Get Personal With Your List For Success

by Zeus66 14 replies
I've been testing the personalization angles in my email list follow-ups and broadcasts lately, and it's time to report the results...

I have lists targeted to people interested in the following: Adsense, list building, MMO (general). So this may or may not apply to others. Fair warning.

When I include the recipient's first name at the beginning of the Subject of an email, I get a 53% open rate. When I use their first name somewhere else in the Subject, that drops to 46%. When I don't use their first name at all in the Subject, the open rate is 42%.

When I include the recipient's first name in the salutation (Hi _______,) when they open the email, I see a slight drop in unsubs and also a slight increase in the click-through rate to my offer. That's vs. not using their first name in the salutation.

Adding the recipient's first name once or twice in the body of the email also slightly improves results.

Bottom Line: When I use the recipient's first name in all areas: Subject, Salutation, and twice more in the body of the email, I get the best results.

I'm going to test writing styles next. Things like conversational vs. informational tone in both the Subject and Body of my outgoing emails. I'll report results here in September.

Hope this helps some of you refine your list monetization results!

John
#main internet marketing discussion forum #list #personal #success
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
    I never really tested all of this but I wanted to. Thanks for this

    EDIT: I also want to add that this isn't going to be the same with every niche market. I am in a couple of niche markets where personalization doesn't work that good so don't forget to test this with your niche before reaching any conclusions
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  • Anything you can do to genuinely connect with your customer will increase your conversions. Using Names in Sales has been around since sales began.
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    • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
      Originally Posted by InternetMarketingIQ View Post

      Anything you can do to genuinely connect with your customer will increase your conversions. Using Names in Sales has been around since sales began.
      Right, it does seem like common sense. But I'm a testing fanatic. I try to ignore the "common" wisdom and generalities in my business as much as I can. I want everything that stands to make me money to be set up optimally based on results, not hearsay or common sense. That's why I set out to test this, even though I did expect the overall results that I ended up getting. At least now I know it's legit and not just what "everyone" believes.

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
        Interesting test. I'm actually working on testing other forms of personalization myself. As an example, I saw another list owners do it (I tend to analyze the emails of marketers I know who are doing well).

        What he did was.....

        at the {!signature_last} (I think that's the variable name) in aweber.

        So basically at the end of messages I have a very nice ending that says:

        "Thanks for being a subscriber since [date they subscribed] - it's appreciated".

        1) A little customer appreciation goes a long way
        2) It reminds the subscriber that this is a permission-based list and they gave their persmission to be contacted.


        What I'd love to do over time (and someone comment if they've done this test) is gradually "get to know" more info about subscribers that I can put in a database..ex. would be birthdays so I can send a "happy birthday" even anniversaries, name of pets, etc.

        That stuff is very powerful....
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  • Profile picture of the author aandersen
    I must have got removed from you list somehow. I have purchased 3 of your WSOs and I used to get emails from you. It has been a long time since I got any thing. I do not recall opting out. I would like to re-subscribe if I have opted out.

    any way, thanks for filling us in on your results. I am also a testing nut, so i love this kind of stuff. Do you feel that you have tested enough to consider these results consistent?
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    John, your results are close to mine, so I'd have to say you are right on. I would add a warning to others who have never used personalization though, make that three warnings...

    1. Don't overdo it or it can backfire. Where John said use their name twice in the body of the email, I would say no more than twice for most emails. If it's a really short email, just once may be better. Use your common sense like John always does and test what works best for you. The man gives good advice so pay attention!

    2. If you've never used personalization before, you may want to ease into it. The first time I did some people didn't like it. One woman even wrote back saying she found it creepy. That's a minority for sure, but easing into it may help the transition.

    3. Practice it on yourself before sending it to your list to make sure you understand how it works. Few things look more amateurish than receiving an email addressed to: Hi [[firstname]],
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    • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      John, your results are close to mine, so I'd have to say you are right on. I would add a warning to others who have never used personalization though, make that three warnings...

      1. Don't overdo it or it can backfire. Where John said use their name twice in the body of the email, I was say no more than twice. If it's a really short email, just once may be better. Use your common sense like John always does and test what works best for you. The man gives good advice so pay attention!

      2. If you've never used personalization before, you may want to ease into it. The first time I did some people didn't like it. One woman even wrote back saying she found it creepy. That's a minority for sure, but easing into it may help the transition.

