The Secret to Effective Emails: Merge Fields

When we conducted our 2014 Email Metrics Study, we decided to look at something new. Something we hadn’t looked at in previous years. We wanted to know, does it make a difference in the open rates if you personalize the subject line?

A big part of the reason we release this study every year is so that marketers in the financial field can look at trends and see if anything new emerges that might help boost results for email marketing campaigns.

So, according to the credit unions we gathered data from, does personalizing the subject line matter?

It turns out it does. In a big way. Check out this graph:

merge fields

When a merge field is used in the subject line to add a personal touch (like a first name) we see 34% unique opens versus 22% opens when the merge field wasn’t used.  The total opens are even more dramatic of a difference….. 55% versus 34% without personalization in a subject line.

It makes sense; people want to feel like you’re speaking to them and passing along relevant information. A small gesture, like adding a merge field in a subject line, can help your email stand out when it hits a crowded inbox.

Do you personalize your subject lines? We like the idea of adding it into a birthday email for even more impact. Tell us your best ideas!


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