8 Effective Tips to Increase Your Newsletter Signup Rate in 2020
Confronting fear might be the destiny of the Jedi, but a marketer’s job is a lot more complicated than that!
Believe me not? Well, what about getting new visitors to sign up for your email newsletter?
To that, young marketers, I present you with the ultimate solution: newsletter signup.
But wait, there’s something more! If you want to master your online forms, you also need to know how to optimize them!
Luckily for you, I have just what you need.
In this week’s online form special, we are going to see how to optimize your newsletter signup forms like a true Jedi master.
So, are you ready to get your signup rate to the stars?
*removes robe dramatically*
Because I sure am!
Email Marketing: A Force To Be Reckoned With
Let me tell you a little secret.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Here it goes: Email marketing is alive and well!
According to DMA’s report, email ROI has currently shot up from $41 to $55 for every $1 you spend on it.
So, how can email marketing be dead when data shows otherwise?
My guess, someone from the dark side must be responsible for this false rumor. Don’t worry; we’ll get them next time!
Now, let’s focus on the important stuff.
All Gain, No Pain
Build relationships with your prospects, leads, and customers. Check!
Deliver targeted messages to your subscribers. Also check!
Take advantage of email automation. Double-check!
As a marketing channel, emails allow you to reach your subscribers and deliver your messages right in their inbox.
Also, emails hold a special place in your audience’s hearts!
According to Twilio’s study, 83% of global consumers favor emails or text when it comes to receiving messages from businesses.
So, why do some claim that email marketing is dead?
Well, spammy emails will sooner or later kill your marketing strategy.
Personalized emails, though, are your secret weapon to success.
A Brief History of the Newsletter Signup
History lesson time!
Let’s start with the basics: An email newsletter signup is a form used to capture the email address of a visitor.
For example, when you visit Moosend’s website, you’ll come across this little thing:
This newsletter signup (or the Slim Jim of forms as Téa, called it once) can capture your visitors’ email addresses without annoying them.
The form is a prime example of a discreet and static form that will stay put until your visitor takes action.
The Slim Jim is perfect for your absent-minded visitors, who pay little attention to your forms.
Now, you might think: if I can get a Slim Jim out of my forms, can I also get a Moonpie one?
Well, I’m happy to say that newsletter signup forms come in different shapes and sizes! Whether they are a sticky, a popup, or a full-page form, their end-goal is always the same: capture, capture, capture!
A wild form has appeared.
By entering their deets and clicking on the signup button, Nike’s visitors automatically join the brand’s mailing list. Hurray!
But wait a minute!
Where is the confirmation message?
Did I really sign up, or did something go wrong, and I have to register again?
Where? Why? How!?
First of all, take a deep breath, my friend.
Secondly, there’s still a way to tell if you joined Nike’s awesome mailing list without refilling the form.
Behind Every Great Signup Form, There’s a Great Newsletter Signup Email
Previously on newsletter signup drama.
So, you found the popup, filled your email address, clicked on the submit button, and then nothing?
Well, in Nike’s newsletter signup defense, did you check your email?
If you did and now you’re smiling back at your screen, I promote you to email newsletter signup detective.
If not, then let’s take a look at our inbox!
Well, well. What have we here?
As it seems, our signup process was successful, and now we’re in! Thank the marketing gods!
With this simple newsletter signup email, Nike achieves two things.
Firstly, it informs their new subscribers that they’ve just joined their mailing list and clears any confusion.
Secondly, it offers them the chance to become a NIkePLus member and take their experience to the next level.
Can I now say that Nike just did it?
Moving on then!
The Golden Rules of Newsletter Signup
The first rule of newsletter signup forms is: You make them as simple as possible.
The second rule of… Well, you know how it goes!
If you want to capture all those soft leads waiting in the corner, then you’ve come to the right place.
Before we see the best tips, let’s take a moment to look at the golden rules of forms and discover why simple popups like this can work miracles.
The simpler your forms are, the better they will perform, said everyone ever!
Simplicity is a crucial component of every successful marketing campaign and content.
Making your newsletter signup as straightforward as possible will increase your subscription rate and minimize frustration.
I’m not talking about bringing balance to the Force but about the copy and color balance of your form.
Your copy must be short, to-the-point, and focus on highlighting the perks of joining your mailing list.
Also, pick the right color schemes wisely. Visitors always appreciate well-crafted and balanced elements.
Nobody is going to subscribe to your mailing list if they don’t see the point of doing so.
