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Pop-up forms sometimes get a bad rap, but when used the right way, they can actually enhance the browsing experience and help you drive signups, engagement, and revenue.

When you create a pop-up in MailChimp, your forms will be highly customizable, mobile-friendly, and completely free. And, since they don’t require any coding on your part to get started, it’s easy to create a painless signup process for your subscribers in the same place you manage and track all of your other marketing.

In this article, we’ll provide tips and best practices to help you create effective pop-up forms and use them to grow your audience.

Create forms with your customers in mind

By its very nature, a pop-up form is designed to make it easy for your customers and other site visitors to sign up for your mailing list. As you’re planning and designing your form, be mindful of the experience you’re creating for your audience.

  • Limit the number of fields in your form. Don’t overwhelm your audience with a tedious and difficult signup experience. Include only the form fields that are most important to your business and your marketing goals.MailChimp makes it easy to give subscribers the opportunity to update their profile or preferences once they’re a part of your list, so don’t feel obligated to collect every possible piece of information from people as they’re signing up.
  • Keep your messaging clear and relevant. Before taking the time to fill out your form, your audience will probably want to know what exactly they’re signing up for. Add a quick message to your form to highlight the purpose of the mailing list, the incentives they might receive for signing up, or the frequency of your emails. Even a simple message, like  “Subscribe to get product updates in your inbox” or “Sign up to receive weekly updates and special offers from our store,” would do the trick.
Add a quick message to your form to highlight the purpose of the mailing list, the incentives they might receive for signing up, or the frequency of your emails.
  • Choose the right opt-in method. As you’re creating your pop-up form (or any form in MailChimp, for that matter), you’ll now have the option to toggle between single opt-in and double opt-in. Double opt-in forms require people to confirm their subscription before joining the list, while the single opt-in method eliminates friction from the signup process by allowing subscribers to enter their information and join the list in one simple step.
  • Optimize for mobile. Your audience interacts with your brand in a variety of different ways and from a variety of different devices, so it’s important that each element of your marketing—including your signup form—looks great no matter how they’ve accessed your site. MailChimp forms are mobile-friendly by default, so your audience can painlessly subscribe to your list from any device.
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  • Preview and test. Before your pop-up form goes live to your entire audience, be sure to preview and test to make sure everything is just right. While testing, consider your own experience with pop-up forms on other websites and make don’t be afraid to make adjustments that you think will help create the best possible experience for your audience.

Stay on brand

Create a cohesive experience for customers by designing your pop-up form to match the look and feel of your brand. MailChimp pop-up forms are fully customizable, so you can create a form that feels right at home on your website with no extra coding required.

Consider adding your brand’s logo to your form or including a beautiful background image—a product photo, perhaps—that catches the eye of your audience. Select a font and color palette that fits your brand, and be sure to create a compelling call to action button that makes encourages people to complete the signup process.

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Experiment with timing

One of the benefits of a pop-up form is the ability to control when it appears on your website. Try different delays or triggers on your site to see which helps you earn the most conversions.

  • Test a time-based delay. For some businesses, especially those who find that visitors don’t often spend much time browsing the website, it might be beneficial to surface the pop-up form as soon as someone navigates to the page. MailChimp pop-ups can be set to appear immediately when someone visits your site, 5 seconds after arrival, or 20 seconds after arrival.
  • Try a scroll-based trigger. If you would like to make content the top priority on your website—or you’d just like to give visitors a chance to spend more time on the page before surfacing a signup form—consider a scroll-based trigger. With MailChimp pop-up forms, the form can appear once someone scrolls to the middle of the page, the bottom of the page, or when we detect that they’re about to exit your site.

Offer incentives

Incentives can be a great way to drive traffic to your website and encourage people to sign up for your list. And, since you have the option to add a brief message to your MailChimp pop-up form, it’s easy to make sure all of your site’s visitors are aware of any ongoing promotions.

Maybe you’d like to entice people to subscribe by offering a promo code that gives them a discount at your store or free shipping on their first purchase. Or, maybe you’d rather give new subscribers the opportunity to receive exclusive content and special product updates. You can incentivize new subscribers in any way you’d like, just be sure it makes sense for your business—and your bottom line.

Entice people to subscribe by offering a promo code that gives them a discount at your store or free shipping on their first purchase.

Learn from your reports

Pop-up forms, much like the other elements of your marketing campaign that you manage in MailChimp, generate a lot of valuable data. After designing a form and implementing it on your website, don’t forget to monitor your reports to see exactly how many new subscribers it’s bringing to your list.

Once you’ve identified a baseline for your results, you can change the messaging, timing, and other variables to see how your form’s conversion rates are affected.

Have a plan for new subscribers

A pop-up form will attract new people to your list, but it’s important to plan ahead so you know what content you’ll be sending them. MailChimp has a lot of helpful tools and features to help you make the most of your new subscribers. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Send a welcome automation. Show your appreciation to new subscribers by setting up a welcome automation email that sends when someone new joins your list. Offer a discount or exclusive content, promote your best selling items and newest products, or just thank your new subscribers for their interest in your business.
  • Create an onboarding series. Introduce new subscribers to your business or your products with a helpful onboarding automation series. Provide new subscribers with with tips, resources, or educational materials that will help them get acclimated with your business, products, and services.
  • Use segmentation to tailor your message. Don’t feel obligated to send all of your subscribers the same content. Use the information you collect from your pop-up form (like signup location, for example) to create segments, so you can personalize your marketing and make your messaging more relevant.