling of a personalised message.
  • Whatever you use, keep it consistent. Over time it will be increasingly recognised and trusted by email clients and your subscribers and will become a valuable asset.
  • In addition to your ‘from name’ also have a valid ‘from address’. They don’t have to be the same, but again be consistent. Encouraging your subscribers to add your ‘from address’ to their contacts will whitelist you as a sender and help eliminate many potential future spam trap issues.

Reply to address

Inclusion of a ‘reply to’ address is a legal requirement for every email campaign. It doesn’t need to be the same as your ‘from address’ but is does need to be a valid email address which is active and actioned if and when called upon.

Some tips:

  • A valid ‘reply to’ address is a legal requirement.
  • Including a ‘no-reply’ type of address is a sure way to show your subscribers that you’re not interested in them or their responses. It’s not in the spirit of the trust relationship you’re trying so hard to nurture.
  • Make sure that your ‘reply to’ address is actively monitored. Even if you include a clear call to action in your campaign some of your subscribers will always choose to reply directly. You might miss out on valuable enquiries or complaints and manual unsubscribe requests.

Email authentication

There’s one final thing you can do to verify your reputation as a genuine email marketer – that’s email authentication.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is an authentication technique designed to enhance security for the senders and receivers of email. It’s like an encrypted digital signature which can be used to verify the credentials of email traffic. Essentially it provides a method of validating to your campaign recipients that you and your email are who and what they say they are.

How it works

DKIM works by using a private domain key to encrypt your domain’s outgoing mail headers, and adding a public version of the key to the domain’s DNS records. Comparison of the decrypted original and received headers can then be used to check that all is well – that your email comes from your domain and that it hasn’t been changed along the way.