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How to Avoid TMI in Email: When Less Is More

by Josh Nason  |  
July 29, 2008
  |  6,931 views

You have them dead in your sights. They're eager to sign up for your email list. (Yeah, they actually want to get information from you!) The user is on your site and that all-important Subscribe click is made. You are seconds away from having another prospect to market to, and then... they stop.

They go away, never to return because they were turned off. Why? What happened?

It's an ill that has plagued marketers for years. Heck, even I had it in my former life as a sports marketer. It's called TMI-tis, short for Too Much Information-itis. You're not alone, however, so don't fear. Read on for help in curing your email marketing ills.

It starts simply. You're setting up fields for your email signup form and instead of grabbing just the basics for information, you start to wander. What if I got all the information I want up front? That would save me so much time! Who cares about emailing them at that point? I'll have it all! Bwahahahaha!

So then it begins: name, address, home number, work number, mobile number, bag phone number, AOL IM, Yahoo IM, favorite band, favorite station, favorite team. Sure, you don't make it required that all the fields are filled in, but while they're there why not offer it, right?


All they wanted was to supply you with was an email address, but instead the end users are looking at a form worthy of governmental consideration.

Eventually, the process you create gets so bad that the person attempting to sign up can't even find where to enter in an email address, which was the only reason they clicked to begin with. They get frustrated, the browser window closes, and within seconds you've lost a potential addition to your list because you came down with TMI-tis: You got greedy.

Let's get to the root of what you're trying to do: collect emails from someone who wants to stay in contact with your company or client. They've attempted to engage you by opting to give you their address, so you've already achieved your goal. Stop right there.


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Josh Nason is the inbound marketing manager at Dyn Inc., an infrastructure-as-a-service company that specializes in enterprise DNS and email services. Follow him at @joshnason, @dyninc, and @sendlabs.

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