Take the 2-minute tour ×
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm making a email subscription form. Ideally I like when a website only asks for your email. It's both minimalistic from a design perspective and easy for the user.

However I'm wondering if sending someone an email without having their name will get through someones spam filter?

So the question is will I be able to get through Gmail spam filter with just a persons email? Do the benefits of having the users name/email out weigh the costs?

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, you can send email without prefixing some ones name. This doesn't typically account as spam but, it really does come down to the rules of the spam filters! So, treat my "Yes" tentatively. I send many emails to friends and typically don't start it with a Dear Matt or Hi Sara etc and they get the mail fine.

However, according to legislation (and I've read the US and European) the general rule is this: If some one has contacted you through normal business operations (eg, send you an enquiry etc) or they opt in, you can send them an email without making it personal.

I wrote a mass mail program and we never personalised it and we got responses. Whether it went into some spam folders or not; who can tell. I would assume yes! However, that could be for many other reasons.

However, as Alex points out, when something is personalised there maybe a higher chance that they read it (although this is off topic and also depends in if they view the email straight away or only the subject line).

My attitude towards this differs from many, but I would continue as you are. Get as little as possible at first; Don't put them off by big forms (And I'm not saying 1 extra fields makes it 'big' but it does make it bigger), get a method to contact them! Then, get a strategy in place on how you are going to fill in the gaps if you need it! Maybe the email sign up also automatically creates their account on your system. Then, after they log in again, you can have a little notification on the side saying "update your name details" etc. You're not forcing them, just offering. This is becoming quite a nice UX approach, it's more subtle and less intrusive on the user's visit.

Lastly, don't forget what spam you receive and how it is laid out. If you don't get any, I seriously suggest you get yourself a free account and sign up to legit good quality websites/services and just take note on the sign up process and how much of that detail is used on the emails you receive.

share|improve this answer
add comment

You should do a split test and see how many are subscribing if you do/don't require their name too.

Having their name makes them more likely to read the email because it's addressed directly to them and it doesn't look like spam.

I don't believe the spam filter relies on that.

share|improve this answer
add comment

protected by John Conde Feb 11 at 0:00

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.