Myth-Buster (email vs name & email)

54 replies
New students come to me and have me look over their funnel.. I see most of them requiring email only on their squeeze pages.. As usual, I ask "why".

They tell me that so-and-so told them it works best.

It's a great concept too... very easy to convince other people that asking ONLY for email address on a signup page yields better results.

So I did some testing a while back on a simple yet attractive free offer..

Before You would read on and get upset then discredit me as a noob.. I have been coaching for over 8 years now.. Every student doing good and wearing my badge on his/her shoulder.

So here are the results of my testing. I copied the landing page and changed the optin form to require first name AND email. Then did 2 months of split testing... buying solo, entering giveaways, doing swaps, pulling in traffic from facebook, etc... So a very broad source of traffic to split test with right?

The numbers worked out like this.

I would capture 10 people onto the EMAIL ONLY page.. out of those 10 people, after the comfortable followup email with download link, I retained for two months... 5 of those 10 people.

I would capture 8 people onto the NAME & EMAIL page.. out of those 8 people, after the comfortable followup email with download link, I retained for two months... 6 of those 8 people.

Let's say we take this to a higher level.. Since my numbers, accurate but shortened for better understanding. Let's take it up a notch shall we?

10000 - 5000 = 5000
8000 - 6000 = 2000
Difference Between the two methods = 3000

So you can see, that in just a couple short months of hard hitting list building, you just threw away the chance to build a relationship with 3000 people. 3000 less people to see your offers.

Complaints: this is generally the result of a person clicking the SPAM button when viewing your email. This tends to rise very high when people are getting a non personal email. Personal would be "I hope you had a great weekend {!firstname}!" How can you address the people on your list without having their first name? You can't!

Myth: people leaving fake names
Uncovered: I checked the most recent 300 subscribers on a regular basis and the amount of people who left a bogus style name was incredibly low.. Things are changing and people are not having an issue with filling out their first name.

We can debate this till the cows come home... but I saw the results..

If you are going to build a business online with tens of thousands of people you can not address correctly, then you are doing the "churn & burn" another way of saying "Here today... gone tomorrow.."

If you have only 100 subscribers on your list, yet 80 of them bought from you every other day.. imagine where you would have been now... if you had built a personal relationship with them 6 months ago.

I don't think we even have to go into the other factors, like auto responder companies charging you based on how big your list is, or how many emails you send out. It's not the size of your list... it's the manner in which you built it.

Please reply to this and talk about any questions you may have, or share YOUR experience. If kept to a low roar, the admins will have no problem with this discussion.

Thanks,
Rodger Hyatt
#building #email #list #optin #squeeze
  • Profile picture of the author AndreStoelinga
    Hi Rodger !

    I have to agree with this. Thing is, most marketers building a list want as many subscribers as possible in the shortest possible time. Then asking only for the email address works best. For building trust and a relationship (or even credibility)...for some a bad move. You surely might be better off using the first name.

    It's one of the things I teach as "VERY IMPORTANT"...it's HOW you build you list, how you treat your subscribers and the responsiveness of your list that'll build you your business. Not the amount of subscribers...

    Many list owners I know who have at least 5 times the number I have on my list can't deliver more clicks than I can. HUH ? Yup...quality...

    Andre
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    • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
      I have compassion for people asking email only... they don't know better and probably have been taught to do so by someone who they paid a lot of money to..


      Still though... the results are in and speaking loudly.

      THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU WILL DO
      You will communicate with other people.

      So do it right.
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  • Profile picture of the author jessicawardell
    I agree with a lot of this.

    I first started out capturing name and email. Then so many people asked me why and I always answered so that I could personalize my emails and connect with them that way. I kept getting told email only is good enough and Im missing out on a lot of subs.

    So I broke down and listened. Well from seeing the difference with my new offer I'm working on I'm going to be capturing name and email again lol...

    But I enjoyed the experience and learned from it.

    thanks for the post Rodger
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    • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
      Originally Posted by jessicawardell View Post

      I agree with a lot of this.

      I first started out capturing name and email. Then so many people asked me why and I always answered so that I could personalize my emails and connect with them that way. I kept getting told email only is good enough and Im missing out on a lot of subs.

      So I broke down and listened. Well from seeing the difference with my new offer I'm working on I'm going to be capturing name and email again lol...

      But I enjoyed the experience and learned from it.

      thanks for the post Rodger
      See? Everyone is chasing the shiny nugget.. not counting in every factor and then failing because they did not use common sense. I wonder how many buffalo have jumped off this cliff? millions?
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    If you just use email, people will eventually think you are a scammer, you cant personalize, etc.... So it is CERTAINLY better.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author trafficbuilders
      Agree with everything Rodger says here. If you can't personalize your
      emails, you will lose people in a hurry. But that's OK, the more people
      that use email only, the better my chances of having my list respond to
      my 'persona;' emails.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      If you just use email, people will eventually think you are a scammer, you cant personalize, etc.... So it is CERTAINLY better.

