The more subscribers you have, the more people you can reach with interesting and engaging newsletter content. Through your newsletters, you can shape their perception of you and your brand. And when they’re ready to commit, chances are high they’ll happily consider you as their brand or provider of choice. This is why growing your email list is incredibly important for your business. 

But to get your content in front of potential subscribers, you have to first persuade them to use their emails to sign up for your newsletter, which can be tricky—because people don’t give out their emails and other personal details on a whim. In a recent study, nearly 40% of internet users said they restrict the information they give out online, which means your newsletter signup form needs to be so engaging that it overcomes that barrier and convinces people to part with their email.

But what exactly is a newsletter signup form? In this article, you can find out what it is, find tips for creating amazing newsletter signup forms and see amazing examples of signup forms worth copying.

What is a newsletter signup form, and why do you need one?

A newsletter signup form is used to capture the email address of would-be subscribers. Your newsletter signup can be any form—or some other type of tool—used to collect emails and build an audience. 

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Getting started growing your email list doesn’t have to be time-consuming or require a lot of technical know-how. Flodesk helps you create beautiful landing pages and popups so you can get started growing your email list—even without a website.

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To learn more about growing your audience without a website, read How to Build an Email List Without a Website.

Apart from enabling your new subscribers to access all the fantastic content, incentives and promotions your newsletter provides, newsletter signup forms are important for another reason. They act as the vehicle for seeking permission from your subscribers to email them in the first place. By completing your signup form, they’re giving their consent to receive email marketing from you.

6 tips for creating newsletter signups that convert

These days, people are continually marketed to through many channels. People have become more protective of their data and there needs to be a strong incentive for people to share their email addresses. So how can you make your newsletter signups as compelling and attractive as possible in order to encourage people to subscribe? We’re sharing our six top tips below.

1. Create a visually appealing form 

While there might be several bits of information you want your signup form to contain, optimizing the design is critical so it’s simple, clean and visually engaging. The first point to note here is simplicity. Design simplicity is a key driver in attracting and retaining subscribers, so using simple design elements that align with your brand is essential. The form below is a great example of this, using a simple layout of an image and sign-up section with an eye-catching color palette and bold text.

jessica hanlon

White space is another crucial part of your signup form’s design as it creates visual breathing room for your eye as it moves between other design elements. This is what white space looks like in a signup form; it’s the blank spaces you see in the form below:

little whimsy

White space increases your content’s legibility, helping people understand what’s going on, improving the user experience. Research has shown that white space may improve comprehension by up to 20%, and good use of white space can also draw attention to your call-to-action button.

Images should also be relevant and high-quality. People react quicker to images than text, so it’s important your image doesn’t distract people from your signup button and that any pictures you use reinforce the message your text is trying to get across. 

2. Be clear on the benefits subscribers get from signing up

Potential subscribers are unlikely to just give away their email when they’re not sure what benefits they’ll get from it. So, it’s important to highlight the benefits that come from signing up to your list and make it as clear and precise as possible. There are two things you need to consider when promoting the benefit of your newsletter on your signup form. The first is an obvious incentive or freebie that subscribers will receive when they join your list. This could be some digital content like a free ebook or checklist, or it could be a discount code for their first purchase. 

The second benefit you need to promote is the value that subscribers will receive from the actual newsletter itself. Consider the goals of your audience or their pain points and think about what you can offer in the way of relevant and useful information that helps to address those. For example, say you’re a toddler crafts subscription box service, you might create content that shows how children build creativity or problem-solving skills through crafting.

Also, be clear on what they don’t get when they sign up. For example, a short sentence at the bottom of your signup form reassuring newsletter subscribers that you’ll never spam them or sell their contact information can allay their potential fears.

3. Use social proof to encourage signup

People are more likely to take action when they’re offered evidence that others have done so before them. Using social proof, like showing how many subscribers your newsletter already has, is a great way to encourage new visitors to come on board. 

Adding professional certifications or sharing ratings from places like Google Reviews can also act as social proof. 81% of people trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from friends or family. So you can also add testimonials from current subscribers to your signup form so visitors can see the real value that other people are getting from your newsletter or freebie.

4. Get your timing right

There’s nothing worse than arriving at a website only to be greeted immediately by an annoying popup inviting you to subscribe. In today’s digital world, we’re bombarded with people who want our information in order to sell us things we probably don’t need. So, scheduling a popup as soon as someone arrives at your site means you’ve invested zero energy in engaging them in you, your brand or the value you can create for them. Give visitors a chance to see what you’re offering and appreciate your excellent user experience before timing your signup form to appear.

Of course, you don’t want to wait too long before encouraging visitors to sign up for your newsletter. So, what’s the perfect formula? One way to figure it out is digging into your metrics to get a feel for how long people tend to spend on your site and making sure you’re encouraging signup before then. Research from the journal Human-Computer Interaction found that people switched on average from one screen activity to another every 20 seconds. So hitting them with an interesting, well-designed popup within that time frame is generally a good rule of thumb.

To learn more about how to optimize your signup form on your website, read 5 High-Converting Places on Your Website to Add Your Opt-in Email Form.

5. Make sure your CTA button shows what’s next after signup

It’s vital that your call-to-action button reinforces what happens after visitors sign up to your email list. Don’t use something generic like a “Send” button. Using “Subscribe” is okay, but being a bit more specific with your CTA is even better. 

