What’s in a Name?

Last week, Jackie G. gave some tips on how you can make your message stand out to people who, like you, are being nearly overwhelmed by email and other types of sales messages. This week, I thought I’d expand a bit on her thoughts and write about personalization and how it can help boost email response.

Say What?

OK, you say you receive at least 50 emails on a daily basis? More, you say? In any case, you’re probably performing the usual email triage — delete, delete, delete, delete — save — read later — and so on. In an instant, you decide what stays and what goes. Many of us have inadvertently deleted important email messages from our family and friends due to this frenzied pace. Sound familiar?

What’s It Gonna Take to Grab Your Attention… and Quickly?

Most probably, it’s the subject line — followed by the “From” line — that makes you decide what to do. Or vice versa. In any case, imagine this: You receive an email with your name in the subject line. Ah, the glory of your name! Now we’ve got your attention. That’s the beauty of personalization. Instead of, “Join us for a FREE marketing Webinar,” imagine your name inserted in the subject line: “Lynne, join us for a FREE marketing Webinar.” That really gets my attention. And it makes me feel a bit special. (OK, my colleagues at Inbox Interactive can refrain from comments, please.)

The Theory

As an adult, you probably don’t hear, or see, your name as often as when you were a child. Think back to your days in elementary school. Your teacher used your name a lot, and you most likely saw it written many times in any given day. Of course, your parents would use your name a great deal, too (in those instances, you may have cowered at the very mention of it!). However, as adults we don’t see our names as often, so when we do it is all the more appealing.

Think about it. How often do you hear your name in the course of the day? Or how often do you see it written? Here’s a fun little exercise: In your next conversation with your colleagues and friends, try using their names more frequently. Gauge their reactions. You may actually have a bit of fun with this little game and find that it’s a powerful yet subtle way of getting attention and interest. Bottom line: People love to hear their name. Just the sound of it is music to their ears. Use that to your advantage.

Now Try Branching Out With Your Email Messages

Taking this theory into account, try it with your email efforts. You can test the results of your email campaign by deploying two versions of an email — one with the recipient’s name in the subject line and one without. See what type of click-through and conversion results you garner from this test. Let’s put this theory to work! If you do, I’d love to hear the results; you can drop me an email.

Taking This Theory One Step Further

You can branch out beyond just personalization through email marketing. But you want to send the right message — that is, something relevant to your target audience. You may also want to track activity and campaign effectiveness with personalized content or targeted special offers. In addition to establishing a direct relationship with your target audience, you have the opportunity to customize your message to the recipient’s specified interests or demographics. Now you’re taking personalization to a whole new level.

Bottom line: It’s all about capturing your customers’ attention and engaging them. And personalization should help your cause.

That’s it from me this week. So long until September 11.


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