      Steve

      So very true... and why deal with answering to your autoresponder service who just kicked you out, pretty soon your importing your list to a spam mailer like gvo and so then it begins, the agony of defeat...
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  • Profile picture of the author enterprisemind
    Great post. I respect the fact that you personally tested each theory and have substantial proof behind your statements. I agree with you about needing names to go with the emails. You can't build a relationship with your prospect if you don't even know his/her name. Thanks for sharing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeff Baxter
      Hey Rodger,

      Great post. Me personally, on my regular front end squeeze pages I get just the email. When they become buyers I get the name and email address as I like to be a bit more personal.

      Jeff
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      • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
        Originally Posted by Jeffery Baxter View Post

        Hey Rodger,

        Great post. Me personally, on my regular front end squeeze pages I get just the email. When they become buyers I get the name and email address as I like to be a bit more personal.

        Jeff
        Thanks for confirming (again) the concept of "Building A Relationship" with your subscribers is most important... Jeff.

        kinda hard to do when you call them "Hey ," or "Hello ," *chuckle*
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Rodger Hyatt View Post

    We can debate this till the cows come home... but I saw the results.
    Likewise, but mine are very different results from yours.

    I've split-tested this in only 4 of my 8 niches, but have applied my findings to all 8 niches, because my traffic demographics (and I think that's the important thing) are broadly the same in each niche in which I build lists.

    Originally Posted by Rodger Hyatt View Post

    I retained for two months... 5 of those 10 people.
    Originally Posted by Rodger Hyatt View Post

    I retained for two months... 6 of those 8 people.
    That's where my results differ so significantly from yours. You're retaining 75% when you ask for names but 50% when you don't. I tested, in each niche, for a month longer than you (i.e. 3 months), but found virtually no difference in the proportions I was retaining. I was just 15% better off, in numbers and in income, by not asking for names. Four times over, in four unrelated niches.

    What it goes to show, in my opinion, is that this is something we all need to test for ourselves.

    I'm interested in your figures, and how very different they are from my own.

    (For the record, I've also never matched your finding of opting in 25% more people by asking for email only. My figure has always been very close to 15%, and all the other split-testing results I've seen, on this point, have shown figures of between 12% and 15%).

    I'm not questioning your figures in any way, of course.

    But I am questioning that they're a "myth-buster", as you've claimed in your title, and your assumption (and that's all it is) that "thousands or millions have jumped off a cliff". Respectfully, I think you're mistaken about that. Your figures apply to your business, not necessarily to other people's too.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Likewise, but mine are very different results from yours.

      I've split-tested this in only 4 of my 8 niches, but have applied my findings to all 8 niches, because my traffic demographics (and I think that's the important thing) are broadly the same in each niche in which I build lists.



      That's where my results differ so significantly from yours. You're retaining 75% when you ask for names but 50% when you don't. I tested, in each niche, for a month longer than you (i.e. 3 months), but found virtually no difference in the proportions I was retaining. I was just 15% better off, in numbers and in income, by not asking for names. Four times over, in four unrelated niches.

      What it goes to show, in my opinion, is that this is something we all need to test for ourselves.

      I'm interested in your figures, and how very different they are from my own.

      (For the record, I've also never matched your finding of opting in 25% more people by asking for email only. My figure has always been very close to 15%, and all the other split-testing results I've seen, on this point, have shown figures of between 12% and 15%).

      I'm not questioning your figures in any way, of course.

      But I am questioning that they're a "myth-buster", as you've claimed in your title, and your assumption (and that's all it is) that "thousands or millions have jumped off a cliff". Respectfully, I think you're mistaken about that. Your figures apply to your business, not necessarily to other people's too.
      I appreciate your input on this, and how refreshingly nice it is... to see someone who has results that prove my findings inaccurate..

      So thank you for being the diamond in the rough..

      Many marketers that have been around near a decade have agreed with my findings on this, and also urge people to exercise common sense into their business.

      It's not much different than selling door to door... you get comfortable with your client as a priority, then move to the next step.

      Once again.. thanks for the response, I love hearing glory stories in a dim world of scammy email marketing

      *bow*
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Rodger Hyatt View Post

        I appreciate your input on this, and how refreshingly nice it is... to see someone who has results that prove my findings inaccurate..
        But my results don't prove your findings inaccurate.

        They simply demonstrate - in conjunction with yours - that we should all test for ourselves, rather than making the mistake of applying assumptions formed from other people's results to our own businesses. That's why I stressed that I'm not questioning your figures at all, only your assumptions about what others should do because of them.

        If I'd done no testing myself, but had first happened to see your results/conclusions reported here, as above, and made the mistake of trying to apply them to my own business, it would clearly have cost me rather a lot of money.
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        • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          But my results don't prove your findings inaccurate.

          They simply demonstrate - in conjunction with yours - that we should all test for ourselves, rather than making the mistake of applying assumptions formed from other people's results to our own businesses. That's why I stressed that I'm not questioning your figures at all, only your assumptions about what others should do because of them.

          If I'd done no testing myself, but had first happened to see your results/conclusions reported here, as above, and made the mistake of trying to apply them to my own business, it would clearly have cost me rather a lot of money.
          You seem pretty cool Alexa Smith...

