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The Name Game Get friendly with your prospects by including their names--and personalized content--in your marketing e-mails.

By Catherine Seda

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

According to a November 2004 Jupitermedia Corp. executivesurvey, 42 percent of marketers who did not personalize theire-mail messages achieved a conversion rate of less than 1 percent,while 42 percent of marketers who used some form of personalizationreceived a conversion rate of more than 3 percent. Most likely, youcould improve your conversion rate just by getting personal withyour mailing list.

Your first step in e-mail personalization should be addressingprospects by their first names. You already collect thisinformation when customers place orders. What about when prospectsor customers sign up for your newsletter? If you only ask for ane-mail address, you're missing out. In a comparison of about 59million e-mails, CoolerEmail, a web-based, HTML e-mail marketingsolution provider, noted that subject-line personalization spikedopen rates by more than 30 percent and click-through rates by morethan 120 percent.

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