When Is It Necessary To Capture Names In Optin Forms?

18 replies
If you only have the email field, it's obviously going to be easier to get that user to optin. However, I do see some people trying to get a name with the email which might cause some users to backout because it's more work or whatever.

My question is, when do you go for the name in addition to the email and how useful can it be in your autoresponders/newsletters?
#capture #forms #names #optin
  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    Originally Posted by Sinistar View Post

    If you only have the email field, it's obviously going to be easier to get that user to optin. However, I do see some people trying to get a name with the email which might cause some users to backout because it's more work or whatever.

    My question is, when do you go for the name in addition to the email and how useful can it be in your autoresponders/newsletters?
    Sometimes it's more beneficial in the long run to ask for
    the e-mail only and other times it's better to ask for the
    name and e-mail address.

    It depends upon how you use the name afterwards and
    the market your targeting.

    It's better to split test two different opt-in forms: one
    requesting e-mail only, and the other asking for the
    name and e-mail address.

    Then track the conversion rates all the way through
    your sales process (not just the initial opt-in conversion
    rate).

    Then discover which approach works best for you and
    your market for a given opt-in route.

    Dedicated to mutual success,

    Shaun
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Sinistar View Post

    My question is, when do you go for the name in addition to the email
    I don't, myself. I used to, but I stopped a long time ago, after getting subscriber feedback in a range of niches (not spontaneously: I ask for freedback quite often, and find it helpful).

    Originally Posted by Sinistar View Post

    how useful can it be in your autoresponders/newsletters?
    I think its main use is to make you sound like an insurance salesman.

    I don't know - there may be all kinds of perfectly legitimate and reasonable and advisable uses for it, for other people's businesses, which have never occurred to me at all, as an affiliate marketer - but I don't envisage doing it again myself, anyway. I'd rather do without it (since I'm not going to use it anyway) and have the extra 12-15% of people opting in.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post7934937
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      I have tested this quite frequently ( in MMO Niche) .And there is no question every time my Optin Rate increased when I left out the Name field.

      Time and time again I have seen other Marketers test the same thing and the results are the same.

      When I get an Email from an MMO marketer with my name it makes no more NO personal connection than if he didn't use my Name.

      I would definitely say if you are in the IM niche there is no reason to have it ( non MMO niche, yes). I guess if your goal is to have less Optins then by all means be my guest


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  • Profile picture of the author ijohnson
    Capturing the name, in addition to the email address, helps you personalize your emails. If your goal is to build a rapport and relationship with your subscribers, then addressing emails to them using their first name would come across as less salesy.

    Personally, I am more receptive to emails I receive addressed to me using my first name. I would think that if your market or audience is outside the IM niche, receiving an email using their first name would be more appealing and have a positive psychological effect.

    Those of us who are affiliate marketers don't really care much either way, I would guess.

    Of course, the more information you ask for, the more potential subscribers you may lose. But it depends on how you plan to use the information you capture.

    If you are a mobile marketer or want to reach those who use mobile devices, then capturing the mobile telephone number would definitely be a plus. As a matter of fact, I think it's wise for any affiliate marketer, especially offline marketers, to capture the mobile number because the numbers are increasing in terms of usage of mobile devices over desktop PCs and laptops. Mobile device users are much more responsive to text or SMS messages vs. email messages.

    Split-testing is the key to finding what will work best for you, based on how you plan to use the information you capture.
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    • Profile picture of the author DevEdge
      I only ever capture the email addressas I find the conversions much better.

      The only way I would ever use a name in an email is to personalise the email campaigns. I haven't really given much thought as to what else it could be used for because I don't intend to use it again after testing the two over the years.
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    • Profile picture of the author Coby
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      I don't, myself. I used to, but I stopped a long time ago, after getting subscriber feedback in a range of niches (not spontaneously: I ask for freedback quite often, and find it helpful).



      I think its main use is to make you sound like an insurance salesman.

      I don't know - there may be all kinds of perfectly legitimate and reasonable and advisable uses for it, for other people's businesses, which have never occurred to me at all, as an affiliate marketer - but I don't envisage doing it again myself, anyway. I'd rather do without it (since I'm not going to use it anyway) and have the extra 12-15% of people opting in.

