Let's Take This to the Inbox
Sign up for our news, resources and updates. The inbox is our favorite place after all. We’ll make sure it’s worth it. (You can unsubscribe at any time, but you probably already knew that.)
I’ve received over 500 emails so far this year in which the subject line included my first name. “Morgan, Book Now & Save on Top Travel Deals” “Morgan – Congratulations! Your Nomination to Cambridge Who’s Who!” “Morgan, Get Dad a 58″ Samsung Widescreen.”
Congratulations, you have a whiz-bang email tool with mail merge functionality. But it’s no longer novel. The wow-factor has officially subsided for anything you could do on a Commodore 64.
When I see an email with my name in the subject line, my first thought is not “Phew! These guys know my name!” No, it’s become a red flag for spam.
In fairness, it used to work. When I analyzed the use of name personalization in subject lines six years ago, there was a slight uptick in open rates for subject lines that contained a name personalization string. I looked again three years ago and there was no difference in open or click rates when name was included in the subject line. “Dear [First Name],” at the top of form letters had no impact on click-through or conversion rates. If I cared enough to look today, I suspect the results would be worse.