Some of the most effective and memorable emails are those that begin with, “This is a message from…” followed by an individual’s name. The realization that it was a personal email can significantly boost engagement, as people feel more connected to the sender.

But how do you gauge this kind of impact? How do you measure the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign?

To find out, Sender Score, an email evaluation service, surveyed more than 2,200 U.S. adults and asked them to rate the extent to which they found various elements of a company’s emails—such as personalization, frequency, and timeliness—to be effective in persuading them to engage. 

Respondents to the survey were able to select multiple options as their answers.

Below are the seven elements that respondents found to be most effective in increasing engagement. 

  1. The use of personal, branded salutations: 51 percent found this to be highly effective.
  2. Use of the recipient’s first name: 47 percent
  3. Personalized images and graphics: 44 percent
  4. Using a call-to-action button for direct responses (such as “shop now” or “download now”): 43 percent
  5. The use of a recognizable, branded sender name: 42 percent
  6. Offering useful content and product information: 38 percent
  7. Frequency (the number of emails sent per month): 37 percent


On the other end of the spectrum, responders also identified email elements that they found least or not at all effective. Here are the three most identified:

13 percent found the use of an attachment to be least effective. (Respondents were reminded that many email providers block attachments, so if a company sends one, there’s a good chance it won’t be seen.)

11 percent found the use of high-pressure tactics such as “unsubscribe now” to be least effective. (These tactics are widely considered to be unethical under CAN-SPAM laws.)

15 percent found ads and offers for other products or services to not be at all effective.


The takeaway? It’s important that your emails have a personal touch, include useful content, and are received in a timely manner.