Email Signup Forms: 4 Things That Lead to Huge Success or Total Failure
To succeed in email marketing, you need to build a great list. To build a great list, your site needs a good email signup form. This post is about email signup forms and how they affect email subscriptions. This is very important to anyone doing email marketing.
There are four main factors in visitor subscriptions. Coincidentally, they all start with ‘P.’
- Prominence: The signup form is highly visible on the page; it’s large, uses contrasting colors, and appears in several places.
- Promise: There is a description of the benefits to subscribing, what kind of information, and how frequently it’s published. In other words, “what’s in it for me?” (WIIFM)
- Proof: There’s evidence that it’s legitimate, especially social proof, such as a testimonial or number of subscribers.
- Privacy: Assure the subscriber that they won’t receive spam and that you won’t share their information with anyone else.
Here are five examples of email signup forms, good and bad. Let’s start with Orbit, since we can see the before and after in our analytics.
1. Orbit Media: Small change, huge impact
At Orbit, for years we had a link at the top of the blog that let visitors click to get to a page with a signup box. It looked like this:
Then one day, we made a change. We let people subscribe without leaving the page. So now the signup form looks like this:
And here’s what happened. Look at the Google Analytics for weekly signups and conversion rates, this year and last year…
Yes, you are reading that right. That’s a 750% increase in the conversion rate leading to a 1400% increase in subscriptions. Aside from the change to the form, the only change we’ve made in our marketing is an increase in the frequency of publishing in May and June.
2. Marketing Profs: Simple, obvious, proven and private
|This form is doing everything right to maximize subscriptions. It’s got all four P’s. It’s prominent on the page. It’s both large and a separate color.The promise made is the content “tools and knowledge you need to market smarter.”The proof is in the header, “World’s Largest Marketing Community.” Sound’s good!Even privacy is addressed with a small link.|
3. Convince and Convert: Simple offer, backed up with social evidence
|Here’s another one you can’t miss. It’s a gray and orange website, so the giant purple signup box stands out. It’s prominent.The promise is extremely clear: by signing up, you’ll get one tip each day. It’s nice to know the frequency in advance.The social proof is found below. Lots of subscribers, fans and followers.|
4. Wider Funnel: Impossible to miss colors
|That neon green really stands out. The signup box on the Wider Funnel site is by far the most prominent element on the page. And look at that big orange button.The promise is “conversion rate optimization news and tips that matter.” The topic is clear, and it sounds like the content will be actionable.|
5. (Name Witheld): Fear and greed
|For contrast, let’s look at another approach to email signups. This is from the website of a trade magazine. It’s a classic “greedy form.” It asks for a lot and offers very little.It’s not prominent. It’s on a separate page, accessed from a small gray link buried in the main navigation.There’s no proof provided. There’s no specific evidence that this is legitimate.The promise of the content is described in a basic way. But you can choose between two separate newsletters, so the message is muddy. The visitor must read two short paragraphs to understand and select.Privacy isn’t addressed. In fact, it becomes a major concern. There are no fewer than 22 form fields! What’s more, 20 of those 22 fields are required, including those that ask for financial information. This form doesn’t give you warm fuzzies, that’s for sure.|
One more tip to get more value from each subscriber: pay special attention to the thank you page after the signup is complete. This is a chance to offer more value and get even better engagement, but most websites miss the opportunity completely.
I hope you enjoyed this little analysis of email signup forms, good and bad. Getting some ideas? Leave us a comment below.