Top Listbuilders, Weigh In! Name Field or No?

45 replies
Everyone has an opinion on how ROI is affected by asking for an optin prospects name.


The "Pro Camp" Says:
Personalizing messages helps to develop a more powerful relationship with subscriber/prospects. This will eventually INCREASE SALES CONVERSIONS, REPEAT BUYS AND REFERRING FRIENDS.


The "Con Camp" Says:
The more information you ask for the lower your OPTIN RATE WILL BE. This translates to fewer people in the door-->fewer people to sell to--->fewer sales. They also say once you've get people in the door and developed a little rapport and trust with subscribers, you can ask for their name and other database information later


I've just listed a few posts above. But I would be curious to have people weigh in and give their opinion on this for the purpose of knowledge sharing.

I personally ask for Names. However, I'm starting to think it may be wise to split test opt in boxes (i.e. 50% of the time ask for a name/50% don't ask) over say a period of time to see what yields the HIGHEST ROI.

What do you guys think?
#conversion rates #field #list building #listbuilders #prospects #top #weigh
  • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
    I just ask for the email address. Any time I see my name in an email, I know it was just inserted into the [NAME] field of the email. Seeing my name in an email doesn't personalize it for me at all. They may as well put a number there like CUSTOMER#982317419823.

    However, anybody who comes to this forum to read is not your typical consumer so I may be dead wrong on this one. Typical consumers may be fooled by it..I just don't know.

    I do know that having a list either with or without the name field is better than no list...

    I would definitely be interested in seeing some split test results.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    The only way to know for sure is to split-test and see
    how that affects your end sales via each method, etc.

    I use Infusionsoft which is a true CRM and allows me to
    add their name and other details at any time later on in
    the process.

    So I can ask for the e-mail address first, and then ask
    for their first name on the very next page and it will be
    placed in the database for their record. Or I can continue
    to follow-up and get their name, and other details later.

    Agora - one of the biggest direct mail organizations -
    have an online site at Early to Rise and they only ask
    for the e-mail address.

    Most of the so called gurus are now only asking for the
    e-mail address.

    Test it yourself to get the definitive answer for you and
    your specific list. The opinions of myself and others don't
    really count as much as those of YOUR visitors, subscribers
    and customers.

    Dedicated to your success,

    Shaun
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    • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
      Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post


      Test it yourself to get the definitive answer for you and
      your specific list. The opinions of myself and others don't
      really count as much as those of YOUR visitors, subscribers
      and customers.

      Dedicated to your success,

      Shaun
      Hi. Of course testing is essential. The point of the thread was to not to circumvent testing (which I am religiously devoted to!), but rather to uncover possible trends. As an example, in some markets, individuals aren't too tech savvy or "jaded" and asking for an email may work. In others the opposite. One thing I have done a better job of lately is stepping outside of the IM professional's frame of mind to get a better awareness of how the "average person" thinks. Like the poster above who mentioned how personalization still works for her.

      I haven't even mentioned asking for mobile/cell numbers to start building mobile lists (that boast a 85+% open rate) because that's another thread entirely....
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    • Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

      The only way to know for sure is to split-test and see
      how that affects your end sales via each method, etc.
      This is the only way to know and it is SO EASY to do. Just put together two identical lists and two identical opt-in pages with one asking for the name and the other not.

      Use:

      http://www.Google.com/websiteoptimizer

      to test for opt-ins and from opt-ins to sales.

      Right now I have two pages asking for a name where I am converting over 80% of visitors into subscribers. Without testing you will never know if your page will close better with or without or if it even makes a difference.
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      • Profile picture of the author tigerwar
        Originally Posted by moneykws View Post

        Can you restate this? I want to know what you mean...
        Originally Posted by Kevin-VirtualProfitCenter View Post

        This is the only way to know and it is SO EASY to do. Just put together two identical lists and two identical opt-in pages with one asking for the name and the other not.

        Use:

        http://www.Google.com/websiteoptimizer

        to test for opt-ins and from opt-ins to sales.

        Right now I have two pages asking for a name where I am converting over 80% of visitors into subscribers. Without testing you will never know if your page will close better with or without or if it even makes a difference.
        Thanks for the info Kevin,
        I never thought about using google optimizer that way, I believed it wasn't necessary to use them as I have other programs but I'll give it a shot now.

