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Newsletter Signup Forms: Best Practices

Newsletter signup forms are essential for lead nurturing and customer engagement. Read on for our recommendations and best practices.

Wondering how to create a newsletter signup form and why you should bother in the first place? Simply put, a newsletter is one of the most direct, effective ways to reach your customers.

Sure, you have other methods to communicate with clients. While you can reach out through advertising channels and social media platforms, there’s one big problem: you’re not actually in control of those communications. The third-party platform is.

Many social media sites have a pay-for-visibility model. If you don’t keep upping your ad budget, they can suppress your messages. Companies struggling for visibility are competing with every other business in that sector.

Newsletters take away the intermediary and let you communicate directly with clients. However, the customer must sign up to enjoy your well-crafted newsletters. Let’s look at what a newsletter signup form should include and what you need to avoid.

What is a newsletter signup form?

A newsletter signup form allows you to collect email addresses. This lets you directly contact people who subscribe to your newsletter. There are a variety of ways customers can sign up, including:

  • A dedicated landing page you drive traffic to
  • Floating bars or sidebars
  • Website headers
  • Pop-up sign-up forms and exit intent popups
  • In-person signatures, such as at a convention booth

Email addresses are often gathered through two-factor authentication. Typically, the customer will get an email right after using a signup form, and they can reply to accept communications from you. Once confirmed, the collected addresses go into a database, allowing you to create different audience segments and send newsletters or other promotional messages.

Why should your business have a newsletter signup form?

Newsletters have become a key part of many digital marketing strategies. Once you have a list of subscribers, you control the communication they receive, and your brand can reach out directly without relying on an intermediary.

Customers also love newsletters for a simple reason: social media is failing them. Unfortunately, they’re in danger of missing out on exciting product releases and seasonal sales due to social media algorithms not displaying your posts. Many of your customers will fill out an email capture form to guarantee getting messages on time.

Additional reasons to create a newsletter and subscription form include:

  • Nurture leads and grow sales
  • Build engagement and brand loyalty
  • Personalize communications
  • Learn about your customers and identify future email marketing opportunities

The do's of email newsletter signup forms

The first step to building your newsletter is crafting a compelling newsletter signup form. Here are 10 tips:

Be clear about your intentions

Before creating a newsletter signup form, you need a clear vision of your offering. You don’t want any surprises when your newsletter hits a customer's inbox.

How often will you contact email subscribers? What will you talk about? Don’t make false or fuzzy promises.

Provide a simple email signup form

An effective sign up form is simple. It also tends to be text-light. You’ll notice that the best newsletter signup examples make every word count. They supplement the minimal text with a few graphics. These pictures are carefully chosen to communicate your brand and products.

Create a signup form page

There are many ways to collect email addresses, but a signup page is one of the most effective. These pages give you plenty of space to work in valuable offers and great graphics. Once you embed a form on your website, make sure to verify all the components work correctly.

A/B test your newsletter strategy

Once you’ve learned how to create a great newsletter, it’s time to fine-tune your approach. You may have figured out how to make a compelling newsletter for one demographic. These guidelines may not carry over to others. A/B testing gives you a clear picture of what your audience responds best to.

Leverage social proof

Social proof can boost your brand's appeal. How many subscribers are already on your newsletter list? What are they getting that non-subscribers are missing out on? Was there a flash sale for subscribers only? If you have any endorsements from customers about your newsletter, you can share them on your email newsletter signup form.

Have a call to action

Make it clear what action the customer needs to take to subscribe. It can be as simple as a ‘Subscribe Now’ button in a contrasting color next to your subscription form. You can also offer a CTA with a value proposition like ‘I want 20% off my next purchase.’

