Landing Pages - Should I Capture Only Email or Name + Email?

42 replies
I'm wondering what marketers are capturing these days on e-mail capture pages, just an e-mail address or first name also?

I know if I ask for name, the conversion rate will go down, but I'll also be able to marketing more effectively and build a better relationship with my list.

I know it comes down to testing, but what has your experience been with capturing only e-mail vs name + e-mail?
#capture #email #landing #pages
  • Profile picture of the author AllanJames
    Originally Posted by sixbladeknife View Post

    I'm wondering what marketers are capturing these days on e-mail capture pages, just an e-mail address or first name also?

    I know if I ask for name, the conversion rate will go down, but I'll also be able to marketing more effectively and build a better relationship with my list.

    I know it comes down to testing, but what has your experience been with capturing only e-mail vs name + e-mail?
    I'm not sure if I agree about this (above). I've used single for 5 years of my seven online and never had a problem by just getting email addresses only. I just carefully build the relationship after they optin - and they buy from me quite happily

    Comparative tests single V double have shown about 30% more optins with single and no apparent substantual drop in $'s spent per subscriber.

    Much more important
    is the ongoing drop in email open rates due to them getting caught in spam traps, or just smothered in the volume of email people get and that's why I've incorporated mobile/sms into my strategies.
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  • Profile picture of the author DBMEDIALLC
    If you capture the name, you can work that into your emails possibly, but it's not really going to personalize it towards them, it will probably just sound like spam.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hi SB,

    I would take fear out of the equation. If you believe in your offering and feel it is valuable then people will believe in it too and volunteer their name and email.

    When you have names you can develop more intimate relationships which of course are more prospering.

    If somebody does not want to include their name they are a poor match for my team. Have posture! You do the choosing, or selecting, because what you have to offer is so powerful and life-changing.

    Hope this helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author malcsimm
    Originally Posted by sixbladeknife View Post

    I'm wondering what marketers are capturing these days on e-mail capture pages, just an e-mail address or first name also?

    I know if I ask for name, the conversion rate will go down, but I'll also be able to marketing more effectively and build a better relationship with my list.

    I know it comes down to testing, but what has your experience been with capturing only e-mail vs name + e-mail?
    You have to get more signups if they have to give less information, mate. So just email will always out pull email plus other information.

    A neat twist is to have a two-step signup form. On the first step you just ask for email - then you've got it. Then you send them to a second form where you ask for additional information. If they refuse - you've still got the email address.

    Suite, eh?

    Lead Pages lets you do this easily - I suggest you check it out!

    I agree that it's nice to have a person's name so you know who you are talking to. But I'd say it's definitely going to make you less money. When I streamline the signup forms on my website I will be email only, and probably two-step.

    Malc
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  • Profile picture of the author Maria Jimenez
    If your goal is to have more opt-ins, maybe asking for the email only is a good choice but I beleive for a long term relationship you should ask for their names and emails ..
    My advice is if Frank kern and some top marketers are using this structure in their squeeze pages why the hell I'll invent the wheels .
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    • Profile picture of the author magneticweb
      I think people are far more inclined to respond to your message when they see their own name. This means a greater proportion of your list will visit the page you want them to visit, or do whatever you want them to do. Plus, you can start the heading with their first name and make it much more personal and less like a naked sales pitch.

      Of course there will be fewer on your list than if you asked for email address only, but you have to weigh up whether that disadvantage is worth it overall.
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  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    Like you said, just email will result in a higher conversion rate but it depends what your purpose is... If you are just generating leads for a low price or mid ticket offer I would go with just email, but if you are generating leads for a higher priced coaching program then maybe you would want to add the name field as well...

    Really it depends on your purpose.
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  • Profile picture of the author Phillip McGough
    Agreed, asking for the email only will get you higher conversion rates, some people use fake names when asked for their name anyways. All depends on the purpose.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aehs01
    I usually just ask for the email, I title my emails with "Hey Friend" or "Hey Guys" so there is no need for a name when sending emails.
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  • Profile picture of the author RuthStewart
    You might want to try some split testing to see which works best for you, names and emails or just emails.

    I think it might depend on the niche and how you approach email marketing.

    I think everyone is going to have a different opinion on this, and the only way to know for sure is to split test your landing page.

    You can check out YouTube for videos on how to do split testing, it is not that difficult though.

    Best wishes,

    Ruth
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  • Profile picture of the author kevin timothy
    My opinion on this is to ask for whatever information you choose.
    If what you're offering is of great value then the prospects you
    want to attract will submit the information if they want it.