        Best regards
        Tigerwar
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  • I'd say 10 years ago 'personalization' was good, because so few people were doing it.

    Nowadays, "everyone" is doing it, looking at it as a holy grail, so in many cases it is not as effective as before. (People are not dumb).

    However, yes, testing for yourself will be the best way to know what works for you.

    - J
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    • Profile picture of the author MeghanK
      Banned
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author JayGreen
        Originally Posted by MeghanK View Post

        Unfortunately, people are dumb. There are so many people who think you are talking directly to them.

        I can tell by the responses I get.


        I don't think they are dumb. They gave us their email because we made them trust us. The personalization of the email isn't meant to fool, rather to REALLY connect with them. And, I'm never upset to get an email from a list subscriber as it's an opportunity to learn more. If we don't treat them with the respect they deserve, then email marketing will become less effective for all of us. Don't you think?
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  • Profile picture of the author abednego
    I am interested in this as well...
    Has anyone done any split tests?

    I ask for a name - but mainly bcuz I personally respond to each e-mail my list sends me... and I like to know who I am writing to!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dr Livingston
    According to Ryan Deiss, dropping the name field in your optin form can increase your optin rates by as much as 18%.

    This comes from his 43 split tests course.
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewStark
    All this is pointless as most marketers have a throw away gmail account set up for joining mailing lists when a pre-launch is happening. If you were to look at the name field in your list I'm sure you'd find a dozen micky mouse and similar made up names.

    The best type of list is a buyers list, and if you've just made a payment you're not going to object to giving the seller your name, in fact you'd be worried if you didn't have to.
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    • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
      Originally Posted by AndrewStark View Post

      All this is pointless as most marketers have a throw away gmail account set up for joining mailing lists when a pre-launch is happening.
      Wrong. You're assuming this is about selling to marketers. The average joe blogs consumer or joe blogs offline business owner doesn't have a "throw away" email addresses....

      That's the purpose of the thread to get outside of the typical way of analyzing things...

      For the record I typically get open rates about 300% higher than the average (according to the Direct Marketing Association's research) - that's not the point....

      Again this thread is about sharing info and there's really not an "either" "or" type of answer....
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  • Profile picture of the author Carl-Reed
    When anyone on the WF opens an email from another marketer and see's their name inside they know the score.

    But in other niches this is completley different, my Mum gets emails from a real estate compay in Cyprus, they always use her name in the title and she thinks it's actually a personal message from them. I **** you not.

    She replies to the emails often.

    When I discovered she thought this I didn't have the heart to break her imaginary friendship with the realtor lady in Cyprus by telling her its just a little bit of code in an automated email.
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    • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
      Originally Posted by Carl-Reed View Post

      When anyone on the WF opens an email from another marketer and see's their name inside they know the score.

      But in other niches this is completley different, my Mum gets emails from a real estate compay in Cyprus, they always use her name in the title and she thinks it's actually a personal message from them. I **** you not.

      She replies to the emails often.

      When I discovered she thought this I didn't have the heart to break her imaginary friendship with the realtor lady in Cyprus by telling her its just a little bit of code in an automated email.
      Funny story. But this just shows that often time marketers assume that how things are when marketing to other marketers is how things are when marketing to offliners, or non IM professionals!!
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    • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
      Originally Posted by Carl-Reed View Post

      When anyone on the WF opens an email from another marketer and see's their name inside they know the score.

      But in other niches this is completley different, my Mum gets emails from a real estate compay in Cyprus, they always use her name in the title and she thinks it's actually a personal message from them. I **** you not.

      She replies to the emails often.

      When I discovered she thought this I didn't have the heart to break her imaginary friendship with the realtor lady in Cyprus by telling her its just a little bit of code in an automated email.

      And if a live person responded to your mom's reply with relevant information, that would actually be the correct way to pursue the mythical "building a relationship with your list" that people talk about, but can't seem to figure out how to make it happen.

      It actually involves a real conversation with people.

      Imagine that. What a concept.
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      • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
        I actually don't think it's as "mythical" as people think. Just some background on my stats:
        -consistent ctr's that are 300+% higher than industry average (as measured by the Direct Marketers Association annual surveys)
        -35k Subscribers in ad rich markets

        The point is that while one cannot communicate with 35k subscribers, personally, you can do little things that really make a difference. As an example, a study by Reichheld and Sasser found that that a 5% improvement in customer retention can cause an increase in profitability of between 25 and 85 percent (in terms of net present
        value) depending on the industry.

