How to Create Email Signup Forms That Convert

Now days, email inboxes are like battlefields. “According to the Radicati Group, the average number of emails sent and received per user per day is 115. That breaks down to 78 emails received and 37 emails sent.” After this, getting them to subscribe for your email newsletter seems to be a real hard nut to crack. Apart from creating value added content, the second most important thing you need to do is to create a very impactful subscription form to build your email list.

There are basically three important aspects of a subscription form: form copy, design and positioning of it. We have earlier talked about the positioning of the subscription form to get more people to signup. Here we will talk about the form content copy. There is no one solution to give the best results to all. There are a number of key ways to attract and convince your prospects to sign up for your email newsletters. Let’s discuss how to get the maximum out of your form copy and convince your prospects to sign up.

1) Design Your Message Offering Freebies 

Offering freebies are the most common and popular way to get your visitors subscribe to your email list. Your readers would surely love to get something for free in exchange for their email information. It’s not necessary to offer something expensive, but the giveaway should have some real value for the readers for which they can take up the hassle of filling up the subscription form. If you have something of that sort, you’ll kill it for sure.




Offering free eBook, whitepaper, online tutorial or special discount deals are great incentives to get people to subscribe for your newsletter. Sites like and internet marketers too offer such giveaways to attract people to signup. But it’s very important to remember that the rate of subscription is directly proportionate to the quality of the freebie offered. Good giveaways work as a steroid for email subscriptions whereas the low quality eBooks and giveaways are dead.

RazorSocial has kept one of their email subscription form with free eBook as a permanent part of their site design. This is a very nice way to promote your eBooks.

2) Give Your Readers Reason to Sign-Up

If you really wish to increase your email subscribers and grow your email list, you have to garner a good number of signups on a regular basis. And for that you need to give your readers a good reason to get on-board. Clearly communicate the value you are providing and how it’s relevant to them. Keep it simple, make your value proposition very clear and tell then what they’ll get and how they will be benefited by signing up for your newsletter. After all, “relevance and value are king”.

To draw clarity in your offerings, communicate your proposed value through short and crisp bullet points. Make it clear “What’s in it for the prospect.” You might need to do some testing in order to find the right message to convey the benefit to your prospects.


3) Add a Social Proof 

At times, all you need is to gain the trust of your prospects to get them to signup. Build their confidence around your subscription form by including testimonials and showing them that there is a huge community of like minded people in your email list. You can do it easily if you have a good number of subscribers in your kitty. Quote the number of subscribers you already have and ask the visitors to join the growing community. It really works!

Popular sites like SocialMediaExaminer, Razor Social, MarketingProfs are doing this successfully to get their readers subscribe to their email lists. If you don’t have an equally impressive list of 5-6 digit figures, in that case you can include testimonial from your current customers or influencers in your community as a social proof.


4) Make Use of an Online Archive

People already get a lot of mails everyday, so they don’t generally opt to subscribe a new blog without a solid reason. Even when you communicate what is there in the mails for them, many readers would still prefer to have a look just to check whether it’s really worth exchanging their email address for. In such cases, an online archive of you email newsletters can be of real help for you. And if your newsletters are really impressive, it’ll surely help you grow your mailing list.

PracticalEcommerce is using this trick to get their visitors sign up for the newsletters. They have a well managed online archive of their regular newsletters. They provide a link to it in their subscription form with the text “View a Sample”. From there the readers get a clear idea about what they can expect in future from you if they sign up. This ultimately helps your prospects in decision making.

Tip: If you don’t have a proper archive, then too you can create a PDF file with some of your old newsletters and upload it online.

5) Ask for Email to Leave a Comment

If you have a good reader base along with a healthy active community, you can very well leverage it to accelerate your email sign ups. You can tell your visitors to sign up for the email newsletters the moment they try to leave a comment on your blog as a guest. Create a copy asking them to sign up to comment or share and get news updates through emails.
Big sites like Huffington Post,, Kissmetrics  are doing this to increase their email lists.

6) Create Message Evoking Emotions

For most of the blogs it’s not mandatory to sign up for email newsletters to continue reading their blog posts. You can simply ignore the subscription form, tick on the cross sign at the corner of the pop-up  box or click on “No Thanks”, “Ask Later” etc. But some of the bloggers/marketers are using this space very intelligently to evoke a strong emotion by including a message in the copy like ConversionXL has done in their email signup form below. At least the visitors will think twice before clicking on this or ignoring this.

Sites like ConversionXL, GrooveHQ etc. are encashing this human tendency of acting intelligently thus converting many visitors into subscribers who otherwise wouldn’t have signed up.


Before you create your form copy remember to test, test, test and optimize the results. Also, imagine yourself in your readers place and try to think whether you feel it’s worth to sign up or not, if you think yes then go ahead with the copy. It’s not necessary to touch the sweet spot in the very first attempt but then A/B test a few variants of your subscription copies and decide upon the one earning maximum sign ups. 

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