    If they don't want your offer then you move on. You generate
    enough targeted traffic and you'll get the leads you deserve.
    Sure you want a higher opt in rate, but what about those
    that provided name AND email that still aren't responsive?
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  • Profile picture of the author JakeRhodes
    I go just for getting the email address. You get more sign-ups that way and people are getting savvy to having their names essentially copy & pasted into an email.

    A simple greeting of "Hello", "Hello friend", or "Have I got something to tell you!" works very well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    I use name and email. You may be able to get more optins from email only. But if someone is ready to 'buy' (and most buyers are ready to buy even before they hit your site), it doesn't matter how many fields they have to fill out.

    More fields can mean a more 'serious' lead.

    Email field alone may get more sign ups but that doesn't mean more sales.

    But more optins daily that you do get, the better you feel
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan Thomas
    Think of it this way...if they're not willing to give you their name, will they be willing to give you their credit card number?

    That's vastly oversimplified, but something to think about. Using names in emails generally improved conversions when people first started doing it, but now plenty of people do it so it probably doesn't make much difference...that being said, I haven't split tested it in a few years. A good writer can make the reader feel like you're talking directly to them rather than to a list, even without using the name.
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  • Profile picture of the author Coby
    lol. I love when this debate comes up, which is does often...

    First - you should likely disregard about 95% of the posts in this thread as 99% of marketers never actually test this and just make assumptions and/or rehash hearsay.

    I, like any serious marketer, tested this extensively for 6 months.

    My results were that I got as much as a 13% increase in optins... And in reality, the more prospects you have the move opportunities you have to make sales. Just consider if you have 10,000 people on your list you have a higher chance of making more sales than if you only had 6,000 people simply because there are an additional 4,000 people that "could" purchase something (or take whatever action you want them to take).

    Also, depending on your niche - asking for and using the first name can actually do more harm. I mean, think about it for a minute... Let's say you are in the Internet Marketing niche - do you really think that most of your prospects aren't already "hip" to autoresponders and realize the personalization is a fake. This leads you to sounding like an "insurance salesman" and not like a friend...

    When you send emails to your friend or family do you go out of your way to use their names in your emails? I know I don't, nor do any of my friends that email me.

    Also, take in to consideration the negative affect that a "fake" name such as "butt-head" or "spammer" will do to the person reading the email.

    However, I also recommend you don't say things like "Hey friend" or "Hey everyone" in your emails. I would instead recommend you just start right into the email - minus a "hey". Remember that when you write your emails you should write them to "one" person. So use words like "you" instead of "y'all".

    I don't even bother asking for a first name when they optin to a buyers list...

    Does this effect the relationship? Absolutely not - I mean - use some common sense for a minute... Do you really think that by saying "Hey George" at the beginning of the email will build trust? Have you every bought a product from someone because they used your first name? Personally I get a little creeped out when I see folks using my name in emails as I know they don't "know" me and that they didn't write the email specifically to me.

    The way you build a relationship with your list is by providing value to them and by standing apart from the other marketers.

    The "first name" in email strategy might have been a good idea 10 years ago when "email marketing" was in it's infancy and people weren't used to getting marketing emails. But today, even folks that aren't "techy" realize that most folks use a software of some sort to deliver the emails and they aren't necessarily written just to them.

    But, the only way to find out what works best in your business is to test it. Do like I did and create two lists that are exactly the same, one you ask for name + email and one you ask for name only. I think you will be pleased at how "wrong" most people get this.

    I'm sure some other experienced marketers will jump in and confirm the same thing.

    Just my 2 cents. Good luck.

    Cheers,
    Coby
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    • Profile picture of the author Adam Short
      I've always used name and email with good results. I believe the personalization you use to communicate with your list is valuable enough to include the name field on your optins.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    I asked for email only and got a 6% opt in.

    Then I asked for:

    1. name
    2. dob
    3. tel#
    4. addr
    5. email

    I got only a 1% opt in.
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    • Profile picture of the author AllanJames
      Originally Posted by seobro View Post

      I asked for email only and got a 6% opt in.

      Then I asked for:

      1. name
      2. dob
      3. tel#
      4. addr
      5. email

      I got only a 1% opt in.
      Well Coby's and my posts should have proven that you are on the right track - but your optin conversion is awful. You should be aiming for 40% plus.

      Seems to me your capture page is rubbish, or your traffic source is rubbish. Or both of course.

      What were you promoting, and were were you getting your traffic from?
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      My traffic is highly targeted, so I always ask for name, email, telephone, and other contact info and sometimes more personal data. However, the additional fields are optional, so it does not restrict opting in. Most autoresponders have a default replacement feature for a blank name field such as "Friend", etc.

