Whenever I happen across an article or product that uses my name (Daniel) I always take a second look at it. Writing copy is very important to engaging readers and spreading information. So, what better way to catch someone’s eye than by using their own name in your copy?
“There is no sound sweeter that a person’s own name.” – Dale Carnegie
If you could, would it be a good idea to use a person’s name in your site’s copy?
For starters, it would definitely be possible it the person were already a user whose name you knew – but this type of hack would be better suited for first-time-visitors in order to catch their eye or intrigue them to learn more about your product.
For the unacquainted, it might come across as serendipitous (as it occasionally is for me) to see your name on a mockup or in a paragraph. Heck, you might even be tempted to take a screenshot and write a blog post about it… But this feeling would quickly turn to distrust if you consistently saw that your presence on a site had not only been detected but was being used overtly to draw your interest. When a person’s timing or message is a little too perfect it can come off as creepy.
Hooray, you have bad ideas!
It’s been said by many people that the best ideas are those that seem like bad ideas at first, but are actually good ideas (getting into a stranger’s car, renting a stranger’s house). The point is that if most smart people think they are bad ideas you won’t have any competition and you may have a unique insight into your market that few others see yet.
The corollary to this concept is ideas that sound good at first but are profoundly bad. Most ideas fall into this category. A quick example off the top of my head is any site that ends in “s Exchange” [when you see it…]. The name example above is definitely an idea that sounds good at first but is actually very bad. Using gimmicks to trick user’s into showing interest in your product doesn’t make your product experience any better for your actual users and might just make you look bad in the process. I say it’s better to focus on the actual user rather than taking potentially harmful shortcuts to boost interest.
by: Daniel Hinton