Want some figures? Seeing your name in an email does the following: It increases open rates and click-through rates by as much as 26% say Experian and SilverPop, a top provider of marketing software.
It reduces unsubscribe rates by more than 60%, according to AgilOne, the predictive marketing platform.
It may increase your revenue and hack your costs, because your material is being read and your emails opened.
Experian Marketing Services found that subscribers who receive personalized content tend to follow through six times more than those who don’t.
The logic is simple. People are biologically primed to respond to their names.
Why adults never stop being babies
From earliest on, people respond to their names. In 2010, in the University of Barcelona, Spain, researchers, Eugenio Parise, Angela D. Friederici and Tricia Striano tested two groups of five-month-old infants.
One group heard their own name. The other group heard names of strangers. Brain imagery showed that certain neural areas flashed when infants heard their own name, but these same areas remained passive when they heard the names of others.
The brain areas that triggered by the babies are the same ones that light up when a person’s interested in something. There’s no coincidence that hearing your name prods you to pay attention.
As Parise and her friends put it: “By 5 months of age infants not only detect their name, but also use it as a social cue to guide their attention to events and objects in the world.”
Adults are the same. Research done through the years in different countries showthat certain brain areas trigger when you hear the names of strangers and that a different batch of neural regions turn on when you hear yours. The latter batch also triggers when the person’s happy or confident. For marketers, this may mean that when you mention someone’s name, you elicit a feeling of pleasure and are more likely to get them to listen to you.
Using personalisation and promotional products boosts sales
Multiple studies show that using a name in an email subject line will improve open rates, raise conversion rates and increase the reader’s brand loyalty, since the reader assumes the email is coming from a trusted source.
Companies can go further still and create a raft of personalised experiences for their employees or customers. Examples could include great looking writing pads branded with your customer's artwork, or personalized calendars with names merged into the print. These examples of promotional products have a greater likelihood to be kept and used, rather than thrown away.
Some major healthcare companies do that to great effect, where they provide specific marketing materials that are relevant to the client based on preference data, condition, or demographic data, or based on key terms that the individual provides.
This healthcare example shows how people find intrinsic value in products printed with their names, which also helps to build the company's brand.
It also shows how personalising just based on names isn't enough. You need to do more to keep your customers engaged.
Personalisation only works in certain situations
Jun-ichiro Kawahara of Hiroshima University, Japan, found that people only tended to respond to their name, if the post or product spoke to their needs, opinions and interests. Names could be gold-embossed or attractively styled on flashy mementos, but unless the relic echoed your client’s needs and tastes, your money would be best spent elsewhere.
No wonder, then, that study after study shows that including names is insufficient. Yes, recipients may open your emails or buy your customized products. But if you don't personalize the entire email or product, you're unlikely to achieve the 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns that marketing research website, Campaign Monitor, says you can get.
The bottom line
A year ago, VentureBeat surveyed 506 marketers and found that four in five marketers used clients’ names in their emails. These 70% reported higher open-rates and improved revenues as a result.
Dale Carnegie was right: “Names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
A person’s name is powerful. Use it for all it’s worth.
Spread these names on your customised marketing products, and you'll raise the profile of your brand in your customers eyes.