        Let me tell you that once I heard that statistic I practically changed my entire business model.

        Something as simple as a "Merry Christmas" or "Happy New Year" or mentioning personal information sets you apart.

        Also, the use of things like webinars or teleseminars can connect you with masses of people (albeit 1000 at a time depending on the technology you use).

        Finally with regard to relationship building via email, I have found that quality content that people use and that SOLVES PROBLEMS will get people closer to knowing, liking you and trusting you which = more sales + more viral referrals.

        BTW, I would imagine that everyone reading this knows the value of testing so the purpose of the read was not to negate testing. I was just curious to get a sense of others' experiences and finding.

        Finally, while I started the thread mentioning the name field, there are other fields I'm in the process of testing with the result being a better understanding of WHAT DATA HELPS MAXIMIZE LONG TERM CUSTOMER VALUE.

        As an example:
        email + phone number (to grow one's mobile list)
        email + question (beginning of survey data)
        email + birthday (helps better determine demographi profiling)

        you could even get more creative. As an example let's say you know that people who watch a certain TV show are 90% more likely to fit into a target demographic

        something like
        email + a "favorite show" field could yield some interesting info....

        there's also
        email + zip code, email + sex, etc.

        One tip:
        Check out Facebook's homepage, which is probably the world's biggest squeeze page.
        Of course if you've studied it you know by now that they are opting people in (to the tune of 500 M users) right from the start!

        And if you have ever just toyed with the site and left your info but abondoned the signup process, they send you follow up emails right from the start....

        I find that way interesting....

        Thanks for the interesting insights here....

        , as of 35K plus subscribers gathered form ad-rih
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        • Profile picture of the author tigerwar
          hi moneykws


          Let me tell you that once I heard that statistic I practically changed my entire business model.


          Something as simple as a "Merry Christmas" or "Happy New Year" or mentioning personal information sets you apart.
          I haven't seen an email yet that doesn't contain things like that?

          what did you do to build your list before changing , it apparently worked, or what am I missing?

          Tigerwar
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    My first answer would be:

    No

    Just grab that e-mail... give the end user as few steps as possible to get on your list.

    My considered response would be that you really need to split test this.

    Firstly, for your opt-in rate

    And secondly, for your success rate with personalisation in the follow up mailing(s)
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  • Profile picture of the author Kezz
    The other point to consider is the context in which the name appears in the emails you send out.

    If your emails are personal a name will help you. If not, it probably doesn't matter.

    For example, I get emails from Amazon and they don't have my name on them. Yet I'll often open them and take a look at what they have to offer as they're targeted to my personal interests.

    On the flipside I get emails from lists I've signed up to and before the sender has done anything to help me even remember who the heck they are they start throwing affiliate links at me.

    Now that person has done nothing to build a relationship with me. I don't have the photographic memory I'd need to remember the first name of every single list owner I sign on to.

    When that "who are you again" person sells me off the bat I inevitably unsubscribe, regardless of the fact they've used my name in the email.

    Personalizing with a name doesn't mean squat if you don't personalize your relationship with your list members.

    By itself the question of including a name is a non issue. It all depends on the context of your emails.
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  • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
    You make valid points. However one point I'm surprised people didn't mention is how Names can be used as demographic/profiling information to better target subscriber-prospects....
    I guess the point I'm getting at is that increasingly I'm seeing email marketing as the first stage of CRM and database marketing.

    Here's an interesting podcast on some important issues raised here:
    Building A Million Dollar Database 6/5/2009 - N San Diego Business | Internet Radio | Blog Talk Radio

    Lastly, one thing we should all tell ourselves over and over again is that when dealing with non-techie prospects our view of things does not represent the "average"....
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  • Profile picture of the author Fabian Tan
    Market is important.

    Beginners who are new to subscribing to a slew email newsletters online may be more apt to respond to personalization in the subject line. If most of your subscribers are already attuned to seeing their name in emails, then it probably won't affect your open rates much. To that end, though, there will always be beginners who subscribe to supposedly advanced lists.

