That's an interesting idea, but I don't think that's going to happen. The email is meant to be a broadcast message to members of your Ning Network, not a traditional newsletter service.
If that's what you're looking to do, your best bet will be to maintain an newsletter service outside of your Ning Network. That being said, we hope to keep making improvements to the broadcast message feature make it a very powerful way to communicate with your members.
As for adding the recipients name to the message or subject line, I haven't seen this used much in the subject line, but I'm happy to hear any advice you have on the subject. We're open to adding this to the body of the text, though it might be a little awkward as it already says "This is a message to all members," and it would be problematic to have any text beyond the actual name itself and a comma. But I'm not sure if the name and a comma alone would be very helpful.
Thanks for the response. I understand about the opt-in form and using an outside service. In regards to the member's name in the subject line and body, I can guarantee that this drives up open rates tremendously. I can see the current logic being that if the recipient sees a message from the network, this would entice them to open it, and it will to an extent. But, when combined with their first name in the subject and body, it will help increase open and click through rates greatly.
The reason is that it helps to strengthen the relationship by addressing the individual like just that, an individual, rather than as a mass email recipient. The social ties and communal aspect is created by the site and the members there. For the most part though we all view our email like a personal tool for communications and are used to and have trained ourselves to not give as much value to emails that are not meant only for us.
I would consider removing or giving creators the ability to remove the "being sent to all members.." message.
In fact, this and HTML were the only reasons I recently purchased an outside email service. Now that there is HTML, I would love the ability to add name tag to further customize my broadcast messages.
BESIDES THIS: are there any templates or tips for creating really nice HTML broadcast messages?