It has been common knowledge among email marketers that the “Friendly from name” is more important than the subject line. People scan the friendly from name to decide which emails are from people they recognise. If it is from someone they know then they are less likely to treat it as spam.
Roll on my Gmail junk folder. It was getting big so I thought I’d take a quick scan before deleting them. Of course with the emails being in the spam folder, I had only the from name and the subject line to go on – the images themselves are obscured. So I see “River Island” and “M&S” and thought I might want to see their emails in the future and click the “not spam” button. No sooner do I look at them with images do I know immediately it is spam and Google got it right.
Darn! I should have expanded the friendly from name so I could see the actual from address. It was obvious this was not from the sender it purported to be but this is hidden by default in the Google Apps version of Gmail. This doesnt seem to be the case in my standard gmail account.