Grow your Email List by Optimizing your Subscribe Forms

Have you ever read your own posts on your phone? 80% of users are mobile after all. Do you even remember seeing your own subscribe forms?

Chances are that unless you were looking for them, you passed by them without even seeing them, especially if you have ads on your site. In fact, go to a few sites and scroll through their posts. Did you see their sign up forms?

In a world where we are so used to ads, our brains have an amazing ability to filter out what we don’t want to see. This means that for your blog, your readers will only see what their brain registers as your site. And unless you have made this a focus, your forms probably get sorted by the brain as an “ad” and not even seen.

Why dedicate a whole post to subscribe forms? Well, any pro blogger will go on and on about how important it is to grow your email list. Email addresses give you the ability to directly communicate with your readers. A very powerful tool once you have a gigantic email list. Not only can you generate traffic to new posts but eventually promote and sell through your email list too.

So, let’s start getting you subscribers by improving your forms.

Disclaimer: Through no additional cost to you, I may be compensated from affiliate links included in this post. Learn more here.

10 Tips to Increase Subscribe Form Conversion Rate

1. The reader needs to know it’s you

In order to get any clicks on your subscribe form, the reader must know it’s your form. To do this, stick to only using your brand. What do I mean by that? Here is a list of items you can use:

  • Your logo
  • Your face
  • Your colors
  • Your fonts

A lot of people think that they should use a really loud color or make the form stand out. While this might make it stand out, unless the reader can tell instantaneously that it is your content, they will ignore it.

Again, another mistake I see is that bloggers will try to make the form “beautiful” by adding a background photo. The form is beautiful but unfortunately most of the times, the form will go “unseen” because it looks like an ad. Simple, in a lot of cases, is better. For instance, pick one of your brand colors as the background of the form instead.

Work on your site branding, not just your form

I have a full post on how to really make your site cohesive and well branded. I mention it here because if you make your form well branded, but your site isn’t, then it won’t help you. A lot of times, the use of color throughout the site is on places like the sidebar which doesn’t show in mobile. Scroll through one of your posts on mobile and see how well your brand comes through.

Something else that is fascinating to see is that if you site is well branded and you have ads (beyond just Google Adsense), then the ads will start using your color scheme and font choices as well.

2. Click button color

If you have spent any time reading about form conversion, then you are bound to come across a lot of literature on button color. There are a lot of posts that claim certain colors performed better than others. However, you can’t get the same results from just using the same button color.

Instead, you need to focus on picking a button color that is on brand and pops. If the color stands out, then it is more likely to catch the readers eye. For example, orange will do better than a soft pink. However, you also want the form to look like your site, so you need to pick a color from your color scheme.

If all of your colors are soft, then make sure your form includes them in high volume such as the form background. You could try a soft color for the click button as well. If you aren’t seeing conversions, I would then try changing one of the colors to a darker color (soft pink to a bright pink) for a button color.

I would use a color scheme designer (search in google) and choose the monochromatic option. This will give you your color in various shades. Your form will still feel on brand due to the use of the other colors on your form.

If you do use a button color that isn’t on brand, then try adding your logo or a headshot on your form. These are ways to make sure your form isn’t seen as an ad.

3. Text on the form

I think this is the hardest part of the form. What do you write? What should you write to get people to want to sign up?

To start brainstorming, put yourself in your reader’s shoes. You just visited your site for the first time and read a post. What does that reader want that you have to offer? More importantly, what does that reader get by signing up?

You can offer an incentive (more on that in the next point) but I mean what do the emails provide? What type of information do they get? Is it helpful to their lives? This is what you want to highlight.

Keep it short

The next rule is don’t write a paragraph. Keep it short. You need to first catch the reader’s attention in a sentence or less on your form. This part should be in a large text. Save the details for a smaller text so if they want to read more about your forms they can.

You want to make sure they know it is free. Make sure to get that word in the form. You can also add that you won’t spam them or give their email away. Reassure them that it is safe to sign up with you.

The text on the button should be anything but the standard “subscribe” or “sign up”. Make the text fit your voice on your blog and make it fun. It should also fit what they will get. If you offer free coaching through your email list, then maybe have the button say “I want in”. Maybe you run giveaways through your email, then use text like “I love free”.

Now, how to really know what to write. Go to your favorite blogs in your niche and study their forms. Additionally, go to big sites who have professional teams and learn from them. Try to see how you could adapt some of the things they do on their forms to yours.

4. Incentivize

Every single site, blog, store and company wants your email. You already get so many emails a day, do you really want to sign up for yet another email list?

Most readers on your site will need a little extra push to sign up for this very reason. You have to make it worth their while. You need to show value up front. While they might like being on your email list and getting your emails, they aren’t sure. However, they do know they want your freebie.

This means your freebie (the incentive piece) needs to be something that the majority of your readers will want. If you blog in multiple topics, then you might want to consider a freebie library. A very common one is a printable library. Therefore, you can make printables to accompany each topic or every post. Sometimes, bloggers will offer print versions via email sign up as an incentive.