      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post7934937
      Alexa nailed it! My personal testing confirms your findings.

      Originally Posted by ijohnson View Post

      Capturing the name, in addition to the email address, helps you personalize your emails. If your goal is to build a rapport and relationship with your subscribers, then addressing emails to them using their first name would come across as less salesy.
      I disagree.

      When you email your friends do you use their first name?

      Do you send your friends emails with the subject: "John, look at this..."

      Most marketer's that do capture the first name grossly misuse it and end up sounding like a insurance salesman (stealing Alexa's analogy).

      You can still build the relationship w/o every using their first name. The relationship building comes from what you SEND to them not just by personalizing the email.

      Plus - if you are in the IM/MMO niche everyone is "hip" to autoresponders and they KNOW that it's a "fake" personalization...

      So, this might make some sense in some niches - but you need to test it for yourself.

      Cheers,
      Coby
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      • Profile picture of the author shane_k
        Originally Posted by Coby View Post


        The relationship building comes from what you SEND to them not just by personalizing the email.
        People should read this again and again and again until it sinks into their heads.

        There's gold in that sentence.


        Plus - if you are in the IM/MMO niche everyone is "hip" to autoresponders and they KNOW that it's a "fake" personalization...
        I think this is also important. If your customers are "hip" to that strategy then it will appear as fake personalization and that can cost you.

        This is why you have to test.

        I do know for me, in the niche that I am in, I get better results using the persons name, and personalizing emails.

        However, I don't abuse though, and the customers in my niche are not hip to this strategy.

        I do have a story about my brother.

        My brother is not hip to any IM strategies, and he joined an email list of a very famous Celebrity Chef. (My brother is a cook, and a huge fan of this chef)

        The first email my brother recieved from this chef was personalized and has his name in it. Why? cause my brother entered his name into the name field.

        Anyway, my brother was so blown away and in awe because he felt that this very Famous Celebrity Chef actually took the time to write back to him personally thanking him for joining the Chef's list.

        My brother was like, "he actually knows my name."

        I seriously didn't have the heart and still don't, to tell him the truth.

        He talked about this for like 2 years, over and over again. It had such a huge impact on him.

        Obviously this is an extreme example, but if you can make someone feel special or important then why not?
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        • Profile picture of the author Coby
          Originally Posted by shane_k View Post

          I think this is also important. If your customers are "hip" to that strategy then it will appear as fake personalization and that can cost you.

          This is why you have to test.

          I do know for me, in the niche that I am in, I get better results using the persons name, and personalizing emails.

          However, I don't abuse though, and the customers in my niche are not hip to this strategy.

          I do have a story about my brother.

          My brother is not hip to any IM strategies, and he joined an email list of a very famous Celebrity Chef. (My brother is a cook, and a huge fan of this chef)

          The first email my brother recieved from this chef was personalized and has his name in it. Why? cause my brother entered his name into the name field.

          Anyway, my brother was so blown away and in awe because he felt that this very Famous Celebrity Chef actually took the time to write back to him personally thanking him for joining the Chef's list.

          My brother was like, "he actually knows my name."

          I seriously didn't have the heart and still don't, to tell him the truth.

          He talked about this for like 2 years, over and over again. It had such a huge impact on him.

          Obviously this is an extreme example, but if you can make someone feel special or important then why not?
          Great examples of how it definitely can work wonders in some niches (in the case of your brother) while having the exact opposite is true when your niche knows that it's "fake" personalization.

          My niche is list builders - so it's kinda redundant to use the first name tag in my emails. I don't even bother to capture the name of my buyers. Even my $500/month coaching students. It all comes down to connecting to your audience. How you connect will depended on your market and business goals.

          But like Retsced said this can (and likely will be) debated til the end of time. The reality is that most people will NEVER test and will just blindly follow the advice of others. I think it's always important to test and not be a "me too" marketer. Just because everyone says one way is best doesn't mean that it will be the case in your own business. That's how we find out "better" ways, by trying new things.

          Thanks for the input Shane.