Offer value

By 2025, there will be more than 4 billion email users globally, making it essential to showcase your newsletter's value right away. After all, consumers don’t want just another email to take up space in their flooded inboxes. Center the conversation on your customer, not your brand, and focus on what you can give them, such as:

  • Being the first to know about flash sales
  • Getting a coupon for their next purchase
  • Insider news on hot new products
  • Tips and tricks for getting the most out of your service
  • Voting on limited-edition products

Use a form builder tool

A great newsletter signup form needs to be visually appealing and have functional buttons. It should also be appropriate for your industry while covering all your legal bases. Putting so many elements together can be overwhelming, but Mailchimp’s form builder tool takes the guesswork out. This enables you to create attractive forms that help you get more subscribers.

Have a double opt-in process

The double opt-in process reduces the risk of your email being considered spam. It also starts building engagement. The subscriber needs to confirm twice that they want to be on your list. This second confirmation often involves opening an email and responding. The response process sets a precedent for them clicking on future messages.

Welcome new subscribers after signup

A welcome email or series is a great way to communicate with your subscribers. Not only do they help recipients learn more about your brand, but they also increase the likelihood of generating revenue by up to 320%.

Additionally, a welcome message demonstrates what your newsletter has to offer. This sets the tone and establishes the value you’re offering subscribers. Secondly, it helps cement in their minds why your brand is contacting them. If you email them for the first time months after signing up, customers may have forgotten who you are and unsubscribe.

The don'ts of email newsletter signup forms

A newsletter can be a highly effective communication tool, but only if you avoid certain practices. When trying to grow your newsletter, don’t do the following:

Use complicated marketing jargon

This is the benefit of a simple signup form. You may need to cover your legal bases with certain statements. However, you don’t want to flood the customer with complicated legalese. It can irritate potential leads who may click away. Complex jargon also tends to set vague expectations, leading to frustrated newsletter recipients.

Make the form hard to find

Ideally, your company isn’t relying on just one method of collecting addresses. Pointing all your social media traffic at a newsletter signup page can lead you to miss out on subscribers who aren’t on those platforms. Make the sign up form easy to find on your site using CTA buttons or a newsletter signup popup form and mention it frequently in customer communications.

Forget about mobile users

In the rush to build your list, don’t fall into the trap of focusing on laptop and computer users. A surprising number of forms aren't optimized for mobile devices. Images can get cut off and customers may be overwhelmed with text. The whole experience can put them off before the first email goes through. Check with multiple devices that the signup form looks right. A newsletter signup template can help you optimize your website for mobile users.

Make unsubscribing difficult

You worked hard to build your email list with a newsletter signup form. Of course, you don’t want customers to unsubscribe. However, a difficult unsubscription process won’t protect your database of emails. They’ll still unsubscribe, as is their legal right, and the poor experience may harm your brand. That lost reputation will be much harder to rebuild than a deflated email list.

Bombard subscribers with several emails quickly

This is a tricky ‘don’t’ that trips many brands until they can learn more about their customers. People will get irritated when their inboxes are cluttered with too-frequent emails. A flood of messages can also give the impression of lower-value communications. After all, why bother opening the email when they know there will be another one in a few hours?

So what counts as ‘too much?’ That varies depending on your industry and target demographics. Weekly to monthly newsletters seem to be a good starting point for many brands. As you experiment with more or less frequent emails, keep an eye on open and unsubscribe rates. They’ll tell you how your customers are responding.

Create an effective newsletter signup form and build engagement

A newsletter is one of your business’s best ways to build relationships and increase engagement. It can help you learn about your clients and turn them into loyal repeat customers. With the right feedback, you may also troubleshoot ad campaigns. Many businesses find their newsletter to be a key factor in company growth.

However, growing a newsletter list and building engagement requires regular maintenance. Every company is actively refining its signup process and newsletters. This includes new businesses and established brands alike.

Mailchimp can help companies at all stages of newsletter building, from signup pages to advanced campaigns. We offer premade newsletter templates and newsletter signup examples that work with various industries and audiences. Plus, you can track metrics and improve your strategy with our suite of analytics tools.

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