Now don’t get me wrong, creating a “personal” relationship with prospects and customers is HUGE and proven to generate more sales and sign ups based on the trust you’ve worked hard to create. But let’s be truthful…doesn’t it turn you off when a vendor or spammer uses your first name in the subject line, like you’re best friends? It’s a bit slimy and the feedback we’re getting is telling us that it’s turning off customers left and right. So it really matters Who does it and How it’s done.
This is important news for those of you who are smart enough to use personalization in your subject lines, but neglect to personalize the message. You might actually be reducing your open and click rates by employing this “best practice”! So let’s try and make sense of these behaviors. If recipients are automatically deleting emails with their name in the subject line, it’s probably because they don’t recognize the sender AND it’s unsolicited.
So…if you’re sending a message to a NEW customer, it might be wise to use a catchy subject line to get them to open, and include any personal information in the message. After 1-2 messages are accepted, everyone should be on a first-name basis. Of course, it’s always best to split test both subject line approaches and see what works with each target audience.
What’s the take-away? With 6.0, you have the all tools and features you need to build your customer profiles, e.g. free online surveys, free web forms, email analytics, etc. So you can and should take the extra few minutes to include personal data such as buying history, age, interests, location, and so on in your messages. Keep using first names, but If you take this important extra step, your open and click-through rates will BOTH improve, and you can pretty much guarantee your sales will also.