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Grow your email list with top tips for creating converting signup forms

You’ve heard it time and time again. Email is the number one channel for ROI. But how do you convince consumers to subscribe to your emails? Part of the answer lies in your data collection process. A well designed form can successfully encourage visitors to your website to sign up to your emails.

Advantages of gathering contacts via signup forms

  • Customers know who you are, so start building the relationship right away with a confirmation email
  • Customers are genuinely interested in your brand, as they have voluntarily given you their data
  • Customers know exactly which data they are handing over. By combining a number of optional and compulsory fields, they fill in as much as they’re comfortable with.
  • Because of the above, you should see higher open and engagement rates, which will positively impact your deliverability

Warning: Brands with multiple divisions might be fooled into thinking that if subscribers have accepted to receive updates from one of their divisions, they can be emailed on behalf of other divisions too. But assumptions like these can be very dangerous, as spam complaints are the most likely result. Instead, introduce sister brands in your emails, and suggest recipients to subscribe if interested.

CafePod-voucherIdeas for using B2C signup forms for data collection

Organize a competition or giveaway – give consumers the chance to win a prize, or claim a free sample in exchange for giving you their data. CafePod used this strategy and drove sales through a thank you email.

Promote email as a channel to get exclusive news or updates – Media 10 did this for the promotion of a Star Trek event and gathered 12,000 new contacts in the process.

Offer consumers the chance to sign up during the checkout process – they are just about to purchase something from you, so they might be interested in your news too.

The elements of successful B2C signup forms

  • If it’s on a separate page
    • Make sure the headline succinctly describes benefit or prize. A long headline might run the risk of losing conversions for good.
    • Include enticing images – show a picture of competition prizes, an example of your newsletter, or an image of your offer. Whatever it is, make it appealing and specific to your brand.
    • Avoid clutter – be it too much text, too many options or links, avoid packing too much on a page if you want to maximize conversions.
  • If it’s part of a page:
    • Only include a few key fields – like name and email address – to maximize conversions. But strive to obtain more information in subsequent emails like birthday and location, as more data will help you create emails with higher engagement conversions.signup-form-whittard
    • Make it stand out through design and placement – use contrasting colours and place above-the-fold if possible.
  • Make the user experience flow – is the form mobile-optimized? What about the thank you page after submission? What about your mobile email template? Make sure you stay true to the expectations you set.
  • Use automation to trigger an email confirmation of whatever action the consumer has just taken (be it competition entry, newsletter sign-up, etc.). Consumers are most likely to be engaged right after filling in the form.
  • Test! – test colours, button shapes, image vs video, different types of copy, different number of fields. Test early, test often and iterate. It’s the only way to know what works with your audience.

One size doesn’t fit all: using smart data for personalization

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  • Phil_Stone00

    Useful stuff, thanks.

    I’ve also found that a signup form for mobile devices is a great way to get new subscribers. MailChimp and FreshMail apps work best for me.