Showing them the real value of joining your mailing list, though, will do the trick!
Be as honest as possible, and avoid getting spammy with your words.
Visitors will be able to tell if you lie about the value of joining your list, so be careful!
4. Social Proof
Social proof is a crucial element that determines whether your visitors click on your CTAs or not.
There are several types of social proof out there. The most common ones are consumer reviews and star ratings.
Adding social proof to your newsletter signup will boost your credibility and encourage even your most difficult visitors to sign up.
Your friendly neighborhood CTA is here to save the day.
From the right copy to the correct color, your CTAs can either make or break your entire form. So, always make sure to choose the right combo.
Familiarizing yourself with the golden rules of newsletter signup will help you nail them every single time
But what exactly do you have to do to boost your newsletter signup rate?
Clap along and repeat after me: newsletter signup tips!
Now we are ready to dive into the best newsletter signup tricks that every successful marketer needs to know.
So, start your lightspeed engines, cause this is going to be a ride to remember!
Your Out of This World Newsletter Signup Tips
What do we want? The best newsletter signup optimization tips!
When do we want them!
1. Simplicity is the Ultimate Newsletter Signup Sophistication
Simplicity is the ultimate weapon to nail your forms and get your visitors to sign up.
Now, sit back and imagine the following: a brightly colored form with a brightly colored visual that makes your eyes hurt.
For some reason, there are two CTAs, and everywhere you look, there are chunks of copy flying everywhere!.
Well… I can’t imagine what kind of Signup-stein monster you just created, but I’m sure it is the stuff newsletter nightmares are made of!
As a supporter of the minimalistic design, I’d say that the simpler your forms are, the better they’ll perform.
While more complex newsletter signup forms look fancier, you might confuse your visitors with unnecessary elements.
According to a Harvard Business Review report, decision simplicity is what consumers want from modern marketers. So, sacrificing fanciness for simplicity is your way to the top.
Here’s what a simple popup from MVMT looks like:
Fill it. Click it. Access it. Own it!
2. Lights, Camera, Call-to-Action!
Well, now it’s time to talk about your calls-to-action (CTAs) and why you need to pay extra attention to them.
If you’ve seen our landing page series, then you already know that your CTAs are the most critical element to convert your visitors into subscribers. If not, check them out here!
Now, what if I told you that the same thing we talked about in landing pages could be applied to your newsletter sign up as well?
Since you seem like a trustworthy person, I’m going to tell you all of my secrets! About newsletter sign up forms, of course!
Let’s begin, shall we?
I Copy That…
A well-crafted call-to-action button will turn your form into a powerful signup tool to get your signup rate to higher heights.
Sometimes, though, it doesn’t even have to be full of visuals and colors to work.
Now you might wonder how that’s even possible. The answer is your copy!
Using the right words is key to ace your CTA buttons. Be careful, though, because choosing the right copy can be a little tricky.
For instance, if you make it too long, you might get your visitor bored. Similarly, if you make it too short, your visitor might not even notice it.
So, what’s the secret to acing your CTA copy? Well, success lies in a simple principle: “Does it show the value?”
To give you a clue, I’ll let the following example from Spoon Graphics speak for itself:
Highlighting the value of joining your mailing list is of paramount importance here.
If you think about it, your visitors have already clicked on numerous boring CTAs. So, giving them something that will amaze them will boost your signup efforts.
For example, using a phrase like “Send me the bundle” feels more engaging than a simple “Get it” or “Join Now.”
… and I Add a Splash of Color
Before talking about CTA color, I’d like you to take another look at Spoon Graphics’ example. Notice anything out of place?
Well, if you thought about the color of the CTA box, then you’re on fire!
To be effective, your CTAs need to stand out; otherwise, your visitor will miss them.
While Spoon Graphics has an amazing copy, it completely overlooks the fact that the background color and CTA box are the same.
This little mishap might seem trivial; however, it belongs to the rookiest popup mistakes that numerous brands still make.
“Hiding” your CTA will reduce the efficiency of your form and even annoy the visitor, who won’t even search for it.
To avoid that, try to make your CTAs make a statement like this one from Klientboost:
4. Timing Your Newsletter Signups is Everything
The secret to skyrocketing your newsletter signup rate is the right timing!
While you might think that your popup display time is trivial, timing is one of the most crucial elements you need to optimize before publishing your forms.
For example, if you display a popup the moment a visitor enters your website, it is going to annoy them.
I’m sure that you must have found yourself in the same scenario at least once.
