Putting Names in Subject

by bhlehr 20 replies
I'm in the process of setting up a new autoresponder series of emails, and I began to think about the idea of putting the name of the person receiving the email in the subject line itself, to make it more personal. I've some do it, and others not.

However, I know that when I've received such emails in the past with my name in the subject line, I automatically thought "spam!". Yet there are some lists I'm on now that still do this, and since I'm expecting the email on a regular basis, the name part in the subject line doesn't affect me one way or another.

For those who use several lists, have you found any difference in the results between one list having the name in the subject line, and one without it?

Brian
#main internet marketing discussion forum #names #putting #subject
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    The obvious answer is it depends on your niche and you should be testing.

    But, in my experience, if you have more of a personal relationship with your list, including the name in the subject line can help your open rate.

    Again, I recommend testing, your mileage may vary.

    Thanks,

    -Scott
    Signature

    Over $30 Million In Marketing Data And A Decade Of Consistently Generating Breakthrough Results - Ask How My Unique Approach To Copy Typically Outsells Traditional Ads By Up To 29x Or More...

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[46344].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Simon_Sezs
      Originally Posted by scottspfd82 View Post

      The obvious answer is it depends on your niche and you should be testing.

      But, in my experience, if you have more of a personal relationship with your list, including the name in the subject line can help your open rate.

      Again, I recommend testing, your mileage may vary.

      Thanks,

      -Scott
      I have actually had people write me back and it actually appeared like they didn't know the email was blasted. Remember, it is easy to assume that people think like us on this forum. In most cases, it just ain't the case.
      Signature
      "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." Ben Franklin
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[46384].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author lakshaybehl
      Absolutely!

      There is a lot of testing to be done!

      But it is hardle a matter of putting in thought about name in the email subject line when you have a ROCK-SOLID relationship with the people on your list!

      -Lakshay
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[46385].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Hardi Wijaya
    Already been tested by a late master copywriter.

    Situation is quite similar online. The conclusion is, put ONLY the FULL NAME in subject line, unless you can write a better teaser. However, a great teaser can be a combination of full name and something else.


    Hardi



    Originally Posted by bhlehr View Post

    I'm in the process of setting up a new autoresponder series of emails, and I began to think about the idea of putting the name of the person receiving the email in the subject line itself, to make it more personal. I've some do it, and others not.

    However, I know that when I've received such emails in the past with my name in the subject line, I automatically thought "spam!". Yet there are some lists I'm on now that still do this, and since I'm expecting the email on a regular basis, the name part in the subject line doesn't affect me one way or another.

    For those who use several lists, have you found any difference in the results between one list having the name in the subject line, and one without it?

    Brian
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[46403].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Michael Lee
      Putting the first name adds personalization. However, you don't want to put the first name if it doesn't sound like part of a regular conversation.

      For example:
      "First Name, I'd like to give you this free report" is fine.
      But "Free report on how to be a good musician, First Name" doesn't sound like part of a normal conversation.

      Cheers,
      Michael
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[46420].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author tonybhachu
        Hi Brain,

        I remember reading a report some time back that suggested that adding your prospects name in the subject of your autoresponder emails significantly improved the open rate of your emails.

        The best response was from an email with simply the following subject:
        "Hi [name]"...

        Please bear in mind that while further testing is recommended, these days it's not so simple to test open rates of your emails because spam filters look out for the testing code snipets and would automatically re-direct these emails to the Junk folder.

        Just my two cents ...

        All the best,
        Tony
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[46681].message }}
        • When I ran split testing to fitness orietnated lists, I found a better open rate every time using the Hi [firstname] prefix in the subject line.

          Without fail..
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[46684].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
            I know Clayton Makepeace read somewhere that putting the name in the subject line of your emails all the time would reduce your response.

            He split tested it and found the opposite...subject lines with the first name of the recipient increased click through rates.

            You do have to think about how to make your subject lines read naturally with the first name in them though.

            Kindest regards,
            Andrew Cavanagh
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[46698].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author bhlehr
              Some great responses here, especially the ones about making the name "fit" with subject sentence, and not just tacked on.