      3. Practice it on yourself before sending it to your list to make sure you understand how it works. Few things look more amateurish than receiving an email addressed to: Hi [[firstname]],
      Pay attention to #3 here if you're new to list ownership. SO MUCH rides on the authority and trust you build with your list members. It literally makes or breaks you! So send yourself a test message before adding a follow-up or broadcast to your queue. In fact, it's a good idea to send a test to more than one of your own addresses. What I often do is send one to my gmail account (since that's a very common email provider) and then one to my Yahoo address (also very common). Those two providers handle elements in an email differently sometimes, so cover your bases.

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author bretski
        I had read or heard somewhere the the opt-in rate for lists where the customer doesn't have to enter their name is higher. I had just recently taken all of the name fields off of my forms just for that reason. And it figures...now John (my freakin' idol!) is doing split testing on adding names to emails!

        I do know that I get a chuckle sometimes out of the names that people put in there that wish to remain anonymous... "D1ckhe@d" opted into one of my lists the other day...."Hey D1ckhe@d! Listen up! How's that yeast infection coming along?"
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        • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
          Originally Posted by bretski View Post

          I had read or heard somewhere the the opt-in rate for lists where the customer doesn't have to enter their name is higher. I had just recently taken all of the name fields off of my forms just for that reason. And it figures...now John (my freakin' idol!) is doing split testing on adding names to emails!

          I do know that I get a chuckle sometimes out of the names that people put in there that wish to remain anonymous... "D1ckhe@d" opted into one of my lists the other day...."Hey D1ckhe@d! Listen up! How's that yeast infection coming along?"
          You know what? I WANT to call someone on my list a bad name if the joker used a fake name when he/she signed up! Serves 'em right.

          But I'm glad you mentioned taking off the name field to increase your opt-in rate, Bret. I think that's a classic case of "cart before the horse." Here's why...

          You should care a LOT more about converting list members into buyers. And I get more opens and more clicks when I can personalize my emails to them. So I'll take slightly fewer sign-ups and a higher sales conversion rate on the back-end, thank you very much. Even if I'm selling to guys named "D1ck Head" and "Haywood Jablowme." Their money spends just the same.
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          • Profile picture of the author bretski
            Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

            You know what? I WANT to call someone on my list a bad name if the joker used a fake name when he/she signed up! Serves 'em right.

            But I'm glad you mentioned taking off the name field to increase your opt-in rate, Bret. I think that's a classic case of "cart before the horse." Here's why...

            You should care a LOT more about converting list members into buyers. And I get more opens and more clicks when I can personalize my emails to them. So I'll take slightly fewer sign-ups and a higher sales conversion rate on the back-end, thank you very much. Even if I'm selling to guys named "D1ck Head" and "Haywood Jablowme." Their money spends just the same.
            Hey John! Phil McKracken here!

            I do live in mortal terror of sending out emails with the [firstname] thing in there since I see that from even some marketers that I think got their stuff together. I guess perception isn't everything.

            Ok...I'll try it. It might take me a month to completely redo my lists but I guess if John is doing this then all the cool kids are. (don't freak out...I know that I just have to add the field back in) I'll let you know how it goes for me.

            Spanks!

            Bretski
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        • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
          Originally Posted by bretski View Post

          I had read or heard somewhere the the opt-in rate for lists where the customer doesn't have to enter their name is higher. I had just recently taken all of the name fields off of my forms just for that reason. And it figures...now John (my freakin' idol!) is doing split testing on adding names to emails!

          I do know that I get a chuckle sometimes out of the names that people put in there that wish to remain anonymous... "D1ckhe@d" opted into one of my lists the other day...."Hey D1ckhe@d! Listen up! How's that yeast infection coming along?"
          Years and years ago I used to pre-populate the name field with "Aunt Fred" on my sign up form. Like I said, this was years ago, but I still have over a hundred people named Aunt Fred on my list. They could change it anytime they choose, but it's become a kind of goofy endearment to them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dr Livingston
    You bring up an interesting point John. It seems that alot of IM'ers think that personalization is way over done and now doesn't have the pull that it used to. keep us posted on the results. I too have just pulled first name off of my landing pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Well, as mentioned, the gains were modest but not insubstantial. And while the test was helpful for me in my own particular case, it may not be applicable across the board. The lesson here, ultimately, is to TEST TEST TEST!

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author ElMundodelExito
    [[firstname]],
    I test it and my conclusions were very similars to yours.

    Success
    [[firstname]],
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