Understanding Name-Based Personalization

Elana Delasos By Elana Delasos Dec 3, 2020

It’s a daily occurrence. Your phone buzzes and you pick it up to find a new push notification or email. That message will, as expected, address you by name and alerts you of something that you actually want to know. You might feel as though that message was meant for you, even if you know it’s been sent in some form to thousands of other smartphone users as well. It’s all because of personalization.

Personalization has become an expected part of B2C communication. And that means that when a brand sends a message lacking any form of personalization...well, it shows a lack of understanding of who the customer is and how they interact with your brand. Today, that’s a jarring feeling, one you definitely want to avoid. Thankfully, achieving the opposite effect can be as simple as addressing them by their name. Name-based personalization—the so-called “training wheels” of personalization—will help you ease your way into a more intimate form of communication with customers. And we’re here to guide you through understanding the nuts and bolts of adding personalization to your strategy.

First Thing’s First: What Is Name-Based Personalization?

Simply put, name-based personalization is exactly what it sounds like. It’s addressing a customer by their name, creating an individually customized experience that lets them know your message is indeed intended for them.

How Does It Work?

As with other forms of personalization, name-based personalization is all about leveraging the data you’ve gathered on your customers to support a more relevant, meaningful brand experience. With Braze, you’d likely use Liquid personalization to create a spot within your campaign copy where each and every recipient’s first name is dynamically inserted when the message is sent.

In practice, the effect can be as straightforward as opening the message with a greeting that includes a customer’s name—such as “Hi James” vs. “Hi Valued Customer. That adds some personality and makes the message feel more approachable. But it’s also possible to use name-based personalization to double-down on the highly-individualized message you’re sending: You could pair each user’s name with a message of encouragement, such as “Keep going, Sarah!” when you’re seeking continued interaction with someone who is, say, raising money for your nonprofit.

When Should You Use Name-Based Personalization?

Just like any form of marketing outreach, it’s important to use name-based personalization when the time is right: For instance, alerting customers of a special promotion. PureGym worked with Braze and Braze Alloys solutions partner ConsultMyApp to produce a cross-channel campaign that targeted former members with rejoin offers. By developing a purposeful email strategy, adding personalization and engaging customers with interactive promotion, the campaign generated a 69% higher email open rate, an 89% click-through rate (CTR), and 206% higher conversion rate for retargeting. Sign us up!

Another appropriate time to use name-based personalization is when you’re appealing to customers on an emotional level, just like the American Cancer Society does to keep engagement fresh. In a single campaign, the nonprofit saw a 34% increase in fundraising by pairing the use of participants’ names with their fundraising progress. This demonstrated that the ACS knew who the recipients were and what they were doing to help the cause, and encouraged further action.

On the contrary, there are also times when you shouldn’t use name-based personalization. This includes when messaging customers who haven’t directly shared their name with your brand, as the interaction should feel mutual vs. creepy. Overuse is also a faux pas. Stick to using it when your goal is to grab customers’ attention instead of general outreach, as even loyal customers might find it overbearing if done too frequently.

Final Thoughts

Name-based personalization offers brands the opportunity to elevate their connection with customers on the most basic level. As you build a relationship with your customers, the information gathered can help to make personalization an even more powerful tool.

To learn more about personalization, check out our Personalization Guide.

Elana Delasos

Elana Delasos

Elana is an Integrated Marketing Consultant with 10+ years of experience in developing unique brand partnerships, creating engaging content and spearheading pre + post-Sales project management in the media industry. When she’s taking a break from work you’ll find her daydreaming about travel. Next destination on the list—Namibia.

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