I have worked on email marketing campaigns in the past that included the subscriber’s first name in the subject line. The open rates on these campaigns were always much higher than the same message sent with a generic subject line without personalization.
At the time, there was a lot of discussion about the reason behind it. One thought is that the person who has provided their first name was more interested. A warmer lead. Another thought is that people are excited to see a message sent directly to them. I believe it could be both of these combined.
I recently received an email from J.C. Whitney, a retailer that sells “Everything Automotive” The Subject Line:
Maddy, Don't Wait! Order Now And Make No Payments For Up to 12 Months!
The exclamation marks and overall feel may have landed this message in junk folders. When I saw this in my inbox, my first name jumped out at me and was intriguing enough to get an open out of me.
Much like my thoughts on using questions in the subject line I would urge the use of first names in subject lines sparingly. Overuse will cause your subscribers to ignore your message.
Could the best subject line ever be a “Personalized Question”? If you have ever tried this tactic, I would love to hear about your results.