Email Marketing: How to Design the Perfect Newsletter Signup Form

Email marketing requires the use of a well-design newsletter signup form. According to a study conducted by Sumo, the average opt-in rate for newsletters is just 1.95 percent. For every 100 users who see your newsletter signup form, for example, only about two of them will complete it.


With a low opt-in rate, your newsletter is destined to fail. You’ll have fewer subscribers to whom you can send commercial emails, resulting in fewer leads and fewer conversions. You can achieve a higher opt-in rate and more subscribers, however, by designing the perfect newsletter signup form.


Only Require Addresses


Simple newsletter signup forms typically attract more subscribers than their complex counterparts. If your newsletter signup form contains many different input fields, users may not complete it. Some newsletter signup forms, for instance, have a name field as well as an address field. While requiring users to enter their name will open the doors to email personalization, it comes at the cost of a lower opt-in rate.


The more fields your newsletter signup form has, the lower its opt-in rate will be. Some users may feel uncomfortable entering personal information like their name, phone number or date of birth. When they see fields requiring this information on your newsletter signup form, they’ll abandon it. You’ll attract far more subscribers by only requiring their addresses. And if you want to collect names for personalization purposes, make the name field optional and not a requirement for subscribing.


Customize the CTA


Don’t forget to customize the call to action (CTA) when designing your newsletter signup form. All newsletter signup forms have a CTA. Consisting of a linked button with an actionable message, users must click the CTA to complete your newsletter form.


Regardless of your email marketing service provider, it will likely offer one or more default newsletter signup forms with a standard CTA. By customizing the CTA, you can refine it so that more users complete your newsletter signup form.


Follow these tips when customizing the CTA:

  • Craft a short actionable message, such as “Subscribe Now” or “Sign Up Today,” in a common and simple font type.
  • Use a dark color for the embedded text — the actionable message — and a bright color for the button’s background. According to Aweber, CTAs with a red background yield the highest opt-in rates, while yellow is the second-most effective background color.
  • Increase the size. With a larger size, more users will notice the CTA, which should result in more completions for your newsletter signup form.
  • Position the CTA directly next to the address field. Users should be able to see the CTA while entering their name on your newsletter signup form.
  • Experiment with interactive elements. You can make the CTA interactive by customizing it with hover effects. Hover effects will change the appearance of the CTA when users hover their cursor over it.


Display in a Pop-Up


Displaying your newsletter signup form in a pop-up may prove effective. While they’ve acquired a negative reputation over the years, pop-ups are attention-grabbing. They are served over web pages, meaning all users who visit those pages will see them.


You can still display your newsletter signup form in traditional areas of your website, such as the sidebar, but a pop-up will ensure that all users who visit your site will see it. A study conducted by Omnisend found that newsletter signup forms displayed in a pop-up attract three times as many subscribers as those displayed elsewhere.


If you’re going to display your newsletter signup form in a pop-up, though, you should preserve your website’s user experience. Some pop-ups can disrupt the experience of users. Known as intrusive pop-ups, they often consist of full-page or large pop-ups that completely cover the main content. To preserve your website’s user experience, consider placing your newsletter signup form away from your site’s main content.


Leverage Social Proof


You can leverage social proof in your newsletter signup form to build a larger list of subscribers. Social proof refers to elements that vet your newsletter by the collective public. For your newsletter signup form, you can show the subscriber count.


Subscriber count is a type of social proof. Each user who has subscribed to your newsletter is essentially vetting your newsletter. If your newsletter has 1,000 subscribers, showing this number on your newsletter signup form will encourage others to subscribe. Users will see that 1,000 other users have subscribed to your newsletter, so they may follow suit.


Social proof comes in many different types, only one of which is subscriber count. An alternative type of social proof is Facebook likes. On your newsletter signup form, you can show the number of users who’ve liked your business’s Facebook Page.


Reward With an Incentive


Rewarding users with an incentive will encourage them to complete your newsletter signup form. You don’t have to give them free products or services in exchange for their addresses. Rather, you can reward users with exclusive content.


When designing your newsletter signup form, explain the type of exclusive content that users will receive. You can send them guides, interviews, case studies, infographics, videos or any other type of digital content that’s relevant to their interests.


In addition to exclusive content, you can reward users with access to an otherwise locked section of your website. You can create a forum on your website, for instance, specifically for subscribers. Some users may subscribe to your newsletter just so they can participate in discussions on your website’s forum.


Alternatively, you can publish gated content on your website that’s only accessible to subscribers. Regardless, mentioning rewards like exclusive content or access on your newsletter signup form will help you grow your subscriber list.


The way in which your newsletter signup form is designed will directly affect how many subscribers you attract. You can’t expect users to complete it if it’s poorly designed. Fortunately, designing an effective newsletter signup form signup is easy. Just use a single field for the address, customize the CTA, display in a pop-up, leverage social proof and include an incentive.

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