New Feature: Detect a person’s first name from just an email address

Back in April, I started piloting a new feature we invented to automatically detect a person’s first name from just the email address.

Today, I am making auto first name detection available to all GMass users. This is a world first for email marketers using Gmail as their email marketing platform.

Just insert the personalization variable {auto-first} anywhere in your Subject or Message, and GMass will insert the recipient’s first name, based on the recipient’s email address.

Note that first name detection algorithm isn’t perfect — it works in approximately 90% of cases, and can only work if the actual first name is present in the local part of the email address (the part before the @ sign).

Because it’s not 100% perfect, it is not recommended that you use the {auto-first} personalization tag as a standalone personalization technique. Instead you should:

  1. Set a fallback value to use with {auto-first}. For example, use {auto-first|Customer}. That way, if GMass detects the first name, it will be used. If it can’t detect the first name, the fallback value of “Customer” will be used.
  2. As a further protective mechanism, and because even when the first name is present in an email address, GMass might not always choose the exact first name, use the “Just create Drafts” feature to preview each individual email first, before sending. That way, you can spot check the Drafts to make sure that the first names were generated properly before sending.

In our upcoming GMass Complete Guide to Personalization, you’ll learn how to set two fallback values. Let’s say you’re connecting to a spreadsheet with the columns: FirstLastEmail. And let’s say some of the values for “First” are blank. So in these cases, you want GMass to auto-detect the first name. But then let’s say that GMass is unable to auto-detect the first name in a few of these cases. You can set two fallback values using this syntax:

Hi there {First|auto-first|buddy}

An example where the auto detected First Name is a fallback value to the spreadsheet column “First”. The word “buddy” is the fallback value to the auto detected First Name.


In this case, if “First” has a value in your spreadsheet, it’s used. If not, GMass will attempt to auto-detect the First Name. If GMass can’t auto detect the first name, then the text “buddy” will be inserted.

The First Name auto-detection feature isn’t part of the GMass interface yet, so you won’t find a button in the Settings Panel to insert the {auto-first} designation. You have to type it or copy/paste from this post manually into your Subject or Message.

10 Replies to “New Feature: Detect a person’s first name from just an email address”

  1. iWiSH It

    hello sir,
    i have send every time minimum 500 mails but all mails again and again bounce and save in my inbox. and also i have send mail on that time my send button is totally blank only view Gmass button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *