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How to create a newsletter sign-up form that converts?

Feb 7, 2022

You know how exciting and valuable your products are to your clients, and they do too, but what about those ‘yet-to-be’ customers or visitors who’ve found your website but aren’t quite committed to buying? Alternatively, what if they’ve seen the light and have bought from you, yet you want to know how you can be sure they’ll come back and spend again?

Email marketing is the best tool to remind your customers that you’re still as relevant as ever and to drip-feed new reasons that those shoppers sitting on the fence should dive in and buy!
However, to market to them, you’re going to need their email address.

What is the newsletter sign-up form?

A mailing sign-up form is a wonderful tool to ‘politely’ ask your visitors to stay in touch.

Whether it’s at the bottom of a blog post, the top of your most popular content or flashes onscreen as a pop-up when your visitor is about to leave the page, a few input fields and a submit button can deliver a new email address to bump up your email marketing list.

Why do you need a subscription form to grow your email list?

I don’t care how brilliant anyone claims their memory is; nobody is efficient enough to remember every recommendation or website page where they spotted something they’ll come back to later.

Every business has a chance to convert customers with each visit to their website, but when they leave, there’s as strong a chance that they’ll forget about them a few minutes later.

An email subscription sign-up allows you to sidestep your forgetful user’s memory and becomes a great opportunity for both of you.

Your newsletter sign up page is a two-way street

Over time, every business loses subscribers. It doesn’t have to be anything you’ve done—although it could be—but disappear they will.

They might move jobs, have different needs, switch departments or take up new hobbies and pastimes, or they may simply lose interest in your content and consumables and move on to what’s next.

As they disappear, your mailing lists shrink. That’s the opposite of what we marketers want. We want growth! More sales, more subscribers, more customers! So to fill those gaps in our lists, we need more users to subscribe to our newsletter—those daily, weekly or monthly reminders that they can’t live an exciting life without us.

What is a good conversion rate for a sign-up form?

The typically accepted conversion rate for a newsletter request form is between 1.5% and 5%.

Factors include everything from the product itself to how attractive the overall market is in your industry.

These figures are merely a starting point for consideration. For each sector or product type, rates vary, so finding an appropriate figure for your field could take further research.

Whatever your industry average, though, there are plenty of techniques you can use to boost your success.

Email newsletter sign-up best practices

I want you to imagine you’re a customer and not the conversion-hungry marketer you really are. So, first, think about why you’d sign up for any daily or weekly intrusion into your life, and then think about what wouldn’t only make it worthwhile but something to look forward to.

Now, go back to being that hungry marketer and use that information to get what you want—email addresses.

The key is VALUE. Good design, transparency, brand confidence, and a range of other attributes will help, but at the top of our checklist is VALUE.

What does the customer want from you? How can you give it to them? Then, when you’ve figured that out, you can use it as your call to action and reel in those new sign-ups in their thousands.

1. Offer your sign-ups VALUE

We can’t stress this enough—find out what your visitors want. Why are they reading your blog, looking at your products, learning about your service or taking advantage of your knowledge? And why you and not your competitors?

Tell them that that’s what they’re going to get every week when they sign up—and then give it to them.

It might be discounts, exclusives, new opportunities, tips and tricks or insider information; whatever they want, that’s your hook. Use it as the leverage you need to get hold of their data.

2. Sensible sign-up form placements can boost your conversion rates

Whether you realise it or not, we filter out all the bits of the websites we visit that our brains decide are just there to sell to us. Oddly, we all need hundreds of products and services at any given point in our hectic lives, yet we hate to think we’re getting tricked by advertisers. It’s about control. We want to believe that we’re in control.

Being bombarded with adverts, we feel more efficient when filtering them out. That way, we can concentrate on the content we were initially interested in, filtering out all of that background noise.

So, don’t place your sign-up forms where you’d usually see ads. Second, stop making them look like ads—they’ll only blend into the blur your brain tunes out.

Floating formats and pop-ups

As much as we tend to despise pop-ups, we’re getting used to the fact that they’re part of our Internet experience.

As a marketer, you need to be aware that they’re one of the best converting options you’ve got. Whether your newsletter sign-up form slides in from the side or the bottom, the movement captures attention and drags your eye.

When they pop up, centre screen, forcing you to see nothing else over a blurred or darkened background, they hold the user’s attention without distraction, at least temporarily.

That’s why they’re so good at what they do—your visitors simply can’t fail to notice them. However, it’s your job to make sure the call to action and the value is front and centre and as irresistible to them as possible.

3. Newsletter subscription form design – simplicity is key, and the message is vital

Keep everything as simple as you can. Every newsletter sign-up template should include a single, simple, clear message, as few input fields as you can get away with, and get straight to that VALUE we spoke about.

Keep your mailing list signup form in your brand style and colours to avoid them looking like an advert or other selling opportunity.

Simplicity doesn’t mean stripping out everything that’s eye-catching, it means saying as much as possible with the least amount of interference.

Deliver easy-to-understand headlines and straightforward instructions, request minimal input from the user, offering maximum output as a reward. A simple newsletter signup design is a winning one.

We’ve got some newsletter sign up examples for you later on, but for now, hold onto that clean and clear box you can’t fail to notice and can’t resist what it offers.

