Optimising Email Signup Forms for Increased Conversions

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Sign up forms are an important part of email marketing, building a database of potential clients and customers who engage with your mails and really want to hear about your product or service. But if you think that your subscriber list is becoming stagnant, or you’re wondering why your lists aren't growing, perhaps consider if your forms need optimising.

It is important to focus on getting the right people subscribed, the people who will genuinely look forward to receiving your emails and thus engage regularly with your campaigns and your brand. Optimising email signup forms with the correct fields and encouraging people to subscribe will help you to gain a healthy list of interested subscribers - the hopes of any email marketer! But not only will it help with list growth, you may also find that an increasing number of  subscribers are happily disclosing more personal details in exchange for what you are offering, all because of an easy to use, well-executed sign up form.

The ultimate goal is to have a database of subscribers that want to hear about your product or service, but more importantly; the benefits of leveraging opt-in data through segmenting and targeting, can potentially increase ROI for your brand tenfold. So, to ensure that your marketing efforts are paying off, here are a few ways of optimising email signup forms:

  1. Always remember to consider what you are asking of your potential customers; what sort of process they need to go through in order to start receiving your emails. If you dont make the process easy for potential customers, you may end up scaring them away.

    Decide which of these input fields are *required. Ideally it should only be the email address and a first name only, as this can be a leak point if a user doesn’t want to give up certain information. If you do require more information from your subscribers, try to break up the form over multiple pages or at different stages in the buying cycle. Using auto-fill for certain information based on the user’s IP address or previous answers can definitely take the weight off of filling out all those extra details.
  1. The placement of each form on your website is extremely important.

    According to research by SampleForms, conversions increase by up to 24% when the form is placed on the right hand side of the site. This has also been confirmed by an eye tracking study, which says that users scan websites in an F-shaped pattern; making it best to position your opt-in form in the top right area of your site. If using a pop-up form on the other hand, ideally, this should appear when the user reaches the bottom of an article or section of the site. An interesting point to note also is that positioning labels above the input fields on a form can increase the conversion rate further as it reduces eye movement and processing.
  1. As with the copy of your email sign up form, it is just as important as where it sits on the site.

    Providing value to your subscribers is more likely to convert them as opposed to merely asking them to sign up. For example, introduce the form with “Sign up now and receive free monthly recipes”, rather than the generic “Sign up to our newsletter”. Creating a relevant call to action button, such as “Get started” or “Get free recipes now” will ensure that a user knows exactly what they will be getting when they sign up.
  1. Prevent formatting issues by testing it on as many devices as possible. Subscription forms are often provided by the ESPs, so don’t overlook the responsive design of this format as this needs to scale according to your website design too.
  1. Ensure that you capture their information correctly by using in-line validation or a double opt-in process.

    This can eliminate the need for a Captcha field too. Although these captcha fields are meant to prevent spam, they can be detrimental to conversion rates; studies have found that 30% of users fail the Captcha tests, as they’re too hard to figure out.
  1. Dont forget to include a clear confirmation of details submitted, i.e. Thank you for signing up…”

    This can be encouraging for the subscriber as well as giving them the peace of mind that the process worked and they are now signed up. It’s also good practice to have a follow-up email in place, such as an email with an offer for new subscribers that is scheduled to send shortly after the form is submitted.

In conclusion, there are many ways to optimise your newsletter sign up form, but you’ll have to test these out for yourself to see what your audience responds to, as the success of your form depends a lot on the context.

The best way to figure out what works for you is to try A/B split testing on different landing pages and then study your list growth and analytics.