This topic is something I see too often and have never addressed before. So, here it goes. It’s about the opt-in process and how much information you should ask for. So many people overlook this process and as a result the impact is a massive lost opportunity to consistently build their list.
In this article I share some of the reasons why determining the exact “sweet spot” of information to ask for from new subscribers will ultimately impact the size and quality of your list.
It boils down to this: the more information you ask for, the less number of people will opt-in. Yes, that is the formula. Ask for the farm and you’ll get squat. Ask for basically the least amount of information (email only) and you’ll be treating more people on your list like a number – not a person. That’s not very authentic.
So, how do you balance authenticity with quantity when it comes to the opt-in process? Let’s look at different options of what to ask for and review each.
No personalization at all means your ability to reference even a first name in your email marketing is non-existent. I personally don’t love this approach at all based on this fact alone. I do get a lot of emails from people in the Internet Marketing niche that don’t use first name or personalization and I do feel it’s somewhat inauthentic. But, you’re only asking for email so you don’t have to worry about asking for too much and thinking people won’t opt-in as a result.
Name and Email
This is the most popular combination to ask for since it allows you to personalize your email marketing AND you’re not asking for anything else during the opt-in process. It’s clean and simple. But, please be sure to use the name in the email marketing and reference it in the actual email body to make it even more personalized and conversation-like.
Name; Phone Number and Email
This is where asking for too much information starts to impact your ability to consistently build your list. For example – asking for a phone number raises a red flag that translates to you calling me and trying to sell me something. Why else would you be asking for my phone number? I’ve not even subscribed or received your IFO yet and you’re asking for my phone number? A lot of people use this as an approach to build phone numbers for prospects to call about selling a product or program – but I’m sure as a result it will significantly impact their ability to build their list first. You’ve got to build the list and build the trust before you try to sell something.
Name; Phone Number; Physical Address and Email
You need to think strategy if you’re asking for their address. If you’re not doing any sort of direct mail marketing (like postcard or letters in the mail) than I don’t see why you’d need to ask for all of their shipping information. If your IFO is a physical item like a free audio CD – than of course it makes sense. But filling out all those address fields takes a long time for people and as a result – less number of people will take the time to do it and as a result not opt into your list. If you’re asking for their address, do your prospect a favor and spend 30 minutes to build the web form for state and country logic so the user will choose from a pre-defined list – not some free form text field where they can incorrectly type the state or country information and make it impossible to ever send them something.
Name; Phone Number; Physical Address; Personal Information and Email
By personal information here I mean other subscriber info that may well be extremely helpful and knowledgeable to have – but will massively impact your ability to consistently build your list. I once had a 6-question survey presented to me during the opt-in process BEFORE I even opted into a list and I ended up not bothering at all. And, I was pretty motivated to subscribe – but based on all this other information they were asking for – it became too much. Questions like what industry I’m in or what business I’m in or how many years I’ve been in business, etc. I mean this is not ALL about you – it has to be about ME. Trick: send a follow up email or survey AFTER someone has subscribed and you can ask some of these questions. But, don’t bang them over the head before they even have opted in.
So, let the balance for you be what you think is best. There is no magic formula here. Personally, I like name and email to start and then follow up by asking for the other information (phone, address, survey questions) only when I have a DIRECT purpose for using that information. I would never ask for all of this beforehand. Think about what you are willing to provide when you opt-in and use that as a rule of thumb for your own list. Again, we are often times our best case study as a prospect for our own niche or market.
Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!