How Much Is Too Much?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The more information you request at newsletter signup, the fewer people who will follow through and subscribe.

Unfortunately, it turns out that I’m wrong.

For the past 30 days, and using a service called Leadpages (affiliate link), I’ve been experimenting with two nearly identical versions of my newsletter sign up box.

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One (Original), asks only for email address (you can see it here).

The other (Variation 1), asks for email address, first name and last name (see it here). It also asks: “How did you learn of this newsletter?”

You can see the results, side by side, below:

Nearly identical.

Frankly, I’m pleasantly surprised to see these results. I like asking for a name because it makes it easier to understand tracking reports at a glance (without a name, I need to try and decipher email addresses).

And I like asking “How did you learn of this newsletter?”, because it gives me a sense of which people, web sites and miscellaneous sources are sending prospective subscribers my way (short answer: it’s a little bit of everything with the occasional big hit).

Note, by the way, that regardless of which approach I use, only the email address is required; subscribers are free to not fill in the other boxes. I’m confident that if I required more information, there would definitely be a drop off in sign ups.

Of course, I’ve been wrong before.

 

Waiter or Doctor … Which One Are You?

I had dinner this past Monday night with my old college friend, Rob. Rob lives in Vancouver and I live in Boston, so it doesn’t happen very often. In fact, it’s been 15 years since we’d last seen each other. Fortunately, and as is often the case with people who’ve seen you drunk, high, naked and stupid (usually not all at once), it didn’t take long to get reacquainted. Rob had asked me to pick a restaurant downtown and I […] Click to read more…

 

Good Enough Is Good Enough

Have you been to Charleston, South Carolina? My wife Linda and I were there just last week, in celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary (I know, I don’t know how she’s lasted this long either). It’s a beautiful place and we had a terrific time eating, drinking, biking, strolling, kayaking, beaching and more. We even took one of those 90-minute horse-drawn carriage tours where they tell you interesting local facts, such as, “The salamander is the official state amphibian” and, […] Click to read more…

 

Care To Make It Interesting?

You’ll be pleased to know that in just a few short weeks, my son Evan will graduate from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee (school motto: We’ve never heard of you either). In addition to his academic work, key accomplishments include fronting a (now defunct) band, co-founding a nonprofit newspaper for the homeless and launching a (recently venture-funded) business. He’s had a great run and, needless to say, we are quite proud. But I have to tell you, the one thing […] Click to read more…

 

In The Mood

I’m no historian, but apparently it was painter, Chuck Close, who famously said, “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.” I think that’s a valid point, particularly if you do the kind of artistic work where “waiting for inspiration” can turn into an excuse for not producing anything at all. For those of us, on the other hand, who create “business content” – content that we need to promote ourselves as solo […] Click to read more…