21 replies
How many fields do you have on your opt-in box?

Is there just an email field?
#box #optin
  • Profile picture of the author gjohansson1
    I just collect email. I used to collect the name (and even phone when I did MLM), but I ended up getting a lot of fake names, so customizing emails wasn't a benefit. It's really up to preference, but the fewer fields generally means better initial conversions.

    On the flip side, those who are willing to fill out more fields tend to be a bit more serious about what it is you're offering. Again, I just collect emails and that works for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author brentb
    I only ask for email BUT I also use IP/Location services and save their City, State, Country, Zip Code, DMA.
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  • Profile picture of the author karolk
    Generally, the fewer the better.

    However, there are exceptions.

    For instance, if you want to get more personal with the subscriber in niches that have a kind of personal feel to them, you can go with even 4 or 5 fields.

    Just to give you a good example. For the home-schooling your kids niche, you could ask for the email, the name of the parent, the name of the kid, and even an additional open field asking "what's the biggest problem you're facing."

    This approach would make your form a lot more real.
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  • Profile picture of the author carcin0genic
    I always get a name... fake or not.

    People like hgearing others use their name, it creates familiarity and as we all know building relationships is KEY in this business.

    What better way to build that relationship than by using someone's name directly in conversation..

    If it's a fake name then they aren't truly serious anyway so what's the difference if you address them wrong..

    That's my take and hasn't done me wrong yet.

    -Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by carcin0genic View Post

      I always get a name... fake or not.

      People like hgearing others use their name, it creates familiarity and as we all know building relationships is KEY in this business.

      What better way to build that relationship than by using someone's name directly in conversation..

      If it's a fake name then they aren't truly serious anyway so what's the difference if you address them wrong..

      That's my take and hasn't done me wrong yet.

      -Mike
      Email only.

      What the person above stated may have been true 5 years ago when name personalization was a new thing.

      But tell me this. When you email your close family or friends, does your subject line look something like this... "Joe Smith, about tonight's dinner..."

      Hell no. So why if we are trying to make our emails personal would we make them feel so impersonal by adding people's names in them. I never do that with people I am close to so I am not about to do it with my subscribers.

      So only ever get their email. Names are no longer needed.
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  • Profile picture of the author jamescanz
    Yea just email, even on buyer optin

    It's always gotten me the most amount of optins
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    I only collect emails but a few years ago I also asked for their names. But, when you go into a book store and purchase a book do they ask for your name or just your email address?

    Every store that asked me for my email address never once asked for my first name.

    besides, when I used to collect first names as well I would see a ton of profanity in there. I guess they liked to be addressed in that manor but I figured if that was happening I'd just go with the email address.
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    • Profile picture of the author GlenH
      I ran tests over along period where I increased optins by 58% when the prospect only had to give their 'email' address only, over having to give both their 'name and 'email'

      But then I had an 87% increase in optins when there was NO optin required upfront at all
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    • Profile picture of the author thetacrm
      Originally Posted by Mike Hill View Post

      I only collect emails but a few years ago I also asked for their names. But, when you go into a book store and purchase a book do they ask for your name or just your email address?
      When you purchase a book... you are not any more a lead, rather a buyer. With email address, they can have you purchase more books, but you are so much qualified that it does not really matter what your name is. You know where is the bookstore and how to pay and where are the books. All they need to do is send you new offers. Complaint rate is going to be zero.

      When you however have a website where 10000 people signup per month, you are faced with various difficulties with those anonymous people, such as rejections, bounces, spam reports, complaints, even though they have subscribed. Having any name there boost your quality and personalization. If you have such a product that gives impression how name is important, such as prepaid card, people are much lesser entering wrong names, as they get impression that their name is much important in order to get a prepaid card. If they enter profanity, let it be. Don't argue about their names, you deal with mass of people.

      That is much different of a book buyer in a bookstore. The more anonymous people you deal with, the more spam complaints you face, even if they have subscribed. If you have name, you are a level higher. Especially if you actually have to follow-up personally on product sales. That is CRM = Customer Relationship Management.

