Studies show that email messages and newsletters are more effective when you use the recipient’s name in the subject line and content. You can do this if you are using Kick Start Cart or 1Shopping Cart as your email broadcast delivery method. Other list providers like Aweber.com also offer this feature.
Chris Baggot references an article, "Personalization, Frequency and Relevancy: the Email Success Trio," by Morgan Stewart, director of Strategic Services, ExactTarget, published by the Technology Council of Southern California:
"Studies consistently show enormous lift in response rates when emails are personalized. Messages with personalized content in both the subject line and email body average nearly twice the click-through rate of messages sent with no personalization. Moreover, MarketingSherpa published research indicating that more than two-thirds of consumers are willing to provide additional personal information in exchange for more personal, relevant and timely emails."
This is why it is so important to collect first names along with email addresses on your subscription forms. It is not suggested you try to collect much more than that the first time you ask someone to sign up for something.
I haven’t been using names much when I deliver my bi-weekly ezine, Newsletter Nuggets, mainly because it makes the subject line longer. But I will start doing so now.
Another good thing about using Kick Start Cart to deliver your ezines is the fact that you can test these things out. I can split my subscriber list in two and send two different subject lines out, one with a first name, and one without, and then look at the difference in open rates and click-through rates.