Should I collect the first & last name of my prospects when the opt-in? Or first name only?

7 replies
I'd love to hear your arguments, for and against.
#collect #optin #prospects
  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    I collect emails only. Slightly less of a barrier and knowing their first and/or last name produces no additional benefit for my business.
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  • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
    Actually, neither. Over 25+ years of experimenting, I get much the best result when I ask for nothing more than an email address.

    This gets even better with single opt-in. Just make it absolutely clear in each email how the recipient can opt out and you will encounter no problems.
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  • Profile picture of the author webmarke
    Like the first 2 people have stated....You should collect emails only. The method of using a person's name when you email worked well when only a few marketer's used it. But since that has become the norm, it's a less effective method.
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  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    The less you ask for, the higher your potential opt-in rate.

    You could always split test email vs email/first, but I wouldn't bother with last.
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Hi James,

    Some people focus myopically on opt-in rates. For some businesses that might be best, for other businesses it is not.

    Generally speaking, the more details you have about your audience the more valuable the list, but asking for additional information can sometimes reduce the optin rate. Note that I said sometimes. A lot of people never bother to test this assumption and they foolishly ignore the technique that may benefit them the most.

    My guess is that most people on this forum are not doing any kind of marketing automation. Fact is, they can never do marketing automation at an effective level if they never even ask for a name. If you never ask for a name, and never try the more personal approach of marketing automation, and lead nurturing, then you will never know whether it was worth doing or not.

    If you are in the business of collecting and selling email addresses, then a person's name may have little to no value to your business. If, however, you are trying to build a relationship with your list then knowing your contact's name can be extremely more valuable than not having their name. There is no one-size-fits-all in marketing, in every case you must test, otherwise you are not "marketing", you are just selling or promoting.

    Why listen to anyone who has never even bothered to test the assumption? How could they possible know? Even if they did test, but the only thing they measured was optin rates, not value, they still know next to nothing about which method is best for their own business. How could you trust their advice for your business which they probably know nothing at all about?

    Why guess when you can know? Learn to test and let your data speak the truth.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Whisonant
    Depends on the niche. If it is IM I only collect the email. If it is a casual niche I collect the first name. If it is a professional niche I collect both first and last names.

    Re's
    Rob Whisonant
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