          Alexa, thanks for all of your input on this..


          See what i did there? *evil grin*

          But anyways, now I feel I have formed a beginning of a friendship with you Alexa.

          Wonder why?
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          • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Rodger Hyatt View Post

            Alexa, thanks for all of your input on this..
            I've just run out of "thanks" for the day. But thank you. I always enjoy intelligent debate with people whose perspectives are different from my own.

            (I suspect, to be honest, thinking about it a little bit more, that your testing probably used a wider variation of traffic sources than mine did - because I get over 75% of my traffic from article syndication, and at the time I did those tests, I think that was probably 80%, and that may have been relevant to what I observed!).
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            • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
              Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

              I've just run out of "thanks" for the day. But thank you. I always enjoy intelligent debate with people whose perspectives are different from my own.

              (I suspect, to be honest, thinking about it a little bit more, that your testing probably used a wider variation of traffic sources than mine did - because I get over 75% of my traffic from article syndication, and at the time I did those tests, I think that was probably 80%, and that may have been relevant to what I observed!).

              Any time Alexa - keep in touch and keep pushing forward!
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        • Profile picture of the author Steve B
          Rodger,

          Forgive me for being old and stupid, but I don't understand your math.

          Email only you captured 10,000 names, lost 5,000 over two months and were left with 5,000.

          Name and email you captured 8,000 names, lost 2,000 and were left with 6,000.

          Is that what you're saying? You lost a total of 7,000 of your original 18,000 captures (both methods combined)?

          So you lost roughly 39% of the total and retained 61% (both methods combined) after two months?

          " . . .you just threw away the chance to build a relationship with 3000 people. 3000 less people to see your offers." What is this referring to? It seems to me you lost 7,000 people that jumped off your ship.

          Thanks for your explanation so I can understand your math. I'm not questioning your results I just want to understand how you arrived at your conclusions.

          Steve
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          • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
            Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

            Rodger,

            Forgive me for being old and stupid, but I don't understand your math.

            Email only you captured 10,000 names, lost 5,000 over two months and were left with 5,000.

            Name and email you captured 8,000 names, lost 2,000 and were left with 6,000.

            Is that what you're saying? You lost a total of 7,000 of your original 18,000 captures (both methods combined)?

            So you lost roughly 39% of the total and retained 61% (both methods combined) after two months?

            " . . .you just threw away the chance to build a relationship with 3000 people. 3000 less people to see your offers." What is this referring to? It seems to me you lost 7,000 people that jumped off your ship.

            Thanks for your explanation so I can understand your math. I'm not questioning your results I just want to understand how you arrived at your conclusions.

            Steve
            The math end result was the loss total from doing email only...
            my personal loss was ZERO since I learned for myself the best way to do things and to have stats to show others who are considering using email only as a tempting way to increase subs.

            Hope that clears it up for you steve..
            no calculator needed
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  • Profile picture of the author ronorr
    I use to do 500 optins per day for along time and spend thouands and have built lists and now run my own for almost 4 years and collection 10,000's and we all know where to go find 1/2 billion emails if we want to with all of the info database emailer dot com, etc.

    I've tried cold lists, other lists, etc. I haven't tested it that extensively down the road like that, I personally as a consumer only like to enter my email and not the name.

    But I can't disagree with the name idea if you are getting even close to the only email then it could be worth it, my experience is that it wasnt even close like 33% less.

    and I've heard by a couple very high top email marketers that offered the idea of getting more with less, but either way I am not going to argue that because you did extensive testing and their are a lot of variables, but your follow ups are probably quite good.


    In the end what I found out is emailing 100,000 per day who cares, doesn't work well in th beginning, and building it 1 by 1 from some sites like CL can work but the sales funnel for what I did was so long that other variables came into play.


    I 100% agree with the long-term relationship but I go even further now in stead of a consumer based relationship into a long-term affiliate partner relationship with lifetime value of a customer and more side by side and have them keep buying products.


    But what I have noticed most of all is I don't even mind if people follow me for 3 months and 300 updates on facebook before they enter their email. I put the value into the relationship of the email even before they sign up. I prefer to get the 1 click subscribe through facebook before the email opt-in now because its zillions of times easier


    and the reason is that all the reasons people don't sign up to email

    is it junk they'll get? can they easily subscribe? is there value? well all the reason that people don;t sign up they can preview that on the facebook fan page. Thus I now find that the email opt-in is 10-20x more discerning then it ever was before as a consumer, as our inbox is meant to be more limited as we have all learned the hard way


    it's for sure not all about signups anymore, its about opens and clicks

    and I even just now delete people that don't constantly open after 30-60 days because the low engagement will just hurt me with the big 5 anyways.


    I know that people take time to even click though.


    I also like that I feel with facebook 10-15 follow ups per day are still well received, and through email 1 per day is more normal plus I get a lot of shares and viral activity with my facebook subscribes where as that's less likely to happen with mail

    bottom line is I want them sharing and marketing or me way before they enter their email, I would get their email then they are close to a purchase and thats why the 1 in 10 or 1 in 15 sign up to a long-term commitment because the emails are qualified

    that site above can email 1 million for $20 they say and they have 180-230 bits of info on many of these people 300 to 500 million emails on every interest you can imagine, but I say it's all about the long-term relationship these days.


