At the DMA's 'The Practical Guide to Email Marketing' conference' earlier this week, Stephanie Miller from Return Path did a great presentation and briefly addressed the question should personalisation be used? Her findings were: Yes for UK subscribers, No for German subscribers and no for US subscribers as they find it spammy.
Last week Suretymail's, Ann P Mitchell came up with 3 reasons that personalising your subject lines can kill your email deliverability which is a very interesting read and this week Stefan Pollard has also approached this subject - but from a different angle with his article: Personalized Subject Lines: Benefical or Bad?
There are alot of valid points in both sides of the argument - but what it probably comes down to is testing (yes, yes I know - it's a boring answer!). However, what works for you mightn't work for someone else. A lot of the success of the personalisation comes down to your relationship with your subscriber. If you haven't got a real 'relationship' with your subscriber as such then maybe personalising isn't the way to go as they may see it as being artificial or spammy.
So, if in doubt -test.
Originally Posted: DMA Email Blog