Subscribers are a valuable asset for every organisation invested in digital. In fact, almost three-quarters of UK-based companies now rate email marketing as a key ROI source, and close to 50% of consumers are signed up to receive emails from between 1-10 brands.
That said, it’s quite easy to veer off-piste when building a newsletter sign up form. For example, long forms can be incredibly off-putting, particularly when they stretch to birthday or category preferences.
The first thing you should ask yourself when building is: “Do we really need to make this process difficult?” Remember, if you’re not chasing leads, where qualifying is particularly important (the more fields, the better) – do you really need to make signing up a barrier to boosted conversions?
You should be looking to ease visitors into your platform with as little resistance as possible. More importantly you want to catapult them into enjoying the experience quickly.
So, ask yourself: “What’s the minimum number of fields we need to have on this form?”
In most cases you only really need to ask for the visitor’s name, email and password.
Don’t forget, you can ask the user to finalise their information via email once they have dipped their toes into the water.
Here are a few more questions to consider when designing your form:
- Should the user enter their password twice?
- Will an OAuth social login be enough?
- Can you remove the need for a username altogether? Will an email address and password combination suffice?
We have to say that simplistic forms aren’t for every business. Certain circumstances may make you think twice about making things too easy.
If you store sensitive user information, then you’ll probably want to steer clear of shortened forms.
And in some cases, it’s smarter to make your site exclusive. If played right, creating an air of exclusivity can create scarcity and increase demand.
It’s unlikely that a visitor would land on your homepage and immediately decide to sign up to your newsletter, so it’s important to present it as an accessible option throughout. If the user can’t see it, they can’t sign up.
Organisations must realise that getting someone to sign up is not the end of the story. It’s actually the beginning.
By choosing to sign up, customers have actively shown their appreciation, as well as expressing intent to hear from them in the future.
Most subscribers will want to know what kind of emails they will be receiving when signing up. Letting your users know what kind of emails you intend to send out will help build trust and let them know exactly what they are signing up for.
But overall, a friendly, consistent tone, slick design and curated content are great ways of keeping the customer interested in the long term.
Perhaps the most important thing to take away from this post is to get in to the habit of testing your forms. Copying another site’s form structure may seem like a smart move, but without testing your conversions or goals you’re not taking full advantage of your efforts, and you won’t see the results you may be expecting.