    I've been online about 18 years and, since 1995, and I made my first real money with the email opt-ins since about 1998 or 1999 when I was doing PPC in the thousands before I remember a website even called google.


    email marketing is a great way to go, I never loved open rates over time, but I prefer the pull marketing more every day
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  • Profile picture of the author TnMountainMan
    Agree with the above opening post. Yes, I have also altered and attempted to only grab the email from one of my funnels in the past and even though NOT scientific in nature, I did not see any highly noticeable increase in subscribers.

    I would much rather have a 10k or 25k list of Hi Steve, Hi Jessica, or Hi Michael than to have a list of 100k, 500k, etc that all look like spam to most of those folks.

    We all get this but there's nothing 'connective' about 'Hey you' or 'Hi Friend' in my book so enjoy your huge list of unconnected and unknown people.

    I'll stick with email AND name thank you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
      Originally Posted by TnMountainMan View Post

      Agree with the above opening post. Yes, I have also altered and attempted to only grab the email from one of my funnels in the past and even though NOT scientific in nature, I did not see any highly noticeable increase in subscribers.

      I would much rather have a 10k or 25k list of Hi Steve, Hi Jessica, or Hi Michael than to have a list of 100k, 500k, etc that all look like spam to most of those folks.

      We all get this but there's nothing 'connective' about 'Hey you' or 'Hi Friend' in my book so enjoy your huge list of unconnected and unknown people.

      I'll stick with email AND name thank you.
      Aww that touches my cold black heart and almost makes me draw a tear.
      (just kidding)

      TnMountainMan - It's very nice to see people realize fate before it hits them in the stomach. Good work!!
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  • Profile picture of the author JeffreyBenson
    Roger, well done. You finally nailed it home. I have been preaching this for God knows how long. I don't feel comfortable when people send me email without addressing it to me. I often unsubscribe from such email so it beats me while people will just collect only email address. I have always collected both firstname and email addresses on my squeeze pages.

    What many people don't realize is that numbers on their list are PEOPLE - they are human beings. If you have a thousand subscribers, it means a thousand people but many people just see the list as a list not as people.

    Collecting only email addresses doesn't work well with relationship building which is the core of successful business. People who preach 'email address only' are mainly solo ad sellers who themselves don't care about building relationship with their subscribers. And strangely, when you buy solo ads from such people you waste your money because they don't have any credibility to pass on to your product which they claim to be recommending.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
      Originally Posted by JeffreyBenson View Post

      Roger, well done. You finally nailed it home. I have been preaching this for God knows how long. I don't feel comfortable when people send me email without address it to me. I often unsubscribe so it beats me while people will just collect only email address. It doesn't work weill with relationship building which is the core of business. People who preach 'email address only' are mainly solo ads sellers who themselves don't care about building relationship with their subscribers.
      I hear ya loud and clear Jeffrey,
      Thanks very much for your comment too btw.
      Oddly enough I sell a large amount of solos... it's sooo nice to send people to a decent offer and be able to address them in the email by their name. It sure has helped RETENTION and CLICKS.
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      • Profile picture of the author JeffreyBenson
        Originally Posted by Rodger Hyatt View Post

        I hear ya loud and clear Jeffrey,
        Thanks very much for your comment too btw.
        Oddly enough I sell a large amount of solos... it's sooo nice to send people to a decent offer and be able to address them in the email by their name. It sure has helped RETENTION and CLICKS.
        I definitely agree with you man and thanks a lot for sharing this.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      I'm going to play a bit of 'Devil's Advocate' here...

      Rodger, I'm not going to question that you got the results you did. I am going to say that having additional bits of private information can be dangerous in unskilled hands.

      Much like the telemarketer who insists on tacking my first name onto the end of every sentence, whether appropriate or not, I get a lot of emails from folks who brand themselves as amateurs or worse. If they don't have the first name, they can't abuse it.

      Now suppose I'd written my second paragraph like this:
      Rodger, I'm not going to question that you got the results you did. I am going to say, Rodger, that having additional bits of private information can be dangerous in unskilled hands. You agree with me, don't you, Rodger?
      There are also cultural considerations. In parts of my chosen market, addressing prospects by their first name, without an invitation to do so, is the kiss of death. You get tagged as disrespectful and presumptuous. This is especially true if you happen to be younger than they are by any noticeable amount.

      Again, I'm not saying you are wrong. Your test in your market gave your results. Alexa's test in her market gave her results. If we accept the results both of you put forward, the only thing it proves is that blanket rules like "always get name and email and then personalize your emails" always have exceptions.
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      • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
        The myth that needs to be busted is that there's a
        one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the e-mail
        only vs. first name and e-mail debate.

        As with most things, it comes down to testing YOUR
        traffic going through YOUR process.

        Test your own traffic, track your results and make an
        informed and more accurate decision.