Again, the best way to brainstorm is to see what other sites are giving away for free. Now that you know your competition and what your readers might like, you will have a better chance of making a freebie that they want.

5. Placement of the form

Where your form is in the post is just as important as the form itself. Additionally, you don’t want to have it just once. I would place your first form close to the beginning. This will allow your form to be easily recognized as yours since they just saw your logo if you follow the rules from above.

While most conversions will come from the forms at the end of your content, the form at the beginning is training the reader’s eye. Now when they see it again, they are less likely to skip it as an ad.

Place your next form three-fourths of the way through and then one at the very end before comments. If someone reads your post that far, then they like your material. You want to be sure to get a form in front of their eyes because they are most likely to subscribe. Additionally, by placing forms near the end and at the very end, you have removed the barrier of them searching all over for how to sign up.

I know it is very tempting to use pop-ups but personally, I would avoid them. They annoy the reader. If you absolutely must do a pop-up make sure it is one that opens either when the person is almost through the article or when they go to leave the site.

Instead of a pop-up, try using a top banner. The banner will stay while they scroll. It is very easily seen but isn’t annoying to the reader. I like top banner subscribe forms because I like to save the bottom banner for share buttons. I know it is tempting to fill all of this space with ads but shares and subscribers are more crucial to building a blog that makes you a stable income.

6. Number of fields

The fewer the better. If possible, only ask for their email.

You might think it is nice to collect names and have emails addressed to the person, but everyone knows they are automatic. Having the person’s name in the opening will not increase the effectiveness of the email. It used to when it was new but now everyone does it, so it has lost its effectiveness.

Personally, I would skip the name field and opt for fewer fields. Less to fill out, easier to sign up. Additionally, people have to give less personal information which is a big plus.

7. In text mentions

Since people ignore ads (and forms) while reading, it is a very good idea to use in text mentions.

One great way is to organically remind the reader of the freebie when it fits and use an in-text link to a subscribe form. Another way is to remind readers to sign up for your email list in the conclusion. You can highlight other content that the reader might be interested in after finishing that post or if they want to receive more info like this, sign up here.

You are using a call to action by telling the reader to sign up and call to actions work really well. Call to actions are also used to ask readers to share the content if they found it helpful, which is a great way to increase social shares.

8. Landing Page

Now that they have entered their email and clicked the button on your form, where do they go? The page that comes up next to confirm that they have signed up is known as the landing page. If you haven’t done anything, then the page will be a default one.

First, go and try to sign up on your blog and see what the page looks like. Next, work on learning how to change it. The landing page is very underused but highly valuable.

Welcome them to your email list and give them an “extra” just for signing up. Not only will you make the person feel great about signing up but it’ll also show them you care about your readers. The landing page is your very first impression after subscribing. The next is that first email. These are prime places to start to making connections with your readers. That way they continue to open your emails and you don’t lose them after that subscribe button.

If you have a product, offer them a one-time special discount on the product. Or invite them to a Facebook group. Again, try to think of what would work for your niche. Have you signed up for other blogs in your niche? What is their process like?

9. Double opt in

While this isn’t necessary to increase conversions, it is a must have of managing an effective list. Double opt in means that after they sign up via your form, then have to confirm their subscription via email. You want to build an email list of actual readers and not junk emails.

There is also an additional advantage besides keeping fake emails and emails of people who only want the freebie off your list. If you write about multiple topics, you could have new subscribers click on links for each topic in the first email, so they only get content on what they want. This also allows you to learn about your readership. MailerLite and ConvertKit both have really easy to use tools to automate this segmenting.

10. A/B Testing

Now that you are equipped with all of the essential information about the different form elements, how do you actually go about finding the best combination? The answer is A/B testing. A/B testing is the process of running two options side by side and seeing which one performs best.

None of the email platforms allow this out of the box, but the plugin ThriveLeads allows you to build your own forms integrating with your email provider. Then, over time you can conduct A/B tests on button color, form text, incentives, placement, and number of fields to see which combination results in a form with the highest conversion rate and will grow your list at the fastest possible rate.

Go grow that email list!

Collecting emails is a must to growing your blog, and your subscribe form is the key. To get high conversions be sure that readers know it is you by branding your site and form. Next, do some research on other sites to create an engaging form with an incentive.

And remember, always try new things. If you aren’t getting conversions, change it.

The best test to see if your form is being seen is to have a friend read a post on their phone. After reading your post, ask them if they saw your forms. You might be surprised at the answer.

Now that you know how to tackle your forms to get emails, check out how to improve your social shares a key part of gaining traffic and eventually building SEO.

If you found this post helpful, please share it on Facebook or Pinterest

optimize subscribe forms new pin1

Thanks for reading!

For more great blogging tips, follow me on Pinterest!

xo, Emilia

1 thought on “Grow your Email List by Optimizing your Subscribe Forms”

Leave a Comment