    Most of the gurus who are selling advanced courses on subjects like Gmail marketing or Facebook marketing are not necessarily selling to newbies, they are selling to a more advanced crowd, so doing away with getting the name is a logical move.

    Fabian
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    My split testing found a noticeable increase in sign-ups when I removed the name field, about 12%

    I think part of the reason is that in western society, we are told to be cautious about giving out our names to random strangers, where as an email address is so trivial that it is easily discarded and a new one set up.

    Respectfully
    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author Zero
      Originally Posted by skyfox7 View Post

      My split testing found a noticeable increase in sign-ups when I removed the name field, about 12%

      I think part of the reason is that in western society, we are told to be cautious about giving out our names to random strangers, where as an email address is so trivial that it is easily discarded and a new one set up.

      Respectfully
      Chris
      Its not exactly hard to just make up a name on the spot to put in there. That being said...this topic helped alot...i might just ditch the name field for the time being. I'd much rather have the opt-ins so i can follow up. I don't really use the the personalize feature.
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    • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
      Originally Posted by skyfox7 View Post

      My split testing found a noticeable increase in sign-ups when I removed the name field, about 12%

      I think part of the reason is that in western society, we are told to be cautious about giving out our names to random strangers, where as an email address is so trivial that it is easily discarded and a new one set up.

      Respectfully
      Chris
      Great data - thanks. I'd actually be curious to see who's also been working on building a mobile list (cell phone numbers for the usa crowd) - that is REAL GOLD....

      I'm may split test just asking for an email and a cell phone number (with some kind of disclaimer as to why we need the mobile number....then again I'm guessing one could get better conversion rates on mobile numbers depending on the optin incentive)
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  • Profile picture of the author petelta
    I've done both ways and straight to the point answer would be:

    It doesn't matter as long as you provide quality information for them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Fladlien
      I get anywhere between a 10 to 20% increase when asking for just an email address instead of name and email address.

      I quit capturing names for prospects a long time ago. If I want to personalize, I can do that with buyers because we get their name when they purchase a product, and it updates our email database in infusionsoft.
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      • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
        Originally Posted by Jason Fladlien View Post

        I get anywhere between a 10 to 20% increase when asking for just an email address instead of name and email address.

        I quit capturing names for prospects a long time ago. If I want to personalize, I can do that with buyers because we get their name when they purchase a product, and it updates our email database in infusionsoft.
        This is fantastic info - thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author tigerwar
    I have found that it is dependent upon three points:

    1. selling to an advanced marketer/Newbie
    2. selling a product to use outside of the internet
    3. the emotional aspect

    1. Advanced Internet marketers wouldn't necessarily care whether you initially call them jo, peter or penelope unless it's a JV or such. They're expecting the product to be profitable, nothing more and nothing less.
    The Newbie is initially looking up to you and almost expecting a "friendship", hoping you're going to take them by the hand(a Name is vital).

    2. Nobody expects you to address them with a christian name or nick if they buy a television or toaster.

    3. the emotional person loves to be treated personally, friends are few and far between and peter has just called me paul(must be a nice guy)


    so as the customer isn't visible, I have found it to be absolutely dependent upon what exactlyyou are selling .
    No.1 and 3 always have the opportunity to enter a name(especially the emotional/Newbies regarding follow-ups) whereas No.2 pays directly and leave their name automatically.
    With an average annual global growth rate of approx 1,5% Internet newcomers, I can't really see the point in not giving the opportunity to enter a name.

    my splitting results over a period of 4 months (between feb2010 -may2010) made a significant drop of 9,5% on the follow-ups when not entering a name.

    Best regards
    Tigerwar
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    • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
      Originally Posted by tigerwar View Post

      I have found that it is dependent upon three points:

      1. selling to an advanced marketer/Newbie
      2. selling a product to use outside of the internet
      3. the emotional aspect

      1. Advanced Internet marketers wouldn't necessarily care whether you initially call them jo, peter or penelope unless it's a JV or such. They're expecting the product to be profitable, nothing more and nothing less.
      The Newbie is initially looking up to you and almost expecting a "friendship", hoping you're going to take them by the hand(a Name is vital).

      2. Nobody expects you to address them with a christian name or nick if they buy a television or toaster.

      3. the emotional person loves to be treated personally, friends are few and far between and peter has just called me paul(must be a nice guy)


      so as the customer isn't visible, I have found it to be absolutely dependent upon what exactlyyou are selling .
      No.1 and 3 always have the opportunity to enter a name(especially the emotional/Newbies regarding follow-ups) whereas No.2 pays directly and leave their name automatically.
      With an average annual global growth rate of approx 1,5% Internet newcomers, I can't really see the point in not giving the opportunity to enter a name.

      my splitting results over a period of 4 months (between feb2010 -may2010) made a significant drop of 9,5% on the follow-ups when not entering a name.

      Best regards
      Tigerwar

      Can you restate this? I want to know what you mean...
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      • Profile picture of the author helicopterplt
        I am new to internet marketing and yet to build my list but I have noticed one negative aspect of names inside emails ...and that is I often get personalized emails were the code was entered wrong and I get something like ....."{NAME?}, How would you like to earn more money?" ...this is definitely an instant turn off ..
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      • Profile picture of the author tigerwar
        Originally Posted by moneykws View Post

        Can you restate this? I want to know what you mean...
        my splitting results over a period of 4 months (between feb2010 -may2010) made a significant drop of 9,5% on the follow-ups when not entering a name.


        From 7 follow-up mails 9-10% fewer subscribers purchased the product opposed to those that had been entering their name, basically, those that were not addressed to personally. This was based on 100 opt-ins, with 79 possible (digital/non-digital) products over a period of 4/4 months.

        possibly had something to do with Xmas period Oct-Jan(with names) so I'll have to do some more testing.

        Best regards
        Tigerwar
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Transue
    I have also seen an increase in my optin percentage after dropping the name field.

    Of course I'd like to capture as much info as possible, but if I'm losing out on optins, I can go without the extra info.
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    Personally, I haven't tested the removal of the "name" field on my site's subscription form. I might do so.

    Think about this...

    ...if it makes such a difference (see above for the numbers) asking for one less piece of information on a subscription form, just think what damage an overly complex order process is doing to your sales figures.

    Off-topic slightly, but related so still relevant I think.

    Cheers,

    Neil
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    • Originally Posted by Neil Morgan View Post

      Personally, I haven't tested the removal of the "name" field on my site's subscription form. I might do so.

      Think about this...

      ...if it makes such a difference (see above for the numbers) asking for one less piece of information on a subscription form, just think what damage an overly complex order process is doing to your sales figures.

      Off-topic slightly, but related so still relevant I think.

      Cheers,

      Neil
      Without question. Why do we ask someone who is already on our list to do a "step 1" and give us their name and email before they get to the checkout? Why not do that automatically since you already have them on the list? Technically it's not difficult and it increases sales to make it easier for people to buy.

      True story...

      Last year we tested two versions of a squeeze page. Only one difference between the two. One had a "?" and one had a ":"--the one with the colon closed twice as much as the one with the question mark.

      Once a person starts testing it's amazing the things they will find.
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      • Profile picture of the author eaglechick
        Originally Posted by Kevin-VirtualProfitCenter View Post

        Without question. Why do we ask someone who is already on our list to do a "step 1" and give us their name and email before they get to the checkout? Why not do that automatically since you already have them on the list? Technically it's not difficult and it increases sales to make it easier for people to buy.


        Hallelujah!
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  • Profile picture of the author nongnut36
    If I know the name of the person I am sending the email to I would use it. The main thing is to send good copy and not make silly claims.
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  • Profile picture of the author tommydesmond
    I haven't seen much of a benefit from having names, just more hassle, lol.

    If your headline is doing it's job and your copy is good, I don't think it matters as much as it used to. It depends on your approach though, it seems people that do the more conversational emails get more out of this... what kind of relationship you have with your list.
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    • Originally Posted by tommydesmond View Post

      I haven't seen much of a benefit from having names, just more hassle, lol.
      In my testing I've found that using a name in the subject line almost always
      increased open rates but DECREASED click-through rates and resulted in lower
      sales.

      While personalization in the BODY of the message (not just the salutation) increased click-through rates and sales.

      The bottom line for me being no name in subject but use the name in the email body.
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      • Profile picture of the author tigerwar
        Originally Posted by Kevin-VirtualProfitCenter View Post

        In my testing I've found that using a name in the subject line almost always
        increased open rates but DECREASED click-through rates and resulted in lower
        sales.