        Don't just go with e-mail only or first name and e-mail
        because someone says so on a forum (me or anyone
        else).

        For penance, say 6 Our Fathers, 3 Hail Marys and read
        Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins AT LEAST seven
        times!

        Dedicated to mutual success,

        Shaun
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        .

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

          The myth that needs to be busted is that there's a
          one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the e-mail
          vs. first name and e-mail debate.

          As with most things, it comes down to testing YOUR
          traffic going through YOUR process.

          Test your own traffic, track your results and make an
          informed and more accurate decision.

          Don't just go with e-mail only or first name and e-mail
          because someone says so on a forum (me or anyone
          else).

          For penance, say 6 Our Fathers, 3 Hail Marys and read
          Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins AT LEAST seven
          times!

          Dedicated to mutual success,

          Shaun
          I sure do enjoy converting prospects into paying customers though.
          I get very many of them from people who I know require only first name.
          They end up reading my emails and responding to me.. So in a way.. it works out well for me either way the ball bounces.
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          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            Originally Posted by Rodger Hyatt View Post

            I noticed how in the first paragraph, you did indeed address me by my first name, and I truly do appreciate that.
            You obviously noticed that I did it only once, in an appropriate fashion.

            Originally Posted by Rodger Hyatt View Post

            We are not telemarketers from another country, trained by a book written by someone not all that familiar with our language in the first place. We are internet marketers and we rely upon customers based mainly in the united states. So as far as cultural differences, I would hope that you are not trying to apply them into your online business.
            I hate to break it to you, coach, but a lot of the folks trying to soak up words of wisdom are from another country, and English is not their milk language.

            In my specific example, the cultural differences are definitely US-based. They tend to be older, well-educated and well-heeled, and they are accustomed to being addressed as 'Mr.' or 'Mrs.' or 'Miss' (never 'Ms.'). The phenomena is especially prevalent in the Northeast and the deep South.

            Originally Posted by Rodger Hyatt View Post

            Different strokes for different folks, I am merely trying to point out this topic for those that are considering the LONG HAUL and how to improve your chances of ever seeing the finish line or end goal. Happy life, bills paid, people respecting you.
            So I guess I was only addressing short-timers aching to be sad, broke and disrespected? Rodger, condescending, overly polite rhetoric like that is the purview of snooty maitre'd's in snooty restaurants, not discussions among professionals.

            You've already decided that anyone who doesn't kiss your ring on this is wrong, so I'll find someplace else to participate.
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            • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
              Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

              You obviously noticed that I did it only once, in an appropriate fashion.



              I hate to break it to you, coach, but a lot of the folks trying to soak up words of wisdom are from another country, and English is not their milk language.

              In my specific example, the cultural differences are definitely US-based. They tend to be older, well-educated and well-heeled, and they are accustomed to being addressed as 'Mr.' or 'Mrs.' or 'Miss' (never 'Ms.'). The phenomena is especially prevalent in the Northeast and the deep South.



              So I guess I was only addressing short-timers aching to be sad, broke and disrespected? Rodger, condescending, overly polite rhetoric like that is the purview of snooty maitre'd's in snooty restaurants, not discussions among professionals.

              You've already decided that anyone who doesn't kiss your ring on this is wrong, so I'll find someplace else to participate.
              Lovely attitude John.. best of luck to you in your restaurant marketing discussions, sorry if I was too "snooty" for you. I do not want my ring kissed, it's freshly washed.

              (sorry folks, sometimes ya get that one out in left center)

              Very very glad to see all the different points of view in here though.. I am learning from the comments on this thread and hope to see more!
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            • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
              Banned
              Originally Posted by Rodger Hyatt View Post

              we rely upon customers based mainly in the united states.
              Oooh, that's probably why your subscriber demographics are so hugely different from mine, then.

              It's impression only (I do have the IP numbers from which people opt in, but I don't often look at them, or care very much, to be honest), but I'd be astonished if my customers are based "mainly in the US". I do actually expect that the US is perhaps the commonest single country from which I have subscribers, but there's no way mine are "mainly in the US". There's a whole world out there.

              I started off - in all my original niches - asking for names and using them, but gradually started thinking twice about this when subscribers increasingly mentioned to me that they dislike my using their first names in autoresponder emails, because they think it makes me sound a little like an insurance salesperson. It was the frequency with which I was hearing that sentiment expressed, and my concerns about it, that first made me start asking myself whether I really needed their names. And it was relatively easy to split-test in a few niches and find that I didn't, at all (to put it mildly, because I earned 15% more without them than with them!).

              Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

              They tend to be older, well-educated and well-heeled
              This is a huge plus: you definitely want subscribers with good heels.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        I'm going to play a bit of 'Devil's Advocate' here...

        Rodger, I'm not going to question that you got the results you did. I am going to say that having additional bits of private information can be dangerous in unskilled hands.

        Much like the telemarketer who insists on tacking my first name onto the end of every sentence, whether appropriate or not, I get a lot of emails from folks who brand themselves as amateurs or worse. If they don't have the first name, they can't abuse it.

