Let’s face it, newsletter sign-up pop-up forms are really annoying.
Whenever you visit a website to find the information you are looking for, what can be more off-putting than to be faced with an irritating overlay popping up on-screen, blocking your progress.
Adding these pop-ups and overlays that you cannot close without performing some sort of action is a very common trick website owners use to manipulate you into giving them your email address.
You may start to question whether it’s worth the effort of trying to build an email list if placing a pop-up signup form on your site is annoying for your visitors, but offering your users a newsletter is a great way to add value to your website, so it’s worth the effort of creating one.
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Despite their annoying appearance, these pop-ups do actually work! The theory goes that if you irritate your web visitors enough a large amount of them will give you what you want just to get at the information they are looking for.
However, there is a price to pay for this aggressive technique. For every successful email address captured you will most likely have alienated another ten potential new customers. Maybe not the best approach, right?
Less desperation and more subtlety
We all know there is money in building a list, and newsletter subscriptions are one of many ways to make money from your website, but most website owners are so keen to get sign-ups to their newsletter that they will resort to anything to get names as quickly as possible, which can smack of desperation.
A more effective long-term way to grow yourself a solid list is to slow down and take a more subtle, low-key approach to gather names for your list. By using a less ‘in your face’ approach with a more unobtrusive sign-up strategy will alienate less users and steadily grow your list over time.
Better design, good copy and common sense wins
You can design an effective newsletter sign-up form without annoying your web users. Let’s take a look at five effective ways to encourage your users to sign up with you by getting into the psychology of what your users want from you and how you can effectively deliver this.
- Create a compelling offer
Focus on what value you are offering your prospective sign-ups.
- Point users to your newsletter
You can include a sign-up link on the headers or footers of your static web pages.
- Make it easy and quick to sign up
No one likes to write a thesis when signing up for a newsletter.
- Utilise your thank-you page
It’s much easier to convince a happy customer to sign up than a cold lead.
- Invite via your social media pages
People now check their social feeds more times a day than they check their email inbox, so why not engage with them on your social media platforms?
1. Create a compelling offer
No matter how pretty you make your sign-up form look, if you don’t have an effective offer that converts, your efforts will be wasted.
Focus on what value you are offering your prospective sign-ups in exchange for their email address. People are now so wary of giving over their email address because they don’t want their inbox to be spammed into oblivion.
Work out what your target newsletter audience wants, and then deliver it to them. It is worth testing a few offers to see which ones are gaining the most interest so you can tweak your offers to be more appealing.
2. Point users to your newsletter
Instead of slapping them around the face with an annoying newsletter sign-up overlay, be more subtle by delivering your users with the information they want, then at the end of your copy point them towards your newsletter as a call to action.
You can do this by including a single line of text at the end of your blog posts offering more free information by signing up to your newsletter and including a link to your sign-up page. You can also include a sign-up link on the headers or footers of your static web pages.
3. Make it easy and quick to sign up
No one likes to write a thesis when signing up for a newsletter. Many marketers argue about whether you should ask for the user’s first name on an email sign-up form, or just a simple email address entry.
While asking for their first name makes it easier to personalise your newsletter delivery, some marketers believe simply capturing their email address is more compelling as it makes your opt-in form quicker to complete, therefore it will encourage more people to subscribe.
If you want to build your list quickly, you may grow your list faster by removing all entry fields except the email address.
4. Utilise your thank-you page
We all know that it is easier to encourage an existing customer to buy from you again than to convert a brand new customer. The same goes for gathering email addresses for your newsletter – it’s much easier to convince a happy customer to sign up than a cold lead.
The thank-you page is a very underrated tool that can help you to grow your email newsletter list. Your customer has just purchased something from you so will still be on a high from that buy.
You can then offer them an irresistible offer that’s hard to turn down, such as a one-time discount of 50% off their next purchase within the next 10 days by signing up to your newsletter. Or you could offer a reward for subscribing and sharing your offer on their social media accounts.
5. Invite via your social media pages
While email marketing is far from extinct, most people these days have embraced communication over social media. People now check their social feeds more times a day than they check their email inbox, so why not engage with them on your social media platforms?
You can create a landing page specifically for your social media followers to make it easy for them to sign up. Post or tweet the link to your sign-up page at the end of your posts to encourage more followers to join your list.
Monitor the ROI of the content you put out on your blog and social media to make sure you are giving your target audience what they want.
When looking to build your email list consistently over time without alienating your potential new customers, then take the above listed more subtle and persuasive approaches that can lead to you building a very strong and valuable list.
Yes, this will take a lot of time and effort, but if you start today you will quickly see results that offer more quality to your bottom line over the long-term than more aggressive email collection methods.
Remember that your subscribers will be looking for great value, so make sure that you can offer them something desirable in exchange for their email address. Think about what convinced you to hand over your email address to the newsletters that you are subscribed to.
Don’t neglect good web design principles either. Incorporate better copy and constant testing of your results and reviewing your customer data. Don’t be afraid to go back to basics if your strategies are not working for you. It’s better to start again from scratch than to continue to build on a design that is flawed at its foundations.