              I am certainly going to test this, but part of testing (for me) is to learn about the experiences of others.

              Brian
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[47133].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author jhongren
                Originally Posted by bhlehr View Post

                Some great responses here, especially the ones about making the name "fit" with subject sentence, and not just tacked on.

                I am certainly going to test this, but part of testing (for me) is to learn about the experiences of others.

                Brian
                Hi Brian,

                In reality, people love to have their names called.

                I think it is how you build the relationship.

                Meaning how do you sequence your emails such that by placing "names" in subject wont be seen as a spam.

                For example, in offline, you don't know me. I see you on the street and call out "Brian!"

                You look at me in surprise cos you have no idea who I am.

                This is similar to the first email you send out.

                But eventually as you get to know me and our bond grows, the next time I call you, most probably you may smile or welcome the fact we met each other again.

                So these are the next few emails with names.

                So it is really building that relationship with your list and become their friends.

                Cheers,
                John
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[47159].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author gmichaelh
                Hey Brian,

                I think you are going to run into 3 different types of people with this.

                1) You will have the newcomer who thinks it's great that you have addressed them personally in an email as they have no idea what an autoresponder even is.

                2) The people who have been around for a while and like you stated in your first post, see their name and instantly think SPAM!

                3) The people on your list that you have a relationship with and who know you well enough to know it's not spam and enjoy the personalization, even though they know it's just the autoresponder putting that personalization in.

                As everyone has stated it's a testing situation that is going to vary depending on who the recipient is going to be. Just my 2 cents...
                Signature

                Newbies, need help with the "nuts & bolts" of Internet Marketing?
                Free one on one help for all my subscribers. Sign up at:
                I Love Working On The Web.com

                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[47304].message }}
                • Profile picture of the author wellymulia
                  I think you need to test it for your own market since different markets respond differently.

                  IMO though, putting the name in the subject field used to work great, but not that great anymore. With that said, you want to check out Ryan Deiss' recent blog post that may help you, although indirectly.
                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[47577].message }}
                  • Profile picture of the author Sandor Verebi
                    Hello Brian,

                    In my experience this thing works differently depending on what point of connection we are at that time. Some people like it, another dislike it.

                    It is disappearing in that way, Mike painted the situation the best.

                    So you'd better to test it at first. It may be you will lost several subscriber. Never mind. Who remain will appreciate your subject line and will read your message.

                    Of course it is not an incidental, what kind of service you provide for them.

                    All the best,

                    Sandor
                    Signature

                    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[47862].message }}
                    • Profile picture of the author John Hocking
                      I think personalization goes beyond just adding a first name o a subject.

                      If you really want it to be effective, you need to make the whole email
                      "sound" like you were writting to your best friend.

                      Take the name of your friend and put it in your email. Does it sound natural?


                      I remember when I first started using personalization. I way over used
                      the name replace. One customer pointed out that I had replaced his name
                      15 times in the body of the email. It did sound really strange. It was like
                      a child begging for attention.

                      Dad, dad, dad, dad, did you hear me dad, dad, dad etc...

                      If you are going to personalize, put yourself in the message.

                      Let me feel your excitement or pain. The more you can make it feel like
                      you wrote the whole email directly to and for me, the less spam complaints you will get.

                      More importantly, the more personal the email feels, the better the relationship you will build in the future.

                      I am on the list of one marketer that sends me emails almost daily.
                      At first I thought that was way too much. But now I tend to look
                      at each one because he has sent me valuable heads up on products
                      i would have never even known existed.

                      I do not act on every message but each one has a bit of his personality in it.
                      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[47988].message }}
                      • Profile picture of the author pjs
                        I go out of my way to sign up for multiple mailling list of marketers I admire just to see what they are doing, what themes their emails have, etc. I get a kick out of studying them.

                        Anyways, I haven't seen one of them use my name in their subject line for some time. As a result, I haven't been adding it and so far the results are positive. A lot more testing to do though.

                        I guess it really boils down to your list and the only way you can figure it out is by testing.

                        Also remember, the rest of the subject could have an impact as well.
                        Signature
                        Mom and Pop Money WSO *** - How ONE Lead Capture Page Made $9K in 2 Weeks in the "Offline" niche!