      What I have experienced is much higher open rates and consistently higher conversion rates from subscribers who completely fill in multiple-field forms as compared to those who provide email only. This method perhaps will not be effective for relatively untargeted traffic or lean landing pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
    Just to add to this conversation - here's something we'll be implementing soon.

    Previously, we've had both email-only and first/last/email subscription boxes on our site. We'll be switching to email only on all of our opt-in boxes in the near future, but here's the catch.

    We'll send each and every new subscriber to another page where we ask for First/Last and have them choose their interests. Based on their selections, they'll get a different email sequence depending on what they're looking for. (Site builders, buyers, sellers, etc.)

    If they don't fill in that information on the page, they'll get a "No Sequence" auto-responder which prompts them several times over a few weeks to make their decision on the type of content they want to hear.
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    • Profile picture of the author AllanJames
      Originally Posted by seobro View Post

      I asked for email only and got a 6% opt in.

      Then I asked for:

      1. name
      2. dob
      3. tel#
      4. addr
      5. email

      I got only a 1% opt in.
      Originally Posted by TryBPO View Post

      Just to add to this conversation - here's something we'll be implementing soon.

      Previously, we've had both email-only and first/last/email subscription boxes on our site. We'll be switching to email only on all of our opt-in boxes in the near future, but here's the catch.

      We'll send each and every new subscriber to another page where we ask for First/Last and have them choose their interests. Based on their selections, they'll get a different email sequence depending on what they're looking for. (Site builders, buyers, sellers, etc.)

      If they don't fill in that information on the page, they'll get a "No Sequence" auto-responder which prompts them several times over a few weeks to make their decision on the type of content they want to hear.
      Very sophisticate but probably not something people who are making less than $1000 a month (as applies to 97% online) can put into action.

      Then the problem with email still remains - and that problem (and it's huge!) is that an increasingly high number of people don't even read your email!

      Recent surveys show that an average of 20% of your hard earned (and costly) optins are not even opening your emails! This, extensive, blog post shows why that is. >> Email Versus SMS Marketing. Which will be most effective in 2014?
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  • Profile picture of the author moneyt
    name are email but the most important thing is that if you are going to be a email marketer you have to follow up with your list to build that connection so that they will build that confidence in you at all times
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  • Profile picture of the author Luminaryvisions
    It's really quite simple, for higher conversions simplicity is better... Putting an email simplifies the situation. Allan brings up a Valid point. Email marketing is going extinct,SMS will be become more effective as time goes on.
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  • Profile picture of the author samellis
    I personally only get the email on my capture page, the reason for this is because the optin ratio is a lot higher with just a single optin.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I always ask for name also. It's a personal thing for my particular site... never made a sale with just email only. I may do a more "exhaustive" test on it though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Trey Morgan
    I only go for the email. I know when I used to sign up to email lists I used to put a fake name, so I figure most people will do that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dream8
    depending on what you will be selling or promoting, email is best (more optins)
    if you really want name also, so could have 2nd screen saying... "congrats... to get X as a bonus just give us a little more info"
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  • Profile picture of the author johnpriceonline
    I've never had an issue with just collecting the email address. I tried to collect name and email on our site and I say a 15% drop in emails being collected. Our method for collecting emails is a pop-up / takeover after they're on the site for about 15 seconds. I don't use their first name in their email and I'm still getting a 35% open rate on average.
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  • Profile picture of the author larry50
    People buy from those they know like and trust. Getting more names does not help you, if people don't know like and trust you. If the people have been properly conditioned then getting names should be easy and another indication they know like and trust you.

    Building trust in most niches will be easier, if you use their name, even if it is a mail merge it still shows you care.
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    • Profile picture of the author Coby
      Originally Posted by larry50 View Post

      People buy from those they know like and trust. Getting more names does not help you, if people don't know like and trust you. If the people have been properly conditioned then getting names should be easy and another indication they know like and trust you.

      Building trust in most niches will be easier, if you use their name, even if it is a mail merge it still shows you care.
      I disagree with this...

      My dad cares about me but he doesn't use my name in any emails that he sends to me (nor does my mom or any of my 6 siblings or my friends either)...

      Also, if you think using a name when you send emails is all you need to do to get your prospects to "know, like and trust you" then you are being a little naive.

      Do some testing - my 6 months of testing showed that I would get more optins and sales throughout my entire funnel by only asking for their email address at optin. But then again this is only true in my business. Only way to know what works best in your business/niche is to test it.

      Good luck.

      Cheers,
      Coby
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg Ray
    I find optin rates for just email are consistently higher than those where I ask for both name and email. However, I find sales long-term are higher to those where I have a name.

