Does your company send out an email newsletter? Do you spend lots of time and money on making it the best possible newsletter you can?
If so, you’re probably making every effort to funnel prospects into your newsletter’s signup form. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean people are actually signing up for it.
4 ways to improve your email newsletter form
One of the most overlooked facets of creating a successful email newsletter campaign is the actual form itself—the one people have to fill out in order to become subscribers.
Companies spare no expense when it comes to the funnel that precedes it and the content that comes after, but the form often gets overlooked.
So, if you’re not seeing as many people signing up as you would like, consider the following four ways you could improve what might be the bottleneck, your form.
1. Create compelling copy based on your newsletter’s offer.
Although it might seem like just about every company these days has an email newsletter, that doesn’t mean they’re all the same.
Does your newsletter offer the exact same value as that of a competitor?
Then, it’s vital that you use copy to explain what makes your newsletter stand out in the form. It should outline exactly what recipients have to look forward to if they decide to provide their email addresses.
Don’t assume your entire audience simply sees the intrinsic value in a newsletter. Instead, be specific. If possible, include what current recipients have said about the value you offer.
While lead magnets can boost subscriptions, don’t forego compelling copy in the form itself. Otherwise, many people may simply provide their address for the magnet and then immediately unsubscribe.
2. The design/UX of your email newsletter form
Is your newsletter form user-friendly?
Just like with the rest of your site, if your form doesn’t follow UX best practices, you may still see some interest, but it won’t be nearly as much as you’d enjoy if your form was more intuitive.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by allowing people to use social login credentials to sign up for your newsletter. Instead of making people remember yet another password, let them click on the social platform of their choice to quickly sign up for your newsletter. It couldn’t be any easier.
If you do need to use multiple fields, consider a platform like Garlic.js, which automatically saves the text for them. That way, if someone makes a mistake and needs to reenter information, they only need to do it for one box, not the entire form – something that is sure to chase away a potential subscriber.
Finally, choose a minimalist template. While compelling text is important, a bunch of graphic bells-and-whistles are not. You don’t want any distractions between the user and a completed form.
3. Where the email newsletter form lives on the site
It’s never been easier to add an email newsletter form to your website. The challenge is knowing where it should go to see the most attention and garner the most signups.
In essence, this form is no different than other CTAs that might be on your website. As such, it’s imperative that you not display it where it wouldn’t make sense. At best, this mistake will simply fail to boost subscriptions. At worst, you’ll turn off potential subscribers to the idea of signing up.
A prime example of this is using pop-up ads. Although there is evidence these ads can work, for most companies, it’s best to avoid them at all costs. Most people aren’t going to sign up for your newsletter simply because an ad shows up the minute they visit your website.
Again, think of traditional CTA. Where do you tend to put them for best results? For the most part, they come after high-quality content, right?
That’s why you should pair your signup forms with content upgrades. Once a prospective subscriber is done reading a well-written, informative post, they’ll be ready for more, especially if all they need to do is provide you their email address (or, better yet, click a social login link) to get it.
4. The data fields in your email newsletter form
How many data fields should you include on your newsletter form?
This is a very common question.
Fortunately, the answer is a simple one: as many as it takes to segment your audience.
For some of you, this may not be an issue. If you’re just starting out with your list, you probably haven’t been able to segment it yet. In that case, give people the opportunity to sign up with a single click through a social login.
On the other hand, if you do have different segments, include enough fields in your form to address them through different newsletters.
Do not overdo it, though.
Many companies use their forms to gather information they don’t actually need to properly serve each segment. They ask about age, marital status, location, and a whole host of other traits that may help improve their marketing but isn’t necessary for providing a newsletter.
Back in 2013, at the MarketingSherpa Lead Gen Summit, a test proved that each additional field decreases conversions by 11%. That likely hasn’t improved much over the years, so keep it simple.
It’s just not worth losing recipients who don’t want to go through this entire process. Ask for what you need and leave it at that.
Prioritize your email newsletter form
If you value the potential of your email newsletter, you need to also value the importance of the form people must complete in order to subscribe.
Until you do, the success of your email newsletter will never reach its potential. You’ll never put it in front of as many people as you otherwise could.
However, while it’s always wise to continuously test for better results, optimizing your form based on the above advice is a one-time investment. After that, you can put your focus back on the newsletter itself, confident that you’re not missing out on a much larger audience.