          Cheers,
          Coby
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  • Profile picture of the author Apra Barua
    If you are interested in personalizing your emails then you should use the name field. Otherwise email should do well. Even with name field, some people do not put in their real name so when you personalize, their seudo name will not be pleasant to them :p

    But with only the email field to capture, signups should be easy because of less work involved.
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  • Profile picture of the author zahanega
    I don't think capturing their names is necessary. Unless you are personalizing each email, just the email address is okay
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  • Profile picture of the author Rits
    When I collected emails on past websites, I never asked for the name. Only time I got the name was when they were signing up for a program or something and I kept the email to market to them after.
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  • Profile picture of the author retsced
    This can be debated till the end of Internet time and there still won't be a one answer fits all. Personally I've went both ways in the past but always came back to asking for the name.

    I also look at it as being another qualifier. If someone can't be bothered putting their name into an opt in form to get my freebie it's usually because they're not a super target prospect looking for what i have to offer.

    Fake names get put into opt in forms by freebie seekers and tossers. I don't care who disagrees with me on this. I've never signed up to a list using a fake name because I'm a grown adult, not an immature ass. I'm confident that a person putting a fake name into an opt in form is a person I don't want on my list anyway. If you just got their email addy, it doesn't resolve the fact that they're an idiot and a time waster. Good riddance IMO.

    As for the person who asked above whether we use our friends name in an email message. Well, absolutely. Who doesn't address their friends by name? Most likely you don't address your Mother and Father by name, but everyone else, of course you do. Everyone does.

    Fact is. No amount of testing will resolve this debate. Anyone who tests this and believe they have accurate results, are fooling themselves. Unless the test is scientifically controlled, you will NOT be able to get accurate results. Too many variables. Even if the same opt in form, copy, freebie, and autoresponder sequence is used for the testing, the results are still not going to be accurate. That's a fact. Get over it.

    Personally, I respond better to a person who addresses me by name. So I have to assume others think like me too. Again though, it entirely depends on the quality of your content, prospects and how you use the person's name.

    There's no right or wrong answer to this question. Results are NOT determined by whether the recipients name is used, or not. Bad marketing will ultimately determine how unsuccessful a campaign will be.

    Most often it's the "marketer" on other "marketers" lists that have a problem with their name being used.
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    • Profile picture of the author shane_k
      Originally Posted by retsced View Post


      I also look at it as being another qualifier. If someone can't be bothered putting their name into an opt in form to get my freebie it's usually because they're not a super target prospect looking for what i have to offer.
      One of the thoughts that I have sometimes when I see people talk about having a name field or not, is if you are losing subscribers because of a name field, my opinion is that you have done something wrong before that.

      either you haven't hit their hot buttons with your ad copy and you don't have them salivating enough to get your freebie

      or you haven't built up the necessary trust that they should feel toward you

      I mean if a person doesn't trust you enough to give you their first name, then they are more than likely not going to trust you enough to buy from you.
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  • Profile picture of the author KBrown
    Declan O Flaherty has it right .... when your target is wide (like a solo ad) ... no name ... when your target is short (buying a higher end product)... a name is better. When I read am email from a marketer and my name is there I feel a bit more connected. If someone cant put a good name in the box you probly don't need them on a list.

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  • Profile picture of the author AmazingP
    It can be a waste of time to ask for name because most people don't like to give their name. Well, we can use the name to make the message more personalized but this benefit is overwhelmed by the fact that many don't want to give their names at all. :0
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  • Profile picture of the author QueenMelanie
    if you are trying to build a personal relationship with your list subscribers then include a name, but I think in most cases, people get annoyed at entering names, and thus always enter a fake name anyway. Well that's what I do at least!
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Originally Posted by QueenMelanie View Post

      if you are trying to build a personal relationship with your list subscribers then include a name, but I think in most cases, people get annoyed at entering names, and thus always enter a fake name anyway. Well that's what I do at least!
      Yes, and this to me is more annoying than anything. When you keep getting an email addressed to that fake name you put down.
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  • It depends on what you have built already with your traffic. If you just want a quick lead, email only, but if they already trust you, always go for the name.
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