Name Similarity Encourages Generosity: A Field Experiment in Email Personalization

Munz, Kurt P. , Minah H. Jung, and Adam L. Alter (2018), "Name Similarity Encourages Generosity: A Field Experiment in Email Personalization," Symposium presented at the Society for Consumer Psychology Conference Dallas, TX.

In a randomized field experiment with DonorsChoose.org (N = 30,297), potential donors who shared a surname with a teacher were more likely to open, click, donate, and donated more to the teacher’s classroom in response to an email request. We highlight how overtly personalizing an email to highlight a recipient’s identity can be effective to persuade them to donate to charity. Controlling for ethnicity, we also find that different-surname donors were more generous when they shared a surname first-letter with a requesting teacher.