        Now suppose I'd written my second paragraph like this:
        Rodger, I'm not going to question that you got the results you did. I am going to say, Rodger, that having additional bits of private information can be dangerous in unskilled hands. You agree with me, don't you, Rodger?
        There are also cultural considerations. In parts of my chosen market, addressing prospects by their first name, without an invitation to do so, is the kiss of death. You get tagged as disrespectful and presumptuous. This is especially true if you happen to be younger than they are by any noticeable amount.

        Again, I'm not saying you are wrong. Your test in your market gave your results. Alexa's test in her market gave her results. If we accept the results both of you put forward, the only thing it proves is that blanket rules like "always get name and email and then personalize your emails" always have exceptions.

        I noticed how in the first paragraph, you did indeed address me by my first name, and I truly do appreciate that.

        We are not telemarketers from another country, trained by a book written by someone not all that familiar with our language in the first place. We are internet marketers and we rely upon customers based mainly in the united states. So as far as cultural differences, I would hope that you are not trying to apply them into your online business.

        Different strokes for different folks, I am merely trying to point out this topic for those that are considering the LONG HAUL and how to improve your chances of ever seeing the finish line or end goal. Happy life, bills paid, people respecting you.
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  • Profile picture of the author SolFood
    Roger,
    Thanks for the debate. I am pro building relationships and am glad for the statistics to complement the gut feeling. One thing that irritates me is to get a mail from a marketer, telling me in the subject that I have a commission or paypal deposit, or the subject lists supposedly my city and that there are "a few more openings in X city" I live outside USA and the city it shows is not even my city but when the IP address must originate from.

    Not yet a millionaire or such, perhaps my opinion has less value but like noses . . .any way I would rather have less folks on my list but have budding relationship with them than ooodles of folks to expand my head by my list size and little relationship. My focus in this year is just that.

    Great to see the variety of interactions.

    going forward faster
    David
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    • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
      Originally Posted by SolFood View Post

      Roger,
      Thanks for the debate. I am pro building relationships and am glad for the statistics to complement the gut feeling. One thing that irritates me is to get a mail from a marketer, telling me in the subject that I have a commission or paypal deposit, or the subject lists supposedly my city and that there are "a few more openings in X city" I live outside USA and the city it shows is not even my city but when the IP address must originate from.

      Not yet a millionaire or such, perhaps my opinion has less value but like noses . . .any way I would rather have less folks on my list but have budding relationship with them than ooodles of folks to expand my head by my list size and little relationship. My focus in this year is just that.

      Great to see the variety of interactions.

      going forward faster
      David
      Don't think your opinion means less because you are new..
      In fact, it means MORE because you are new.

      You see things in a light... a light many of us larger scaled marketers tend to lose sight of as we grow.

      Take the light with you David.. it -WILL- serve you well.
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  • Profile picture of the author jdooley13
    It has been my experience that a great many people will put in a phony name when required to put one in, not that they are uninterested in my offer but because they are not exactly sure why I need their name to give them access to the information (product, whatever) that I promised them. How, exactly, does it benefit me in building a relationship with that person when I am referring to them continuously by some made up name?
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    • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
      Originally Posted by jdooley13 View Post

      It has been my experience that a great many people will put in a phony name when required to put one in, not that they are uninterested in my offer but because they are not exactly sure why I need their name to give them access to the information (product, whatever) that I promised them. How, exactly, does it benefit me in building a relationship with that person when I am referring to them continuously by some made up name?
      I want to thank you "jdooley13" for bringing this up.

      First off, I checked your pages from your signature link and I noticed you have your email address on a few occurrences.. This is not advised.. get a help desk or format it like this "name [at] email [dot] com" ...because spammers run scripts that surf pages and collect email addresses then sell them to marketers and companies.. I am certain you don't need their unsolicited junk offers piling up in your inbox..

      I just now went and grabbed a snap-shot of my recent subscribers.. so this is totally random and "On The Fly"...

      Just to show you a sample of the averages..

      So as you can see, it's worth it.
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  • Profile picture of the author jdooley13
    Yes, most of those appear to be legitimate names but lets assume they aren't. If you call someone "Banjo" or "Marty" every time you email and that person is really named "John", are you truly building a relationship or does using a name merely remind them of the rocky start your relationship started with? I am not trying to be difficult as I do not know the answer, I would just like your opinion.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
      Originally Posted by jdooley13 View Post

      Yes, most of those appear to be legitimate names but lets assume they aren't. If you call someone "Banjo" or "Marty" every time you email and that person is really named "John", are you truly building a relationship or does using a name merely remind them of the rocky start your relationship started with? I am not trying to be difficult as I do not know the answer, I would just like your opinion.

      It's been mine and many others experience that the subscriber is going to enter their real first name... every now and then you get a paranoid person or a prankster that enters something false, but when they get their email and see the name it is greeting... They do remember entering the name and then can blame no one but them selves for a lack of personal attention. I do watch carefully and see many people go in and EDIT their info, changing their name to what it should be. But still, we are talking a low percentage of people who leave false information... But certainly aren't blaming us for calling them by the name they entered.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    your test ignores one of the most important things a true marketer would do and that is to change the entire system to work for each group of people.

    basically if you "qualify" one group by just asking for an email and the other group by asking for name and email, the ones who subscribe to each actually told you something about themselves and their habits.

    so if you treat them the exact same way after they subscribe it wont work. i have no doubt at all that your system is tailored to favor one group over the other...even if only by accident.