My marketing sense tells me that it probably resulted in smashing the escape button to get rid of the annoying newsletter signup.
Thinking about your own experiences with newsletter signup is key to optimizing them correctly.
Now let’s see what you need to avoid.
For this experiment, I visited Swarovski’s website.
What I expected to see was their homepage, but instead, the brand hurried to show me their popup the moment I landed on their page.
Interrupting your visitor’s experience earlier than expected will make them close your popup no matter how wonderful it was.
According to Nielsen Norman Group’s report, the first 10 seconds of a page visit is crucial for a visitor’s decision to stay or leave.
Delivering a great user experience with timed popups will increase your visitors’ likeability of clicking on your CTAs.
So, if you want to nail your newsletter sign up, you have to wait for these crucial seconds to pass and then display an irresistible popup to capture their emails.
Keep in mind that there are things that newsletter sign up forms can do and things it can’t.
To convince your visitors to stay, you need no magic tricks. What you need to help your newsletter signup is an attractive website design to hold them long enough for your forms to capture them.
Gone with the Wind
Now, there’s another thing we must talk about: What happens if you hold off your popups for too long?
The visitor will go away without even taking a look at your popup.
So, what we need to find out now is the perfect formula to display your form at the right moment.
The first thing you need to master your popup display is to search for your visitor’s average time spent on your page. Then, based on your products or services, you can determine how much time your visitor needs to digest your content.
To get your hands on the average amount of time your visitors spend on your page, you simply need to take a trip down Google Analytics:
Timing your popups according to your visitor’s time on your page and your experience as a user will help you discover the perfect formula.
The right popup display time can be a process of trial and error, so don’t be afraid to test things until you get the best results.
5. The Law of Surprise
We all know that modern consumers won’t give you their email address unless you provide them with something amazing in return.
Capturing their attention with a well-crafted form is the first step to get them aboard. But do you know what will ultimately get your visitors to subscribe?
Rewarding them is the ultimate tactic to help them make up their mind and realize the value of joining you.
Alexa, play Toss a coin to your Witcher, please!
Whether it’s a discount or a free ebook, visitors always love getting something back after completing your email newsletter signup process.
So, to maximize your signups, try to find out what your audience wants to receive in exchange for their email and voila!
If you want concrete results, you should also make sure that after joining you, your new subscriber will get the gift you promised.
Failing to do so will result in instant disengagement, followed by an even more hurtful unsubscribe.
If you want to avoid that, then I recommend following Pipcorn’s example.
Here’s their newsletter signup email.
For me, the brand has managed to deliver one of the most exceptional newsletter signup emails I’ve seen so far.
From the warm welcome to the incredible first-purchase discount, this example is everything your newsletter signup emails should be.
So, steal away!
6. Put You Newsletter Signup to the Test
Do you think that you’ve found the perfect newsletter signup formula to boost your conversions? Well, if you did, then I’m proud of you!
However, there’s always room for improvement!
Here’s where A/B Testing comes in to help you supercharge the effectiveness of your newsletter sign up.
If you aren’t familiar with the term, A/B Testing is a method that lets you compare two versions of the same variable.
The test aims at monitoring your audience’s response to variant A versus variant B to select the one that performs better.
Successful A/B tests will give you a better image of what your audience prefers and the elements they favor compared to others.
Now, are you ready to start testing?
Do you Copy?
I know you might’ve heard this about a thousand times already, but less is more when it comes to newsletter signup copy.
Compared to your promotional copy, signup copy is all about convincing your visitor to join your mailing list for free.
So, now that you know what you need to use to convince your visitors, let’s see how we can improve it.
To find out which version performed better, one of CrazyEgg’s customers came up with these two forms:
According to the test, the shorter version had a subscription rate of 1.16% compared to the second one that had a 1.11% subscription rate.
What influences the overall performance of the lighter copy version is that shorter sentences are easily digestible.
If you think about it, your visitors might not even have a few extra seconds to read the entire message. So, smaller bits of information are easier to grasp.
What’s interesting is that by reducing copy length, the 10% discount stands out a lot better than in the second version.
As you can see, this change manages to highlight the immediate value that the visitor will get by joining the mailing list.
Test Newsletter Signup Form Page Placement
To ace your form page placement you first need to know the most common form types that the majority of form builders offer:
- The classic popup form we all know and adore
- The inline form appearing within a page’s content
- The floating bar form located at the top or bottom of your page
- The sticky form that sticks with the visitor no matter how far down they scroll
- The full-page form covering a visitor’s entire page
As you can see, every business chooses different newsletter signup forms to convert their visitors.