                        PeterSanchez.com >>> FollowPeter.com (Twitter)
                        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[47996].message }}
                      • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
                        Originally Posted by John Hocking View Post

                        I think personalization goes beyond just adding a first name o a subject.

                        If you really want it to be effective, you need to make the whole email
                        "sound" like you were writting to your best friend.

                        Take the name of your friend and put it in your email. Does it sound natural?
                        That comment is right on the button!

                        Putting the name in the subject line used to be the general advice, but it's fast becoming old hat and the clever IMers, such as Frank Kern, now advise against it.

                        How often do you put your friend's name in the subject line when you email them? It just reeks of cookie-cutter autoresponder fodder.

                        Plus, if you've set up your opt-in form to just get "name" rather than "first name", you'll have a variety of first, last and both names in that field which can end up looking very awkward in your email.

                        As has been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, Ryan Deiss is now leaving the name out altogether and as a result his opt-in rate (where he just asks for the email address) is showing an 8% increase.

                        Frank
                        Signature
                        I've just put Richard Branson's number on speed-dial. I call it my "Get-Rich-Quick" scheme.

                        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[48084].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Diana Lane
        Originally Posted by Michael Lee View Post

        Putting the first name adds personalization. However, you don't want to put the first name if it doesn't sound like part of a regular conversation.

        For example:
        "First Name, I'd like to give you this free report" is fine.
        But "Free report on how to be a good musician, First Name" doesn't sound like part of a normal conversation.

        Cheers,
        Michael
        On reading this, I realised for the first time why these 'personalized' e-mails always look 'off' to me whenever I see them in my inbox. I can't think of anyone in real life who uses my name properly (it's amazing how many people think 'Diane' or 'Dianne' is close enough to 'Diana' to do - I guess they're scared of using up their syllable quota). My name just doesn't look conversational to me when I see it, and I imagine that's the same for a lot of people.

        It's natural for people to supply their given name to you when you ask for it, but the chances are that it could mark you out as a stranger and look unnatural if you use it to communicate with them.
        Signature

        Plot short fiction, long fiction, even outline non-fiction * Edit the question prompts to suit your genre * Easily export text and image files for use with your word processor or Scrivener.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[48006].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
          Seeing my name in the subject is sometimes the only way I can tell if an email is spam or not and remember whether I subscribed.

          For this reason I put the subscribers name in every email and in the subject often as well.
          Signature
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[48038].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jelasco
    Originally Posted by bhlehr View Post

    However, I know that when I've received such emails in the past with my name in the subject line, I automatically thought "spam!". Yet there are some lists I'm on now that still do this, and since I'm expecting the email on a regular basis, the name part in the subject line doesn't affect me one way or another.
    Why would you think it was spam? I thought the idea was that having your name there would prove the message wasn't just sent to random people.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[48215].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author bhlehr
      Originally Posted by Jelasco View Post

      Why would you think it was spam? I thought the idea was that having your name there would prove the message wasn't just sent to random people.
      Before I was into internet marketing, my wife was interested in possibly starting a home business. She signed up at one website (can't remember which one) to get some information. That was it. I don't even think she read the information. Since she is seldom on the computer, and was using my email account (using her name), I very quickly noticed my inbox filling up with emails with my wife's name in the subject line. And the majority of them were not from the place she gave her name to (from which I unsubscribed her).

      That was last year, and I still get two or three emails per day with her name in the subject line.

      So that's why I think *spam*. :-)

      However, while we're on the subject, I received an interesting email from aweber today. Ironically, it's dealing with this very topic. This is what they said:

      "Subject line personalization using the date generated an average open rate of 51.4% compared to personalization using the subscriber's first name generating 40.9% open rate.
      Newsletters sent without personalization of any type in the subject line generated average open rates of 28.9%. 17% of newsletter subject lines sent in the last 30 days contained date personalization while 19% used the subscriber's first name. 56.3% of subject lines did not contain any type of personalization. Interestingly, using the subscriber's full name or last name generated lower average open rates at 20%."

      Well, there's more food for thought.

      Brian
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[48767].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics