"I get a ton of email, and notice that subjects really matter to me," Dream Day Cakes co-owner and baker Fred Posner told MailChimp in our merge tags case study. "If it’s too spammy, I just delete the email. But subjects with personal attention or my name definitely get a double take."
Keeping this in mind, Posner started running some tests on the Gainesville, FL bakery’s mailing list, using MailChimp’s first-name merge tag. Incorporating his readers’ names into their newsletters really personalized the experience. Turns out, every single one of his cake-eating customers is a human being, and human beings appreciate being treated as such. After using first names, Dream Day’s open rates improved dramatically, positive feedback rolled in, and Posner was one happy baker.
From "Ok, <<First Name>>, here are your specials," to "Dream Day Cakes Newsbites (The <<First Name>> Edition)," Posner experimented with merge-tag placement and found their customers noticed and enjoyed the focus on individuality. "People would say, ‘I got my newsletter,’ instead of, ‘I received your email,'" Posner says. "They immediately knew our intent."
Here’s one way they do it:
Nice, right? You can do it, too. Much like Lain wrote in his recent post about nonprofits, merge tags are both easy and customizable. Start by visiting our cheat sheet for some ideas that will improve your campaigns. Once you get the hang of it, you can tailor them to your readers’ specific needs with conditional merge tags. The options are fairly infinite, so feel free to get creative. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have some cake.
See how merge tags work: