I’m not Lisa, my name is Jodi. One of my spammers doesn’t seem to know that though. He just left a comment saying, “Lisa, this is a nice video.” This is not a post about complaining though. It’s not even a post about spammers or how to fight trolls.
You see, the spammer is using a technique that would work really well if done properly. Talking to people by name is a good way to get attention. Everyone likes to see their name (even if you don’t particularly like your name; my parents got mine out of the newspaper; if only they’d seen the name Katharine or Elizabeth instead… sigh.. but I digress). The idea is that people react to the sound of their own name. I once worked in an office with another Jodi, and every time I heard “my” name, I’d turn around, even if it was her boss calling and not mine.
Use it Wisely
Inserting someone’s name in an email or a letter can work wonders. I once got a mailing that had my name inserted in several places – including photos of t-shirts and other merchandise with my name on them. Pretty clever.
Just don’t overdo it. Using names in email subject lines used to work really well, I think now the effect has lessened, since only marketers do that.
UPDATE: Paul Cunningham just pointed out this statistic from a recent Mailer Mailer email marketing report:
Personalization in subject lines dramatically reduces both open rates and click through rates — with open rates of 6.7% (compared to 11.2% overall) and click through rate of 1.2% (compared to 1.6%). -MailerMailer “Email Marketing Metrics Report” (July 2010)
Next time you do a promotion, try a little name-dropping. See what happens.