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Email sign-up forms: my advice for placement and optimization

We know from the 2016 Email Census that 73% of marketers rate email marketing return on investment (ROI) as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, high above what is reported for social media. However, browsing a few websites at random, I found that a lot of marketers seem to put their social following links above the fold or in the top bar, while burying the email sign-up form at the bottom of the homepage. That seems a bit counterproductive to me.

Look at your own data and figure out how much an email address is worth to you versus a social media follower. It might convince you to give email sign-up forms a more prominent position.

Tips for highly converting sign-up forms

Apart from the position of the form on the page, there are other elements you can optimise to get more website visitors converting:

  • entice visitors with a great benefit. New Look uses this strategy with a compelling competition.

New Look sign-up form

vimeo sign-up form

  • consider using pop-ups. WP Beginner used exit intent pop-ups and saw a 600% increase in data gathered.
  • most forms have 2-4 fields (Ascend2 study), but having a single field could help improve engagement. Test! And use automation to gather more data afterwards.

sign-up form fields

Taking sign-up forms one step further

Asos have a great example of a form that eliminates an extra step in the data collection process. Rather than having the call to action as ‘Sign up’ and using an additional field for gender, or asking for that piece of information later on, they’ve used two buttons as a call to action. One of them will sign up the consumer to the women’s newsletter and the other one to the men’s newsletter. Of course, this only works when you segment the content of your newsletter, but with 83% of marketers using basic segmentation, the outlook is positive for this tactic!

Asos sign-up form

Case study: Intelligent email marketing drives fourfold increase in revenue for Big Cup Little Cup

Big Cup Little Cup are an online retailer of Nespresso compatible coffee capsules, focused on offering premium quality products. As an online exclusive brand, they relied on digital channels to attract customers and their email strategy was very successful. By moving the sign-up form to a prominent position, adding a 15% incentive and setting up an automatically triggered email based on that action, they achieved a 206% increase in newsletter sign-ups in the first 6 months and a £12.59 revenue per email from that first triggered campaign.


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