15

I want to make a newsletter dialog for my website. Currently the form is including "Name" Field. I think it would be better to leave this off, and make the form with the email field and subscribe button. It seems the name field is not really important.

Should I remove "Name" field in my newsletter sign up form, or keep it?

  • 7
    Have you considered making it optional? – Dmitry Grigoryev Dec 19 '16 at 14:22
  • @DmitryGrigoryev I think I will go with just an email field, because of the newsletter actually only send an image of a promotion without addressing the customer name. – Rob H. Yamin Dec 19 '16 at 14:38
  • IMO you should remove it. While personalized e-mails may improve response rates, the mandatory aspect of the field would probably offset that (I can't answer for myself as I never ever sign up to any newsletter). If you can get the name by other means (let's say the user already has an account with you) then use that but otherwise keep it as simple as possible. – André Borie Dec 20 '16 at 10:31
  • 1
    Remember than in some jurisdictions processing emails only is less restricted than processing personal information with names. – Mołot Dec 20 '16 at 11:46
  • 1
    In addition to what @Mołot says, in some juristictions it may be illegal to even collect information that is not strictly necessary. – I'm with Monica Dec 20 '16 at 15:32
15

To personalize email or not?

Well, there is a lot of controversy around this question. Here is some list of studies:

Advantages:

Studies (Heerwegh et al. 2006, Experian study, 2013 ) on the topic suggest that personalizing an email results in higher response rates ( around 5-10% ). There are numerous studies on the topic - search for Email personalization studies.

Here's a quick summary of the Experian study:

  • Personalized emails generated six times higher transaction rates and revenue per email compared to emails that were not personalized.

  • Personalized promotional emails had 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates.

  • Similarly, personalized triggered emails had 25% higher unique open rates and 51% higher unique click rates.

  • Personalized triggered email campaigns demonstrated more than two times the transaction rates of campaigns that were not personalized.

  • Emails with personalized subject lines from multichannel retailers had 37% higher unique open rates compared to emails without
    personalized subject lines.

Disadvantages

Inputting the name lowers the subscription rates

Additional input field should be presented in the subscription form to obtain the name of the subscriber. But we know that the more fields that need to be filled the less the conversion rate is going to be. Therefore, to obtain the name of the subscriber comes with a price - slightly lower conversion rate. This leads to fewer people subscribing because of the more complex form.

Users sometimes put false names just to complete the form

Imagine that you send an email with the following greeting:

Hello Dawdasda,

Privacy issues

Some users might not want to share personal information like name. Therefore this field should be optional.

Solution

The best thing to do is to make an A/B test. Put one form which asks for the name and one which doesn't. Put 50% of the traffic to the first variation and 50% to the second. Try to track everything you can, like click through rates, conversion rate, etc. The see which of those two variants gets you the most revenue. This way you will have objective data to base your decision.

I advise you to design an A/B test because your case is unique and different to the studies outlined above. So you cannot take their data and expect it to work for you. Rely on your data.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    Yeah i think about false names too..i will try to make an A/B test about this problem, thank you for the answer! – Rob H. Yamin Dec 19 '16 at 16:45
  • 3
    You give the percentage for benifits, but no num ers for disadvantages. So it leaves me wondering the overall magnitude of the effect, not just whether the pros dominate the lower signup rate. There might also be correlation, where people who are willing to give the name are more likely to buy, so the people who didn’t sign up (by asking for name) wouldn’t be buying anyway. – JDługosz Dec 19 '16 at 18:33
  • 2
    This is also highly culturally specific. Whenever i read a mail that starts with a greeting involving my name i know instantly it is spam and stop interacting further. Especially if it includes any honorific title. – joojaa Dec 20 '16 at 8:15
9

There are two experiences here to keep in mind: subscribing and receiving the email. If there is no need to address the subscriber with his name (eg: Thanks for your subscription Robert, Hello Robert, etc), you could get rid of the name field. I would base the decision on the tone of voice of the brand: is it personal or not.

|improve this answer|||||
  • The issue I see with that method, is that it's very possible that you are not using names today, because with the technology you are (initially) using to send the emails out, you are not able personalize the emails with the name of the email recipient. But, later, you find it is a good idea, and you use a different method to send the emails that do allow personalization. Now, you have all old subscribers receiving emails addressed as: "Dear [NULL]", or "Dear ?no-name?, or "Dear $Friend$". ---> – Kevin Fegan Dec 19 '16 at 21:45
  • <-- The advice should be 1) If you will never want to address the person by their name, vs 2) You now, or may sometime in the future want to address the person by their name. It may be simply a matter that it's better to have the person's name in your database and never use it, than to need the person's name in your database, and not have it. – Kevin Fegan Dec 19 '16 at 21:47
5

Just require the minimum information you need from the user.

  • Any extra interaction the user needs to do will probably make some users go away.

  • The more private information you request the more users might go away.

Also, in some countries there are certain regulations for personal information you might retrieve from users such as names. Be sure to check if this applies in your case.


Side note: As @DmitryGrigoryev comments, an option could be making it optional. This might be interesting because it gives extra information such as users that are alright giving their names. This might imply those users feel more interest and confidence in the product.

|improve this answer|||||
3

i think taking email will be good if you just want user to stay updated with your newsletters. User don't actually subscribe if there are lots of fields in a form. So it would be best if you just take email at first instance.

|improve this answer|||||
1

As a subscriber, I feel identifying me by e-mail is problematic, as my addresses are plentiful and sometimes transitory. Do you need to avoid (or explicitly allow) sending the same subscriber the same newsletter twice (to two different e-mails), or ever need to change a subscriber's e-mail?

I feel a UserName field is not burdensome, nor horribly invasive, while FirstName/LastName is often too much information. I would conjecture that most subscribers have a favorite username that is relatively unique and they feel comfortable sharing and being identified as.

If one address = one user, without regards to actual person behind the e-mail, leave it out.

 -Skinkhunt43
|improve this answer|||||
1

Why?

Another question could be: Why are you asking for this information? What you plan on doing with it?

If it's for personalization purposes, Kristiyan Lukanov has recommended some great studies. I'd like to point to this article on the Litmus blog:

Email Personalization is About So Much More Than Your [First_Name], by Josh Bonini

Email recipients know, by now, that we can drop a FirstName token and pretend we know them. They expect so much more.

What do you really know about them? What are their purchasing habits? What kind of content do they like/read/share, etc.? And how can you use what you know about them to provide some value in return. How can this data help them?

Ask for the minimum. Plan for more later.

It has been said here, and in many other places, that the least amount of info you ask up front, the better your subscription forms will convert.

Cool but what if you need more info? Consider Progressive Profiling and create strategic opportunities to collect more information as you develop a relationship with your subscribers.

|improve this answer|||||
1

We can keep name field as optional. Without entering his/her name due to privacy issue user can still subscribe to newsletter.

|improve this answer|||||
0

It Depends!

It Depends on your brand, How your organization want to address your customers, is the newsletter going to be a personalized one say 'Hi John' or 'Hi There'. At times we no need to reinvent the wheel - follow industry standards, but if the issue is quiet specific, You need to A/B test it and see the results and action accordingly.

And most importantly, take the information which is required, if you are not going to address your customers by their names, then do not collect the information.

|improve this answer|||||

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.