        While personalization in the BODY of the message (not just the salutation) increased click-through rates and sales.

        The bottom line for me being no name in subject but use the name in the email body.
        hello Kevin,

        I realise that these are statistics and thanks for sharing that info but
        why would a name in the subject decrease the CTR if the open rate is higher, I can't see any psychological connection

        Best regards
        Tigerwar
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        • Profile picture of the author schazz
          Originally Posted by tigerwar View Post

          hello Kevin,

          I realise that these are statistics and thanks for sharing that info but
          why would a name in the subject decrease the CTR if the open rate is higher, I can't see any psychological connection

          Best regards
          Tigerwar
          My guess would be that people think it's a personal email when they see their name in the subject line, and when they open it expecting it to be personal and see a marketer's email they say @#$^% and delete it.
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          • Profile picture of the author tigerwar
            Originally Posted by schazz View Post

            My guess would be that people think it's a personal email when they see their name in the subject line, and when they open it expecting it to be personal and see a marketer's email they say @#$^% and delete it.
            I suppose your right Shazz,

            One can see how vital testing is:

            over time my habits regarding mails have changed drastically:

            • Initially I was euphoric, could't wait to see the content and start making money =4 months long
            • then I thought, oh no, another BS mail,=6 months long
            • soon I was becoming annoyed that people were addressing me per christian name and tryng to sell me something=6 months long
            • I simply didn't open any of them =1 month
            • since about 3 years, I open every mail idealistically (with a different Subject), find reviews about the product and go straight to affiliate link(on the sales page if it exists)and if I believe it has potential to be promoted and monetized.
            • next 12 months= who knows?

            regards
            Tigerwar
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    I haven't tested this myself, but I would think that the name field would act as a qualifier. Meaning- if the person isn't willing to give out their name in a simple email form, then what else will they be unwilling to do? You may actually get their email address, but will they convert when it really matters? It may be worth it to get to the few that will convert. But will it be worth it if you lose some conversion rate on the rest of the list by not being able to personalize your emails?
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    • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
      Originally Posted by garyv View Post

      I haven't tested this myself, but I would think that the name field would act as a qualifier. Meaning- if the person isn't willing to give out their name in a simple email form, then what else will they be unwilling to do? You may actually get their email address, but will they convert when it really matters? It may be worth it to get to the few that will convert. But will it be worth it if you lose some conversion rate on the rest of the list by not being able to personalize your emails?
      I set-up most of my opt-in pages to ask for the e-mail
      only on the first step, and then on the next page I
      request their first name.

      I use Infusionsoft which allows me to add further details
      about the subscriber at any point in the future.

      That way, I get the best of both worlds...

      If they do fill in their first name, then I can personalize
      the e-mail follow-ups.

      If they don't fill in their first name, I can still follow-up
      with them thereafter.

      I can also continue to make offers for them to give me
      their first name (and further details) in future so all is
      not lost.

      Dedicated to your success,

      Shaun
      Signature

      .

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      • Profile picture of the author garyv
        Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

        I set-up most of my opt-in pages to ask for the e-mail
        only on the first step, and then on the next page I
        request their first name.

        I use Infusionsoft which allows me to add further details
        about the subscriber at any point in the future.

        That way, I get the best of both worlds...

        If they do fill in their first name, then I can personalize
        the e-mail follow-ups.

        If they don't fill in their first name, I can still follow-up
        with them thereafter.

        I can also continue to make offers for them to give me
        their first name (and further details) in future so all is
        not lost.

        Dedicated to your success,

        Shaun
        That would be ideal if you could set it up right like you have it. Definitely something to think about.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    I haven't read the other answers yet, so here's my untainted reply...

    It depends.

    > If I'm going for the personal "I'm your wise friend" approach, I ask for the first name.

    > If I'm going for a straight sales presentation, the email address is enough. I'm straight-up providing information with no pretense of a conversation.

    > There's a third option in many niches - you ask for a heck of a lot more than just name and email. For some lists I've asked for home addresses, phone numbers, income level, etc. If they provide it, it means they're usually serious. The information will also tell either me or the client whether they can help the person or not before spending a lot time on the process.
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