Email Newsletter Signup Form: Best Practices, Analysis, and Examples

|by Demi-Leigh Donohoe

If your business uses email marketing for promotional purposes, it goes without saying that you should have a newsletter signup form on your site to capture data.

Without a healthy email list, your email marketing efforts are pretty useless. By capturing new data through your website, you're building up a list of contacts that are already engaged with your brand.

The GDPR requires businesses to capture opt-in from their email contacts, and businesses must make sure that users can unsubscribe from marketing messages at any time.

A poor newsletter signup form and process can push users away and prevent them from providing their email address, and it could leave a bad taste in their mouth if they have a bad brand experience.

In today’s post, we’re looking at some effective examples of email newsletter signup forms and the best practices for creating a signup form.

Email newsletter signup form best practices

Here are 10 best practices to follow when creating and placing a newsletter signup form on your website.

1. Make your form easy to find

Many businesses place their email signup form in the footer of their homepage, rather than placing it in a prominent place on the welcome page or landing page.

Keep the position of your form consistent throughout the site and make sure it’s easy for contacts to find.

2. Build trust with your site visitors

More users are now more security savvy and are aware of their rights as consumers regarding privacy and spam. Include text on your signup form to build trust with the user that you won’t share their email address with other business or parties, and remind users that you will keep their details safe.

3. Tell visitors what they will get

Let your users know what they will get in return for signing up. This also helps with point 2 - building trust. Let them know what the messages are likely to include, for example, will it be news, offers, or business updates?

4. Set a frequency

Tell the visitor how often you will be emailing them and then stick to your plan. Don’t bombard contacts if you’ve told them you’ll just be sending a monthly newsletter, and don’t forget about your engaged list completely.

5. Offer a sample

Allow your users to see at least part of the content you intend to send them. If your signup page is too cluttered, consider linking out to a specific sample page, before the user spends their valuable time filling out your form.

6. Ask for their main email

By having access to their main email address, you’re ensuring your email gets opened and seen. Use a word like ‘main’ or ‘primary’ next to the email field.

7. Avoid marketing jargon

Ask people to ‘sign up’ to your emails, instead of ‘subscribe’. Some users may assume this a paid subscription so avoid confusion by using plain words during this process.

8. Capture the email address first

If your form aims to capture multiple fields, such as first name, date of birth, or country, place the email field at the top of your form. A form with lots of fields can be off-putting for users so you may also consider implementing a two-stage sign up process where the email is submitted first and follow-up fields are displayed on the next page.

9. Watch the syntax

If your user types in their email address incorrectly, it can result in an email address hard bouncing and then it’s useless as it can’t be used for marketing. Some sites will offer additional functionality such as prompting a user if something is spelt incorrectly, such as ‘james@hotmail.oc.uk’. Remember to clean your list for small errors such as this.

10. Test, test, test

Remember to test your form as though you are a user to pick up on any processes that can be streamlined. Further tests on the form may include the position or content surrounding the form to understand how and where users are more likely to engage with the form.

Effective email newsletter signup form examples

Here are a few examples from various sectors and industries. See how they use the signup form, how you could use their technique, or if you’d do something different.

1. ASOS

Retailer Asos include their sign up on their homepage, just under the fold on my screen. The clever part of this form, is that instead of including a subscribe button, they are immediately segmenting their groups based on preference ready to send out relevant messages to the user.

2. The University of Manchester

This form isn’t as obvious as the Asos form as it isn’t on the homepage but I only needed one extra click to find this form on the ‘Connect’ page. The form follows best practices as it includes the email address first followed by a name, it includes a privacy policy and it tells the user what they get after subscribing.

3. McDonald's

McDonald's uses a popup form to gather addresses as soon as users visit the site.

More businesses are introducing popups or lightboxes to immediately capture data. Popups can have high bounce rates if not done right, but McDonald's are using this popup to tell the user about the types of messages they are likely to receive.

When the user clicks the ‘subscribe’ button, they're taken to a preference centre page where they can enter their name and age and choose their frequency of email campaigns.

Create your own email signup form

Email signup forms are an effective way of capturing new leads and increasing your overall sales.

You can create your own signup form using an online marketing tool such as Wired Plus

Book a demo to find out more.

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