Twitter Chat with Phrasee

The Art (and Science) of From Fields

We’ve talked before about how important it is to make a good first impression in the inbox. As email marketers, we know that we have to build and sustain a good relationship with subscribers for the long haul. That means building trust is essential. One of the key ways to do that is through an effective inbox display. Recently, we chatted with our phriends and subject line experts, Phrasee, and consulted the email geeks community about the three major opportunities to win in the inbox.
  • Sender name – who is that email coming from?
  • Subject line – what is that email about?
  • Preview text – what other information can you give to drive the click?

Q1. What is inbox display and why does it matter?

Inbox display is the first thing a subscriber sees when looking at your email in the inbox (subject, from name, preheader). It's important because it give you (the marketer) 3 opportunities to encourage the recipient to open the email. - @JohnThies, Email on Acid Inbox display is the email thing together. To me "display" is a misnomer. It's the Inbox Experience. It's the complete omnichannel customer experience currently being offered through the email channel. It should feel congruent, clear, and valuable or it's going to be deleted. - @MatthewSmith, Really Good Emails

Q2: How would you rank the three inbox display elements – sender name, subject line, preheader ­ – in terms of their impact on email marketing performance?

In exactly the order you just listed them: Name, Subject, Preheader/Subheader. From Name is often more important than Subject. - @JenCapstraw, Iterable In the order you listed them! The subscriber needs to recognize who the email is coming from before you can attempt to hook them with your subject line and preheader text. - @CampaignMonitor Plus, the #emailgeeks weighed in:

Q3: Where are brands falling short in their current inbox display strategies, and how can they improve? A lot of brands are using spam tactics to get people to open emails. In one of my previous roles we would try and think of ways to trick people to open our emails i.e. 'Your appointment details'. We saw high opens at first but overtime our audience picked up on it. - @Roxy_Cameron Don't be clever, be consistent. Ex: "John from Company" is a ✨fun ✨ sender name alright, but what happens when John leaves? The entire subscriber list must now learn a new sender name. - @TedGoas Read this whole thread:

Q4: How can brands optimize their strategy to maximize the positive impact of their email subject lines on open rates?

Always use brand compliant language that relates to the content of the email... and don't trick people! FREE BEER is not ok for a subject line (unless you're actually giving away FREE BEER). And ALWAYS test test test - what works one week, might not work the next. - @VicPeppiatt, Phrasee
  1. Use the right no. of characters that'll make your subject line fully readable on any device.
  2. Test, optimize, repeat—each time!
  3. Personalize with the recipient's name (use Merge Tags)
  4. Be on-point and don't digress—if you can say it in 5 words, do it! - @ZohoCampaigns

Q5: What do you think about the use of emojis in email subject lines?

It's important to not use emojis to replace content. This makes your message invisible to folks using screen readers. - @JeannetteC As our CEO @ParryMalm likes to say: emojis can make a good subject line better, or a bad subject line worse. - @Phrasee

Q6: What should brands be doing to protect the perception/value of their sender name?

Sender Name(s) (okay to have more than one!) should NOT be an afterthought/last minute decision. They need to be part of a thoughtful, holistic strategy. They can be literally anything, but they have to complement your brand and not employ silly tricks. - @JenCapstraw

Q7. How long should subject line/preheader text be? Want to read through the full chat? Just search the #EOAchat hashtag on Twitter.

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