    Communication just seems more natural with a name, and long-term (for most audiences) the personal touch matters. Some here have mentioned that how autoresponders work is common knowledge - but if you are marketing to either beginning marketers or especially to those outside the IM space, I find that autoresponders are still a mystery to folks - and the personalization helps.

    I get reply emails every week from people who felt a personal connection through an email communication that I wrote months or years ago that they just received in their sequence.

    So...

    If you have a short-term mission, just email is the way to go.

    If you are building a long-term business, at least First Name and email is more appropriate.
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  • Profile picture of the author dengkane
    I use e-mail address only, and it is more effective than both name and e-mail.

    We should try to make it easy to subscribe, any additional work may result leaving immediately.
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  • Profile picture of the author kofys2011
    See It totally depends on your requirements. Its always good and advisable to ask both the things. And always believe in what you are offering , if you do, then you won't get any 2nd thoughts.
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    • Profile picture of the author PaulSolid
      Banned
      I have done both and their results varis. For only emails you will get more opt in than name and email request. Although i prefer using only emails. for is not that common, i believe you can build relationship with the list even if you have their emails only.
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  • Profile picture of the author brutecky
    I just capture Email most of the time, and when I write my emails I simply start them with "Hey everyone, Brett here:" I also write the emails as if I was addressing a crowd. I believe that people know that there names are auto inserted into the email anyway and it makes no sense trying to fool them into believing that your writing one just for them. Better to have them in the mind set that by being on my list they are in a 'exclusive group'.
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  • Profile picture of the author sixbladeknife
    Thanks all. This is great information. I will definitely stick to e-mail only for our initial landing page, but I appreciate all the opinions.

    Might test for name in the future since our target marketing is a little less tech savvy in general. Might be able to fool them into thinking the e-mails are personal ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Anton
    When I get emails from the top names in Internet Marketing such as Jonathan Leger it usually contains my name.

    "hi, Matthew" will get my attention even though I understand it's a template email more so than "hello there". People like their names, so why not incorporate it into your optins.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan Thomas
    Split testing the opt-in rate doesn't show the whole picture...yes, you get more opt-ins with email only, but if you then compare link click rates in emails with name versus those without, sometimes you get higher click rates when you do use the name. Then it's a matter of determining if that higher click rate outweighs to lower opt-in rate. If it does, you might be better off with fewer subscribers. You could even take it further to test conversions from subscriber to buyer, but I've never gotten that detailed with my testing.

    I don't think using the name has much to do with creating a relationship with your subscriber. I've never seen much of an increase in click rate by using the name at the beginning, as in "Hi [NAME]," but I have seen significant increases by using the name within a block of text toward the end of the email, probably because people just skim emails and they're about to delete when their name pops out at them. So it isn't about creating a relationship, but just catching their attention.

    That being said, when I have tested it in the past, the increased click rate was usually not enough to outweigh the lower opt-in rate...so email only for me unless I test it again and find differently. Good copy can do more than using the subscriber's name.
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    • Profile picture of the author Coby
      Originally Posted by Ryan Thomas View Post

      Split testing the opt-in rate doesn't show the whole picture...yes, you get more opt-ins with email only...
      That's why you test the WHOLE funnel and not just the opt-in rate... So that you DO get the whole picture.

      For example, I tested this for 6 months. I knew that I would get more optins by only asking for the email address. But I wanted to test the affect of using (or not using) the name tag to "personalize" the emails...

      I built two emails lists that were exactly the same - same squeeze page, same follow up sequence, etc.

      For me, it was very clear within about 2 months which was the better option for my business....

      Now I don't even ask for the first name when they join my buyers list. Yet I'm still known in list building circles as having one of the most responsive lists...

      So, remember - testing is more than just split testing to see which option gives your more optins. You also need to test through the whole funnel, track the opens, clicks and sales.

      Cheers,
      Coby
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  • Profile picture of the author Lightlysalted
    I think the option for a name is quite important. It adds a personal touch to list building.
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  • Profile picture of the author Luke Corden
    Great thread everyone. Really interesting read. My opinion changed about 4 times reading through the thread which goes to show that testing is the only real way to determine the best answer for you. If I had to venture a guess though I'd say just and email address is the smartest way in. From there you can build the relationship. A killer subject line should therefore be more important the a {first name fix}
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Trujillo
    I noticed my conversions are higher with just email, when you start asking for more than one thing that lowers your conversions. I personally like to keep it simple and cut to the chase. When I opt into other peoples pages, I don't want to enter anything BUT my email.
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