Most visitors decide in less than a few seconds if they’re interested in what you’ve got on offer. So make those few seconds count; strip out everything that can wait until later and get straight to the point. By all means, illustrate your point with cleverly-written copy and a beautiful image—but get to the point.

Don’t miss your opportunity by trying too hard or saying too much.

4. Exchange their email addresses for lead magnets

A lead magnet is something your visitors want that you can exchange for their contact details. Again, we’re back to VALUE, but only because it’s so important. What can you use as leverage to keep your customers coming back and buying regularly?

  • Valuable information and expertise
  • Upgrades
  • Discounts
  • Free gifts
  • Unique ‘locked’ content

The best-performing lead magnets are visual or video presentations, written content, tools or access to restricted information or something with monetary value.
That’s why offering free webinars, video guides and tutorials, PDF downloads, discount codes, and vouchers are so popular with the best newsletter signup forms.

5. Make your call to action count

How many sign-up buttons simply show the word ‘submit’ or ‘subscribe to our mailing list’? Poor form, we say (pun intended!). What a wasted opportunity. Your newsletter subscribe message should be followed by a clearly visible button, taking full advantage of the opportunity to hammer your point home:

  • Join the winning team
  • Boost your sales
  • Get your FREE vouchers
  • “Double my salary!”
  • The experts’ secrets to selling
  • Make more money from your website

‘Register to our newsletter’ sounds so flat by comparison, so stop using phrases like ‘weekly updates’, ‘the latest news’, and ‘new offers’ and get creative with your creative. Give your users something real to whet their appetite and get them hooked.

6. Validate now—avoid issues later

Inline validation will help save subscribers frustration by keeping things neat and tidy—no clicking backwards and forwards just to get the form to send. Correcting passwords, usernames, addresses, and email addresses before hitting the submit button can save time and improve the experience.

Unfortunately, too many users decide it’s just not worth the fuss if it takes too much effort.

There are differing opinions on two-step or two-factor verification. The positive: it keeps all new addresses relevant and healthy—yet the negative is the extra step can put some subscribers off completing the set-up.

Email validation and verification

Depending on what’s up for grabs by subscribing, you might find yourself inundated with fake or invalid addresses. Too many such addresses damage your sender reputation when delivering your newsletters.

Implementing a tool like Bouncer into your sign-up form will allow you to remove bad email addresses and will help you in keeping a clean email list.

7. Utilise social proof to eliminate scepticism

They say we shouldn’t follow the crowd, but that’s what we feel safest doing. If a newsletter already has half a million subscribers, we assume they can’t all be fools, so we are happy to join in.

In just the same way, we trust and believe customer reviews and testimonials over company and manufacturer messages. Having your visitors subscribe to a newsletter with the form placed over a selection of customer reviews will often boost sign-up numbers.

8. Be honest from the outset, informing subscribers precisely what they’re signing up for

Brand confidence comes from outstanding service, excellent customer experience, and transparency. Building trust builds repeat custom and respect, the elements you need to retain customers and boost sales. So don’t make promises you can’t keep, and always be straight about what you’re delivering.

9. Set the correct frequency for the information you’re sharing and your recipients

One of the biggest reasons subscribers remove themselves from a list or stop engaging with the content is that the emails are too repetitive. Some users will love hearing from you every day if the information is valuable; others will be sick of you in less than a week. Analyse your data to find the optimum frequency or give your users a choice for what will suit them.

Newsletter sign-up form examples

As we’ve said, keeping things simple is the key. But how simple? And how do you make them work for you?

The following newsletter sign up examples show how to include some of our best practices and insert them into your newsletter subscription text.

Heading Message Call to action
Be beach body ready in time for your holiday! Daily tips to lose weight and stay healthy, direct to your inbox. Sign me up for my new healthy lifestyle
Double your profits with marketing tips and tricks from the experts. Proven strategies via weekly emails from analysts and advanced marketing maestros. I need your help!
Make more money from your website Download our free 24-page PDF: Optimising your business for success. Join the winning team today!
Free webinars for profit-hungry marketeers. Learn from our most successful strategies and reap the rewards. Give me access to unique, data-proven techniques.
Be the first in your flock to be seen in the latest labels. Weekly emails with pre-season specials, launch events, and our unique ‘fashion family’ discounts. Next seasons fashions, now
Be healthy, happy, and free! All the recipes, discounts, and easy-to-apply resources for a better life, direct to your inbox, every week. Sign me up for extra energy and fewer lbs!
Get the best of the best in athletics equipment and supplements Receive introductory offers and unique discount codes for our treasured subscribers. Sign me up for weekly news and monthly savings
10% Off Everything—Always Join the family for ‘forever discounts’, weekly tips, tricks, and all the latest gossip. Give me my codes!


Collect only valid addresses—and use real-time email verification with your sign-up form

If you choose Bouncer as your email verification partner, you ensure only quality addresses will be added through your email list sign-up forms. Bouncer features a range of APIs and integrations providing limitless possibilities for verification—in real-time with simple, easy-to-use tools and incredible efficiency.

With Bouncer, your subscriber lists never looked so healthy.

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