While the classic popup can do the trick, sticking to only one type will won’t help you find the perfect page placement for your form.
A/B testing different page placements will give you valuable insight and help you optimize your newsletter signups like a pro.
Headlines that Make a Statement
Your headlines are your most significant impression triggers, influencing the performance of your newsletter signup since the dawn of time!
Without a fabulous headline, your email newsletter signup form will crumble into pieces like half of the Avengers in Infinity War.
Instead of using boring headlines, try coming up with exciting captions that will get your visitors to click on your CTA.
Now, let’s take a look at another A/B test:
According to the test results, the bolder headline showing the worth of the product had a subscription rate of 13.40%, whereas the more generic one scored 6.70%.
In this case, making a statement using a bold offer doubled the second headline’s subscription rate.
What’s worth mentioning that while the numbers are different, they both represent the same offer in different ways.
So, what does this tell us about newsletter signup?
While the offer is practically the same, showing your visitors what they need to see will give you better results.
Well, who wouldn’t like to win $2000 worth of watches?
I know I would!
7. I’m Social-Proof, Nothing to Lose
You’ve heard about it, but you don’t know what it is exactly…
No problem! That’s what I’m here for!
According to the definition, social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people imitate the actions of others to determine what is the right way to act in a given situation.
For example, let’s say that the humidity in your house is so great that it affects not only your health and home but also your sanity.
Now, you have to find a way to solve the problem once and for all. Well, that cool dehumidifier you saw online looks like a true humidity fighter.
However, when you check if anyone else has bought it, you find zero reviews and no evidence that it works.
So what do you do?
To solve your humidity problem, you need an appliance that won’t be a complete waste of time and money.
So, when you go back to searching, you find a dehumidifier that has numerous consumer reviewers and a star rating that’s bigger than Canis Majoris.
Well, doesn’t that sound like an attractive offer to restore your sanity?
Social proof worked because it managed to combat customer uncertainty and got us to buy a product.
In this case, your email newsletter signup is like that dehumidifier. If there’s no evidence showing its real value, then it is unlikely that your audience will buy it.
Compelling social proof will add credibility to your mailing list and boost your signups.
Before moving on to our next tip, let’s take a look at the most common types of social proof you can include in your forms.
The Social Proof Platter
Social proof comes in different shapes and sizes. Regardless of type, social proof is like a fine piece of cheese that goes with every glass of wine.
Here’s my finest social proof selection for your newsletter signup forms:
- Number of satisfied customers/subscribers
- Expert endorsements
- Visual Social proof
Social proof is a tool that holds tremendous power when you leverage it the right way. Whether it is a testimonial or your subscriber count, social proof can reduce uncertainty and increase your form’s efficiency.
Does it sound to gouda to be true?
Here’s how BigCommerce does it:
8. Study Visitor intent
Your newsletter signup form is your canvas.
Like Picasso, you need to choose the right newsletter signup template and start painting! However, is that enough to boost your signup rate?
Well, if you want to have the best newsletter signup forms out there, you also need to consider visitor intent.
Depending on your industry, there are different newsletter signup templates to capture your visitors’ emails.
For instance, SaaS forms usually give visitors extra material, while eCommerce forms offer a discount.
To show you the importance of considering visitor intent, let’s see three newsletter signup examples from three different industries.
Newsletter Signup for eCommerce Businesses
Hello eCommerce signup my old friend. I’ve come to talk about you once again!
The ultimate way to turn your forms into powerful conversion tools is to reward your visitors.
For example, a discount or an incredible offer is your golden ticket to make them join your mailing list.
Arizona, for instance, has a full-page form that gives an amazing 20% off for first-time subscribers.
Pro Tip: Make sure to include a fantastic discount or offer to capture your visitors’ attention. For better results, omit any unnecessary information that will distract your visitor.
Newsletter Signup for SaaS Businesses
SaaS newsletter signup forms usually have various lead magnets like e-books, whitepapers, reports, or presentations.
Nevertheless, wouldn’t a nice discount be more appealing than a simple e-book?
Well, it depends on your audience.
When it comes to SaaS audiences, free educational content is far more valuable than a simple offer.
Giving your audience the knowledge to use your product/service is a common practice to capture and nurture your email subscribers.
So, when you address your SaaS audience, make sure to give them a reward that suits their needs.
