The name on my email is wrong

You may have sent an email where the name comes up wrong in the recipient’s mailbox. Sometimes the name is altogether wrong – it’s not your name – and, sometimes, it is misspelled. Frequently, this mistake pops up when a team member takes over a function from another and the name isn’t updated. For instance, Joe takes over for Sarai the task of reviewing invoices sent to the email address When Joe replies to inquiries, his replies use Sarai’s name.

Generally, this problem is to update the Display Name your email uses, but sometimes it involves changing your Contact information.

What is a Display Name

You probably don’t memorize the email address of every contact you know. And, when you receive an email from someone new, you likely find it easier to identify the sender when their full name appears, instead of just the email address (who is, anyway?).

That full name is the email’s Display Name.

A Display Name is anything you want it to be

An email’s Display Name can be anything – anything – and it’s this freedom that makes it useful, since 1) a lot of people have the same name and 2) there isn’t anyone whose name is actually ‘Honeycrisp Support’. This freedom is also a major security concern, but we’ll talk about that later.

Every mail application has different Display Name settings

Every mail application goes about setting the Display Name a little differently and you’ll likely need to make the change on multiple devices. If you’re using a Mac, MacBook, iPhone or iPad, here’s a good article on how to change your Display Name. If you’re part of a law firm, we can help; reach out to us via phone or email.

If you’ve updated your Display Name, but continue to experience the problem, please continue.

The Display Name still wrong after updating it

You updated the Display Name and tested it by sending an email – everything works! Except, one or two recipients still receive email with the wrong name. Unfortunately, that makes this problem a little trickier. The problem isn’t with your Display Name, but with the recipient’s Contacts.

Why does this happen?

What happens is that your email address matches a Contact record of the recipient. Therefore, the mail application replaces the Display Name with the name of the Contact record.

What can I do if changing the Display Name didn’t fix the problem?

Since you don’t control the recipient’s Contacts, all you can do is ask the recipient to change the Contact information. A request to change Contact information is usually best done over the phone, because the recipient may be confused by emails mislabeled with the wrong name.

If you can’t get in touch with the recipient or refused to update the Contact record, it’s usually safe to ignore it. A daily report is a daily report, no matter how bad the error in the recipient’s Contacts. But there is a reason to be persistent.

When not to ignore inaccurate Contact information

There is a reason you don’t want to ignore a Contact with the wrong name. For example, when the recipient frequently forwards your emails to other people. In that case, the forwarded emails are likely to include the wrong name without the full email address. As a result, people will find it much harder to get in contact with you.

Categories: Strategy

Luke Kumanchik

Entrepreneur, programmer, backyard farmer & Dungeon Master Extraordinaire.