      Introduce yourself, and ask them to introduce themselves. That is the basic of the nice begin of a relation. "Give me an email" is not, it is rather hidden intention, right? It is better to say "Hello, I am John. What's your name?" -- people like writing their names.

      You would certainly get more leads if you only ask for the email address. That is quite sure.

      But, more leads does not mean more quality list.

      The choice may very depending of the product type and your marketing preferences. We are choosing to get a full name each time in one field, and we parse the name in to 2 fields automatically.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michaelocity
    Depends on the Niche, but i either do First Name & Email or just Email...
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  • The biggest problem I see in this business, is when people focus on the numbers, instead of results. Personally, I couldn't care less how high the conversions are on my landing pages. The only thing I care about, are results.

    If a person enters in a fake name, or doesn't even bother signing up because you ask for their name, there are two reasons for that. 1) They're wasters who sign up to too many email lists, and therefore will most likely be a low quality lead anyway. 2) Your landing page doesn't give them enough confidence to believe you're worth listening to.

    The same goes for click through rates and open rates. They're pointless unless they lead to direct sales. I hear people saying "write for the click" but that's very misleading advice. Anyone can get a blind click on a banner, or a link. What matters are qualified clicks.

    Back to the name field: Used in the right way, a personalized email "on average" will produce better results than an unpersonalized email. Most people don't think logically. The point is to hit emotional hot buttons... and... since we get them emotionally engaged in the email, it just makes sense that using their name in the email (in the right place) can have a bigger impact on how they perceive the message.

    This doesn't mean that getting their name will get you better conversions on the back end. There are many things to consider. If you know how to write well, and engage your reader, you can easily get away with not using their name. Keep in mind that the offer and how it's positioned plays just as much of role in conversions as the message itself.

    Sales pages don't use the persons name and they can really get into the mind of the reader. So, many things to consider. Personally I use both types of forms. The one in my sig only asks for the email, but I also have other landing pages that ask for both name and email.

    We're not in a science lab, so opinions here are nothing more than that... opinions! Why not set up two separate lists. One asking for both name and email, and the other asking just for email. Send a couple of hundred people to both pages. Send each group the exact same 30 day sequence of emails, and track your sales. My opinion, is that in most cases, if the name is used in the right places inside the email, you will make you more sales. It has to be tested though.

    I do use my friends names when sending emails. Of course, it's used in a natural way because it's genuine. And that's the key point here when using a persons name inside an email. It must look genuine.

    This could, and will, be debated for many years. Truth is, there's no right answer. Your market, audience, offer, positioning, and who you are, all play their roles on conversions. Again, we're not in a science lab, so my results will be very different than yours.

    Opinions Opinions Opinions. They're worthless until you can prove them true or false in your marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by Declan O Flaherty View Post

      The biggest problem I see in this business, is when people focus on the numbers, instead of results. Personally, I couldn't care less how high the conversions are on my landing pages. The only thing I care about, are results.

      If a person enters in a fake name, or doesn't even bother signing up because you ask for their name, there are two reasons for that. 1) They're wasters who sign up to too many email lists, and therefore will most likely be a low quality lead anyway. 2) Your landing page doesn't give them enough confidence to believe you're worth listening to.

      The same goes for click through rates and open rates. They're pointless unless they lead to direct sales. I hear people saying "write for the click" but that's very misleading advice. Anyone can get a blind click on a banner, or a link. What matters are qualified clicks.

      Back to the name field: Used in the right way, a personalized email "on average" will produce better results than an unpersonalized email. Most people don't think logically. The point is to hit emotional hot buttons... and... since we get them emotionally engaged in the email, it just makes sense that using their name in the email (in the right place) can have a bigger impact on how they perceive the message.

      This doesn't mean that getting their name will get you better conversions on the back end. There are many things to consider. If you know how to write well, and engage your reader, you can easily get away with not using their name. Keep in mind that the offer and how it's positioned plays just as much of role in conversions as the message itself.

      Sales pages don't use the persons name and they can really get into the mind of the reader. So, many things to consider. Personally I use both types of forms. The one in my sig only asks for the email, but I also have other landing pages that ask for both name and email.