Pro Tip: Saas newsletter signups can benefit from social proof. The most successful types you can use are testimonials and the number of subscribers on your list.
Newsletter Signup for Bloggers
Lastly, newsletter signup can be a blogger’s best friend to supercharge their list building endeavors.
Highlighting the value of joining your list and adding social proof is your secret weapon to convince your readers to join you.
Giving them extra content and early-access to your articles will also encourage your visitors.
Here’s how the Mad Fientist does it:
Pro tip: Before displaying your newsletter signup, give your visitor some time to read your content. The more they engage with your blog, the better your form will work!
The Anatomy of Successful Newsletter Signup
Welcome to our first episode of “Moosend’s Anatomy.”
Today we’ll be dissecting some of the best newsletter signup examples to see what makes them tick.
Now, put on your masks and get your scalpels, because things are going to get wild!
(Disclaimer: No forms were hurt during the making of this episode)
Popups have a long history of being hated by users around the web. Regardless of visuals, copy, or timing, visitors will always close your popups if they find them annoying.
However, there are some forms that visitors love.
First in our list is this exceptional gem from the creative minds of Chanty, an AI-powered team chat software.
As Morpheus himself would have said, there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.
For Chanty, walking the path of newsletter signup success is a piece of cake.
Let’s see why:
Copy: Despite being short, the copy delivers what the visitor wants to see.
The percentage adds credibility to the offer and excites the visitor.
Visuals: Integrating pop-culture into your marketing efforts is a fantastic way to break free from the generic newsletter signup.
For Chanty, using an animation of the famous Matrix character Morpheus is both innovative and eye-catching.
CTA: The bright green button is the perfect match for the blue background. Not only does it stand out, but it matches the visuals.
The secret to a successful eCommerce newsletter signup form is out!
Here, Converse has come up with an advanced signup form that apart from their visitors’ emails, they require their date of birth and gender.
Also, asking for extra details allows Converse to deliver more relevant content through personalized campaigns.
Copy: Here, we have two separate copy sections. The first one on the left poses a question that prepares the visitor to take action. In this section, Converse has strategically summarized the benefits of joining its mailing list.
Additionally, the second headline on the right shows visitors what they need to do to avoid missing out on fantastic offers.
Visuals: In this form, the visuals have a more secondary function.
This email newsletter signup favors less fancy elements to promote the message through their copy.
CTA: Converse’s CTA benefits from the use of white space throughout the popup form. Black and white are a classic pair that make your CTAs stand out without reducing their effectiveness.
3. General Assembly
General Assembly has a form that gives its visitors all the right reasons to subscribe to their mailing list.
The company manages to personalize their user’s experience by asking them what they’d like to learn.
Collecting customer details will also allow you to get started with list segmentation. As one of the best email marketing practices out there, segmentation will help you deliver targeted content to nurture your subscribers.
Copy: This email newsletter signup leverages the power of numbers to intrigue their visitors. Underneath the headline, the copy presents the irresistible value proposition of the form using strong words like “save” to pique on their visitor’s interest.
Visuals: To boost the success of the form, General Assembly uses the image of a woman taking notes. The familiar face looks inspiring for new visitors who want to learn new things and boosts their desire to sign up.
CTA: According to color psychology, red is one of the best colors to capture your visitor’s attention. The minimalistic design also benefits the CTA, turning it into the first thing the visitor will notice.
4. Rogue + Wolf
Rogue + Wolf is a brand with a unique brand image reflected on its website band various marketing campaigns.
So, it’s no wonder why the brand has a special place among our list.
(I swear it’s not the jewelry and amazing stationery!)
Are you ready for their popup?
Copy: I have to say that the Force is strong with this one. Its simplicity and the way the headline conveys the brands’ character in a single line is phenomenal.
The use of specific language that reflects the brand’s culture also captures the visitor and gives them more reasons to subscribe.
Visuals: This popup is a prime example of matching your forms with your website design. Rogue+Wolf uses its amazing visuals to attract attention and get its visitors to act.
CTA: While the CTA could have been a different color, the white font and exceptional copy make up for it.
In a Marketing Galaxy Not So Far Away…
Yeah! You made it!
As your newsletter signup training is now complete, it’s time to give you the title of the new newsletter sign up master!
After reading this, you will be ready to optimize your email newsletter signup and ace your list building endeavors.
So, what are you waiting for? Optimize your forms now and, in no time, you’ll see your signup rate fly to the moon.
And until we meet again, young marketers, may the marketing Force be with you!