    There has been a similar discussion going on for years about long vs short squeeze pages. Most of us that have actually tested it for ourselves realize that neither is in fact better for all or even most situations. and your followup system should be entirely different for each type of squeeze page.

    what most of us learned is that both squeeze pages attracted an almost completely different set of subscribers. so it wasn't as clear as 50% optin on one and 60% on the other. the people who subscribed were a nearly completely different set of people from the other group. essentially, each type of squeeze page weeded out the other type of prospects. so of course the same followup wont maximize the ROI from both.

    I have a strong suspicion that is almost exactly what has happened in your case. You have to be careful not to let your hypothesis skew your interpretation of the results.

    Your results were not that asking for an email and name leads to more subscriber retention. You didnt really test what you think you did.

    You tested if your existing "system" performs better when asking for both or just emails. You didn't actually test if its in fact possible to optimize either option to produce more profit in the long or short term. big difference and much more relevant.

    BTW. not trying to bust your balls here buddy, just trying to point out that testing is not nearly as simple as what some want to believe.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
      Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

      your test ignores one of the most important things a true marketer would do and that is to change the entire system to work for each group of people.

      basically if you "qualify" one group by just asking for an email and the other group by asking for name and email, the ones who subscribe to each actually told you something about themselves and their habits.

      so if you treat them the exact same way after they subscribe it wont work. i have no doubt at all that your system is tailored to favor one group over the other...even if only by accident.

      There has been a similar discussion going on for years about long vs short squeeze pages. Most of us that have actually tested it for ourselves realize that neither is in fact better for all or even most situations. and your followup system should be entirely different for each type of squeeze page.

      what most of us learned is that both squeeze pages attracted an almost completely different set of subscribers. so it wasn't as clear as 50% optin on one and 60% on the other. the people who subscribed were a nearly completely different set of people from the other group. essentially, each type of squeeze page weeded out the other type of prospects. so of course the same followup wont maximize the ROI from both.

      I have a strong suspicion that is almost exactly what has happened in your case. You have to be careful not to let your hypothesis skew your interpretation of the results.

      Your results were not that asking for an email and name leads to more subscriber retention. You didnt really test what you think you did.

      You tested if your existing "system" performs better when asking for both or just emails. You didn't actually test if its in fact possible to optimize either option to produce more profit in the long or short term. big difference and much more relevant.

      BTW. not trying to bust your balls here buddy, just trying to point out that testing is not nearly as simple as what some want to believe.
      The tested pages and follow up emails were identical with the exception being the first name.. one required it, the other didn't ask for it.

      My results, be generalized or not... are none the less... results that effect what I would like to do next.

      It was a simple free and good offer on a very good converting short page.

      Everyone should obviously test things to come up with their answer...

      But hands down we ALL know that building a relationship and/or building trust and forming a bond with your readers has always been and will always be the better 'long term' route to take.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    I tested this over several thousand opt-ins each a few years ago when everybody asked for the first name, and my results showed a significant advantage to dropping the name field.

    edit: I also tested the typical "we hate spam" crap that everyone treated as gospel at the time - and pulling it from my forms significantly outperformed leaving it there.

    This is an example of why people need to test for themselves
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    • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
      Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

      I tested this over several thousand opt-ins each a few years ago when everybody asked for the first name, and my results showed a significant advantage to dropping the name field.

      edit: I also tested the typical "we hate spam" crap that everyone treated as gospel at the time - and pulling it from my forms significantly outperformed leaving it there.

      This is an example of why people need to test for themselves
      Thank you Jason for your feedback!

      There are VERY many variables that will yield different results..

      I should have pointed that out in my initial post, sorry about that.

      But consider this...

      At least I can now CHOOSE to use their name
      I don't think I could if I never asked for it..
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    Rodger - you actually tested, so you get a huge thumbs up in my book even if your results and mine were different
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  • Profile picture of the author Kelvin Nikkel
    Totally agree Rodger!

    If you haven't got a first name from your subscriber, then you are basically
    addressing them as "Hey You!" and that ain't polite.

    With the minor differences in opt in rates between the two, I think I will opt to
    ask for first names too.
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  • Profile picture of the author igl0w
    good article but i never heard of those 'myths'. Everybody knows Name + Email is better than pure email. ALso in 98% forms i see there is more than just email space.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
      Originally Posted by igl0w View Post

      good article but i never heard of those 'myths'. Everybody knows Name + Email is better than pure email. ALso in 98% forms i see there is more than just email space.
      It's obvious from the responses on this thread that not "everyone knows".

