There is hope for spammers and phishers, especially ones from Nigeria. They can send a million emails that start with:
“Dear Paul, We are pleased to inform you that you are the lucky recipient of twelve million dollars as your long-lost second cousin that you knew nothing about was in fact a zillionaire who owned the biggest oil company in the world, recently passed away but decided to leave his wealth to relatives that even he did not know existed!
And there will always be one gullible person who believes it, hands over their bank details via email (oh boy), then finds their bank account empty the following morning.
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to receive a LETTER from Spain that was mailed to my home and said, “Dear Paul Mycroft, We are pleased to inform you that you are the intended recipient of three million dollars because your relative, Jose Mycroft, recently passed away. Please make arrangements, blah, blah, blah.”
My dad was thrilled to hear that we had Spanish relatives even though the closest we had come to Spain was a family holiday to Majorca in 1978!
However, I would bet my last euro that there was one person who fell for it.
A senior member of my family (who shall remain nameless or my pocket money might stop) recently registered for an online webinar. He asked me how he should respond to an email, sent to him, thanking him for attending and asking for feedback or comments. He was convinced that a Julie Smith had had sent him that email because it said:
“Dear [insert senior member’s name], Thank you for attending our webinar. We hope you found it useful. Please send any feedback or questions you may have. From Julie Smith”
In reality, it was an automatically-generated email, linked directly to the NAME field in the registration form he filled out to attend the webinar.
It made me both smile and think that the webinar organizers had done a good job personalizing their follow-up emails and would probably get a good response rate. Other good examples might be:
- Inserting first name into the subject line can add a level of interest at the inbox level before they’ve even clicked on a campaign
- Inserting first name half-way through an email can both surprise and refocus their attention further down
- Personalizing unsubscribe emails can make the subscriber feel a little better about leaving.
Instead of letting unsubscribers go with just a thank-you note, give them the opportunity to tell you why they’re leaving. You can use that information to sharpen the focus of your email program, redo your template or send schedule, improve personalization, or find other ways to become more valuable to subscribers or customers.
Email personalization can be a great way to improve the response rates for your email campaigns and achieve a one-to-one relationship with each recipient. If done badly though, your email may end up showing how poorly you know the recipient, not how well. Other examples of bad personalization could be:
- Emails I have not signed up for (i.e. spam)
- Font size that does not match the rest of the copy
- An obvious lack of it (see above from a recent email campaign I received); you lost me at “hello”
- Overusing personalization in the same campaign
Dear Paul, Thanks for Reading
Personalization is an important part of successful email campaigns but be careful how and when you use it.
You never know, you might make someone rich.