      We're not in a science lab, so opinions here are nothing more than that... opinions! Why not set up two separate lists. One asking for both name and email, and the other asking just for email. Send a couple of hundred people to both pages. Send each group the exact same 30 day sequence of emails, and track your sales. My opinion, is that in most cases, if the name is used in the right places inside the email, you will make you more sales. It has to be tested though.

      I do use my friends names when sending emails. Of course, it's used in a natural way because it's genuine. And that's the key point here when using a persons name inside an email. It must look genuine.

      This could, and will, be debated for many years. Truth is, there's no right answer. Your market, audience, offer, positioning, and who you are, all play their roles on conversions. Again, we're not in a science lab, so my results will be very different than yours.

      Opinions Opinions Opinions. They're worthless until you can prove them true or false in your marketing.
      My opinion is based on results.

      I get a higher ROI when I dropped the name field because my optin rate was higher and my emails open rates did not suffer.

      But as you said, people need to test it in their own markets.

      ROI is the only figure that matters at the end of the day.
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  • Profile picture of the author solution4u
    I agree with Declan and Karol.

    It definitely depends on your intended audience - or, in the usual parlance, your niche.

    It also depends on the purpose of the opt in.

    There are definitely niches, especially those where intended subscribers are likely to subscribe to a lot of lists, where just an email field is best.

    But I'm in a niche ("hobby" type) where many of my readers, including the new ones, still love to be addressed by their first name.

    And I also have a client in a local market, where we have 8 fields on the opt in. Granted, the main purpose is one sell, and the subscribers are only interested in that one sell, but it goes to show that there is no "one size fits all".
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  • I have switched to email only a few years ago.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    I tried both and to tell you the truth, you will probably get the same results.

    If you are planning on a long term relationship with your subscribers, I would collect their name too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ledux
    I don't really find a logical connection how getting the name helps build a relationship...

    When you get an email and it mentions your name, but you don't recognize the person it already seems suspicious.

    They know your name, but you don't really know them... strange... oh yeah I filled it in the form.

    So, yeah I don't ask for names.
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    • Profile picture of the author Darren Dillman
      I use name and email for the plain fact that when I am the one receiving the email I prefer to be "talked to" rather than be "talked at".

      The name makes it more personal so that's what I go with..
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    People like hearing others use their name, it creates familiarity and as we all know building relationships is KEY in this business.
    On the other hand it can comes across very sales-like. As if you're a sales man always using their name and trying to be familiar and friendly with them even though you don't know them personally.

    I just ask for email.

    Have tested it in the past and asking for name didn't result in higher open / clicks / conversions or more money being made so just email it is.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marco Moeschter
    I used to use both email and name in my optin forms but switched completely to asking just for the mail. I haven't split tested it but it seems that it's just easier for the subscribers to optin to a list that way.
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    • Profile picture of the author Stephen Williams
      Just capture the name.

      Don't capture the email.

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      Right To The Point

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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Originally Posted by thetacrm View Post

        more leads does not mean more quality list.
        This ^

        My marketing objective has always been to quickly screen for buyers only and build responsive lists. This takes at least three fields in the opt-in form; name, email, receipt/transaction#, and optional fields such as phone number and mailing address. Admittedly, much smaller lists are the result, but leads are more tightly qualified for receiving additional promotions.

        In my experience, compelling copy and preselling technique coupled with an effective funnel system can eliminate much of the backend filtering and low conversion rate (ie sales) typical of lean content squeeze pages. And IMO (based on extensive split testing and ROI results for my niches) the painstaking method of building a "relationship" with subscribers before selling to them is a needlessly long process.

        Rather than putting subscribers through tortuous warm fuzzies (which can be more annoying than you realize) before promoting your offer, consider establishing relationships faster through a series of satisfactory transactions combined with quality content, beginning initially as a simple nominal purchase. Particularly with "freebie" incentives, the apparent higher opt-in rates from minimal screening seldom correlates well with sales conversion ratios.
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