Ryan Allis

Ryan Allis is the CEO and co-founder of iContact, a leading on-demand email marketing service. As CEO, he's managed iContact from its start in July 2003 to its current size with more than 90 employees and 25,000 customers worldwide. In 2005, Ryan was named by BusinessWeek as one of the "Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25." Ryan is also the author book Zero to One Million: How I Built a Company To $1 Million in Sales and How You Can Too, published by McGraw-Hill. As an email marketing expert, Ryan will provide guidance in his blog posts on how to enhance and improve your online marketing campaigns.

In the last post, I discussed the benefits your business can receive by personalizing your email messages. Personalization can be a powerful way to reinforce the connection between your company and your customers. Although a subscriber’s email address is the most important piece of information when it comes to your email marketing campaigns, having their first or last name proves valuable if you want to make your messages seem more personal. On most Signup forms, there are boxes provided for the person’s names as well as their email address.

But what if a subscriber doesn’t want to leave their name? If you have a hesitant person who refuses to leave their name, how can you then personalize your email messages to them beyond saying “Dear Subscriber?”

In a tip posted on About.com regarding message personalization, the author has a simple remedy for this problem: ask these anonymous subscribers for their names. Send an email to all those nameless subscribers who have signed up for your newsletters, and let them know you would like to greet them with their real names instead of just “Dear Subscriber.”

After receiving your email, these contacts may feel more comfortable giving you their names, which will allow your business to strengthen the connection with them through message personalization. If you are concerned that anonymous subscribers will be agitated with any email asking for their names, then you can use your regular email broadcasts as a way to learn more about who they are. Make the process of adding their names to their subscription or profile easy, and tell them in your message that you’d prefer to address them by their names. You may find that they will be more inclined to open up to you and meet you halfway with the message personalization process.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll be back soon with more email marketing tips and advice.


Ryan Allis

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