How to make a newsletter signup form

If your business relies on email marketing, then continuously building your email list is an important priority. Encouraging your website and social media visitors to sign up for your e-newsletter can help you connect with prospective customers. Strategically designing your newsletter signup form can increase its effectiveness, helping you build your email list and reach potential leads — right in their inboxes.

Creating a newsletter signup form isn’t as easy as it might seem. Here are some key tips to keep in mind to improve your form’s performance and get more subscribers.

Use a form builder tool

A form builder tool like Jotform makes it easy to create clean, visually appealing signup forms. Jotform offers a wide selection of newsletter signup form template options, which can save you time setting up your form. And you can edit and customize the templates to fit your needs.

Alternatively, you can create a form from scratch. The drag-and-drop editor is incredibly simple to use, so you can quickly create a custom form — without needing any coding knowledge.

With Jotform, you can easily embed your completed form right into your website for a professional look.

Make it easy to complete the form

It might be tempting to try to gather as much information about your potential customers as possible, but your newsletter signup form isn’t the place to do it. Instead, keep your form short, sweet, and as painless to fill out as possible.

Remember, many of your potential subscribers will be completing this form on their phones. Keep form fields to a minimum and only ask for the essential information you need, like a first name and an email address. The fewer fields you include, the easier it is for them to complete the form and the less likely they are to abandon the form before subscribing.

Include a call to action

In addition to making the form easy to complete, you also need to make it clear and simple to understand. Your visitors should quickly recognize what they’re signing up for by filling out the form.

Including a call to action (CTA) can help achieve these goals. Get specific and use a CTA like “Subscribe to our newsletter” or “Join our fan club.”

You might also offer an incentive or opt-in bonus, like a piece of gated content or a special offer for subscribers. In this case, it’s important to highlight that offer in the CTA. Include a call to action like “Claim your discount now” or “Subscribe to get your free book.”

Make your form look great

A visually pleasing subscription form is more inviting and is likely to help drive conversions by capturing a visitor’s attention. Choose a font that matches your branding, but make sure that it’s also easy to read.

You can also use colors and graphics to make your form more appealing, but be careful not to go overboard and make a form too busy. Instead, use colors and white space to guide visitors through filling out the fields. Then, include a big, eye-catching form submission button with a call to action so website visitors immediately understand where to click and what to do.

Incorporate social proof

Social proof, which demonstrates that others have subscribed to your newsletter or enjoyed your content, helps boost user trust and can contribute to conversions and completed signup forms. This social proof can be a testimonial, a review, or even a social media post that a follower has written about your business.

When adding social proof, keep it short, but add a picture of the person who wrote the content. This keeps your form easy to scan, and the photo helps validate the fact that you’re sharing content from an actual person.

Strategically place your email newsletter signup form

Where you place your email signup form also affects the likelihood that people will fill it out. You can embed it onto your website homepage, but chances are it will be more effective if you embed it on a specific landing page. You can then use social media and other channels to direct visitors to the landing page so the form will be easy to find and fill out.

Test your strategies

All of the above tips can help increase conversions and drive new subscribers, but there’s a certain amount of testing that’s required as well. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different messaging, form fields, and even different designs, colors, and CTAs. Be sure to record the results of each variation that you test so you can continuously improve your signup form’s performance and build your newsletter list.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

A journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked for TV, newspapers, radio, and Internet companies for 25 years. He’s written for, Fast Company, NBC, Entrepreneur, USA Today, and Business Insider, among others.

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