How long does it take for readers to remember you?

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I admit it — I'm horrible with names. To make matters worse, I attend a lot of conferences and trade shows where I meet many people. For each person I meet, I have to go through the drill of repeating his or her name in my mind, so I won't forget it.

Subsequently, I start receiving e-mails from these people and I'm trying to remember who they are and why I'm getting e-mails from them. And what does this have to do with my e-mail program? Well, studies have shown that the first decision e-mail readers make is, “Do I know this sender?” All other actions follow from there.

It's unlikely that new subscribers to your e-mails have voluntarily drilled your company's name into their memories, so it's important that you help them remember you.  

Here are five places to insert your brand:

A friendly “from” address and e-mail alias

The brand should exist in both places. Should you personalize the friendly From address with real names vs. the brand? User studies disagree whether this effectively increases open rates. My advice: test it on your own audience. Ask yourself whether recipients will more readily recognize a person's name or the brand name.

Subject line

Put your brand name in the subject line whenever you can. You can't exclusively rely on friendly From address tactics to help you get recognized in an overcrowded inbox.

Value Statement

This is the first line of text readers see in some e-mail clients, such as Gmail. A correctly worded snippet builds on your subject line and helps the reader decide whether to save the message or to read it immediately.

View-online link
Put your brand name here if you still haven't incorporated a value statement or table of contents as a preview-pane-friendly strategy. Here's a link makeover using an example from my own inbox.
Before: If you can't see the images in this e-mail, please click here to view this e-mail through your Internet browser. After: If you can't see the images in this edition of Browning e-Blast, please click here.

Brand name in text copy

Weave your brand name into the message copy in the first two or three sentences and remind the reader how you know each other. Build on the connection you have with them to drive brand recognition.

Now that I've highlighted all the different places you can place your brand name in an e-mail, take a quick peek at your last message. How many times will the reader see your name? Is it enough to remember you for next week?

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