      But we are hoping that they consider the advantage.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by igl0w View Post

      Everybody knows Name + Email is better than pure email.
      "Everybody" apart from all those of us who've carefully split-tested it in our own businesses, reliably and reproducibly proven the exact opposite, and already posted in the thread commenting on our results, you must mean?
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Using a first name when addressing an outgoing email is very powerful...

    EXCEPT when some people subscribe with the name, "F*ck You", and "F*cking Assh0le", etc.

    Then all of a sudden, your mailings start triggering spam filters, and your message fails to reach most of its intended audience.

    LOL

    It is always a trade off...

    Sometimes you will find your subscribers to be valuable human beings who will always insert their real name into your form, and you will both win.

    Other times, some of your subscribers will be worthless pieces of fun, and they will diminish the experience for everyone else by helping your emails trigger more spam filters.
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  • Profile picture of the author owenlee
    Both way works...

    It depends on how the person view it...some prefer to build a bigger list and a small percentage of buyer will still make them money..

    Some prefer to build the list and built up the relationship with the readers...
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  • Profile picture of the author AndreStoelinga
    Good input from both ends I'd say...

    Name or no name...if they're just out to get your freebie, who cares about the name (and that's most of the subscribers). If you start off right from the start giving them good information they can actually use to their benefit (not the standard "Here's an awesome free report I found for you ! Download it NOW !") and they find value in it, they'll stick around and will never click the "report as spam" button. I do believe however, that in most cases it CAN work out better addressing them with their name.

    The relationship with your list is not necessarily based on being able to address them with their name, but more with the content you give them. If you spam your list with links in every email, you'll be losing subscribers as well. If you send 5 or more emails a day to your list...they'll soon report you as spam. Look at all the crap ending up in your mailboxes...because most of is CRAP. How do you build a relationship with that...even using their first name at the beginning of your emails ? If someone adresses me wit my name and then has the nerve to offer me the biggest crap you can find...I'll report him as spam. If you know what to send to your list...you're good.

    Once they start trusting you and you've convinced your subscribers you can help them achieve their goals, they don't care if you address them with their name (real or fake). It's a newsletter (if you do it right) and every subscriber knows they're signing up for this. YOUR optin form is definitely not the first they've entered their email address in. They already have a pretty good idea of what to expect. So what if you're the exception in the masses who don't care about their subscribers and are just greedy ? That's your advantage.

    Even though I'm using only the email field in my squeezes I get VERY good response from my list. As I mentioned in my 1st reply here, I get much better results from my list compared to MANY who have a list 5 times bigger than mine. Why ? Because I'm giving them valuable content, tips and share my own experiences in my projects, etc..

    If you want your emails to be more personal, you can start your emails with for example "Hi there. I hope your day was as good as mine." No need to address them with their name. It's HOW and WHAT you write. It's a psychological game...triggering the right emotions and desires.

    Even though I'm not using the name field I get LOTS of replies from my subscribers...thanking me for the awesome tips and even "Please resend me the last 4 emails, coz somehow I missed them !". I guess I must be doing something right. You just have to find your own way to keep your subscribers watching their inbox for your messages.

    In my case I'm getting a higher opt in rate AND good response from my list. No doubts about the results of all of your testing...I found my way, you have to find yours.

    Andre
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  • Profile picture of the author retsced
    The debate rages on - but no ones name is more important than the senders. Any amount of testing doesn't prove Jack to anyone other than the person doing the testing. We have to factor in the traffic source - the sender - the content - the market - and the recipients.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rodger Hyatt
      I want to thank you all for keeping such a controversial topic to a low roar.

      When a new student comes my way I stress 2 things.

      Enable your readers to connect and identify with you.

      Open those doors.

      Do as I tell you, until your paypal account looks better than mine.

      Not meant in a degrading way at all, but people who lack control and confidence seem to head off the cliff much sooner than others.

      It's the damage they can do on their way down that keeps me on my toes.

      So this has been a great topic and it has opened my eyes a little more.
      When done out of format, or off track, things can still work out with good results.

      I am probably going to do more extensive testing and interview some of the bigger marketers and get their opinions on this as well.

      I have only been at this nearly a decade and with a list of 165,000.

      Some people see this as a pretty good place to be..

      I know it can be better..

      I regard myself as a 'small fish' in a vast ocean of heavy hitters.

      I am sorry if my words are often harsh, but I do this career with passion and ensure that my students do more than simply survive.

      If I were to close my eyes and pretend that changes do not happen daily that effects us all, what kind of fool would I be?

      So as far as results... testing... clicks... conversions...

      It's ALL just opinions based on someones experience.

      Thank you all for letting me share mine with you, without leaving a bad taste in your mouth when you see my name next time.

      I still prefer requiring name, for many reasons. My results mainly, they prove to lean that direction in an overly obvious way... every time.
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  • Profile picture of the author jerryle
    Hi Rodger,
    I totally agree and try to give first name and e mail to all my optins just for the reasons you stated
    thanks
    Jerry
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    Originally Posted by ikhwanudin View Post

    good article but i never heard of those 'myths'. Everybody knows Name + Email is better than pure email. ALso in 98% forms i see there is more than just email space.
    lol - did you read the thread? I, for one, happen to know the opposite
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