Use it as an opportunity to create a feeling of exclusivity—something like “Join the club” can be a good option—or to remind visitors of the freebie or promotion they’ll have access to after they subscribe. Make sure that your CTA button stands out from the rest of your email newsletter signup form by using an eye-catching color scheme or font.

6. Always confirm signup with a welcome email

Once visitors subscribe to your email list, it’s important to automatically generate an email to their address confirming their signup. A popup or message in their browser advising them to check their email, including spam folders, helps make sure you don’t lose subscribers straight off the bat.

After confirming their address, the next email you send should be your welcome email because 74% of subscribers expect to receive a welcome email immediately after subscribing to an email list. Your welcome email should be the start of a chain of other emails introducing new subscribers to your brand, products or services and immediately providing them with value so they can appreciate the benefit of signing up for your newsletter.

To learn more about designing an effective email sequence for new subscribers, read How to Write a Workflow Email Funnel.

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7 newsletter signup examples to grow your audience

Now that you know exactly what makes a great newsletter signup form, let’s look at a few examples of businesses that use our top tips to engage potential subscribers and grow their email lists.

1. Cumber’s Corner

Cumber’s corner

Lifestyle blog, Cumber’s Corner, offers a great example of an email signup form, hitting several of our top tips. The form is simple with a relevant image and lots of white space. It makes it crystal clear what the offer is—styling tips and recipes—and appeals to visitors’ fear of missing out with the phrase “Want to stay in the loop?” It also reassures visitors that their information is secure and won’t be shared. By adding a “First Name” field, it means Cumber’s Corner can personalize their future emails.

2. House of Lacuna

house of lacuna

Sustainable fashion company House of Lacuna uses its email capture form as an opportunity to display an image of one of its products, giving visitors an immediate sense of what the brand is all about. They also offer a promotion to new email subscribers, giving them $25 towards their first order. 

As an ecommerce business, this is a smart move from House of Lacuna whose audience is most likely to be motivated to sign up for a product discount. The rest of the form is simple and clear, so there’s nothing distracting from the offer, and the CTA button is prominent with larger font and in a contrasting color from the rest of the form.

3. The Mrs. Book

the mrs. book

The simple signup form used by The Mrs. Book, an heirloom-quality bridal book, reinforces their brand with an elegant color palette. In exchange for signing up, The Mrs. Book offers subscribers a relevant freebie—the ten secret tips the author used to get featured on Martha Stewart Weddings. 

Offering this free guide is a fantastic way for The Mrs. Book to influence visitors with social proof of the author’s expertise in this area. The thought of creating a wedding beautiful enough to be endorsed by a celebrity like Martha Stewart is likely to be highly appealing to this audience. The call-to-action button reminds visitors of the benefit they’ll receive by signing up.

To learn more about how to successfully market your freebie, read How to Build an Email List: 5 Ways to Market Your Freebie.

4. Nicole Bensen

nicole bensen

Nicole is a health and wellbeing enthusiast and Positive Psychology coach. Like The Mrs. Book, she offers subscribers a freebie to incentivize them to join her mailing list. The text on her signup form helps connect her to her audience by describing a likely pain point—overthinking—and offering some immediate and tangible help in the form of a worksheet. 

She even calls out the exact benefit—reduced stress—that subscribers can hope to gain from joining up. And, her call-to-action button reinforces what’s going to happen after signup by using the text ‘Send me the worksheet!’

5. Rachel Rainbolt

Sage Family

Simple living mentor Rachel Rainbolt’s signup form uses a large, bold headline to attract attention and draw visitors in to her offer. Once she’s caught their interest, she uses the following paragraph to sum up the benefits joining her mailing list brings. But Rachel goes one step further than articulating the value subscribers get from her financial wellness quiz and subsequent emails by adding a testimonial from one happy subscriber—a great example of social proof.

6. Color & Chic

color & chic

69% of people unsubscribe from email lists due to receiving too many emails. So it’s smart that Color & Chic state upfront how often subscribers can expect to hear from them. Not only does it reassure subscribers you won’t overwhelm their inbox with emails, but it acts as a subconscious prompt for them to look out for new content on a weekly basis, which means it’s less likely your email will get lost in all the others.

7. Lilou Jewellery

lilou jewellery

Lilou Jewellery’s simple popup form has a lot of white space that draws attention to the subscribe button which uses a contrasting color scheme to stand out against the white background. The signup copy is to the point and combines a dual offer of early access content and a discounted initial order. Using the title ‘Be in the know’ reinforces the feeling of exclusivity and of getting something that others aren’t.

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Showcase the benefits of your email list 

Your email newsletter is a crucial tool for engaging and retaining your subscribers through valuable content that addresses their pain points or goals. Simple, well-thought-out newsletter signup forms that clearly show the benefits of joining your email list are the key to growing your audience.

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Flodesk is the fastest growing email marketing platform on the market, helping small business owners design emails people love to get. From stunning email templates to immersive forms, Flodesk makes it easy for you to build your email lists, engage your audience and convert subscribers into customers—all without a website.

Get unlimited email sends & subscribers for $38/mo with Flodesk

We’ll never penalize you for successfully growing your business