How do you keep your customers up-to-date with new developments? Often to the detriment of email newsletters, many brands rely on social media to communicate with customers. While social media is a fantastic digital marketing tool to get customers excited about new products and events, it can be limited by:
For this reason, email newsletters remain a valuable tool in your marketing strategy. Email marketing is a great way to engage with your customers with targeted email marketing information directly. But how do you encourage new subscribers to your email list?
Before you perfect your email design, create content and build a database, you need to understand how to build your mailing list and get your audience to sign up for your newsletter and emails.
Remember, emails are just one way of communicating with your customers. They can be integrated into omnichannel contact centers for maximum impact on customer communication, lead tracking, and conversions.
There are two parts to a great email newsletter signup: attract attention, get readers interested in your content, and keep a high retention rate.
Firstly, your newsletter signup form. This is the form that your audience fills out on your website to collect user information that you need to send out relevant emails directly to their inbox. This usually takes the form of a popup box or is embedded in the header or footer of your site, although it can go anywhere.
You should carefully consider the placement and timing of this form. Being too aggressive with it will frustrate your users and may result in premature exits from your site. Conversely, being too passive with your form may mean it is missed or easily ignored. Be straightforward while providing the option to exit the form at any time.
The second part is optional but recommended. You should send a welcome email to new subscribers to immediately engage your customers and show them the type of content they can expect from your email campaigns.
Your welcome email can contain any type of content but should include:
Your welcome email aims to retain subscribers and keep them looking out for the following email in your campaign.
With so many brands now utilizing email newsletters, it’s vital that you stand out to encourage people to sign up for your updates. The number of emails we receive each day seems to constantly be growing and they can be time-consuming to go through and read. So, you can see that you’ve got to offer something that entices your audience to add to this number!
Here are 10 tips for creating your top newsletter signup email and newsletter signup form that will drive your audience to engage with your brand.
Placement is everything when it comes to customer engagement. Although we don’t necessarily think of them as such, websites and emails are highly visual experiences. We look, and then we read.
Your newsletter signup form shouldn’t be in a place where it could be missed, like at the very bottom of a long page. It should be easy for your users to see and interact with without disrupting their experience of your site. Although you want them to see it, your audience is primarily on your site, typically for another reason, which you don’t want to detract them from with your signup form.
Users have to put a lot of personal information into many forms. This simple fact means new visitors can become easily frustrated if your email newsletter signup form is overly complicated or asks for too much information.
The simplest way to create an excellent newsletter signup form that results in more email subscribers is to use an email signup template. These are predesigned forms that can be adjusted to your brand guidelines.
Whether you use an email signup template or design your own in-house, remember a few vital things to avoid frustrating your audience and get them to click that subscribe button:
Your signup form is a good indicator of what your email content will be like. Get off to a good start with a sleek and simple signup form.
Your email marketing strategy is a vital part of your customer lifecycle management strategy. How many subscribers you have on your mailing list and their engagement with your email message will determine how you understand the lifecycle of your customers and their corresponding intentions when visiting your site.
There are a few key points when it is extra crucial to understand the intent of your visitors, as it will inform your actions in terms of following up with them and potential future conversions.
To get the most accurate picture, conduct audience testing based on existing customers and past email campaigns when calculating your audience's intentions.
Your call to action (CTA) tells your audience to subscribe to your email newsletter. Would-be subscribers need some kind of prompt or encouragement to be converted from browsers to active audience members.
Your CTA needs to be in keeping with the attitude of your audience, the page it’s on, and the overall tone of voice for your brand. It must be visible but not intrusive on the page, welcoming visitors instead of potentially driving them away.
To create a clever CTA, consider:
You could even conduct an A/B test - more on that later.
Think about the last time you visited an eCommerce business website. You likely viewed a pop-up or banner asking you to sign up to become an email subscriber for updates about their products.
Many businesses use a newsletter signup popup to encourage more subscribers than a static banner. But, if you’re going to use anything that deliberately interrupts a viewer’s experience, you must consider your timing carefully.
If your popup is too disruptive, visitors will simply leave your website and won’t convert to customers or active audience members.
Allow your potential subscribers to get acquainted with your website before showing them popups. Have a clear CTA and path toward subscribing, but also ensure that there is a straightforward way to exit the popup or return to the site.
Readers who don’t subscribe aren’t necessarily uninterested in your product or service, but they may become annoyed if they cannot close the popup without subscribing.
This sounds simple, but it’s easy enough to forget to use branding on your newsletter signup emails and popups. That may be because some brands use an email marketing service to design their email signup forms on their behalf or because they use an external tool that omits to brand.
But, by including your branding your customers will be able to clearly identify who you are and will be less likely to think twice about signing up to receive your newsletter.
Not only does branding look more professional, but a newsletter signup form with branding also creates additional brand awareness and connects more exactly with potential customers.
The same applies to your email campaign itself. Remember to keep your emails in line with your existing branding while still speaking to your customers as individuals. A great way of doing this for newsletter subscribers is to include a branded electronic signature. If this isn’t something your in-house team has the capacity for, you can design an excellent electronic signature online.
GDPR - the General Data Protection Regulation - is a regulation that ensures a person’s data is kept safe from leaks and used only for the purpose for which it is collected. GDPR compliance is vital to any email newsletter signup, as you are consistently going to collect email addresses and other customer data.
Although there are many areas of GDPR, you’ll need to consider the following aspects carefully because of the nature of the data you’ll be collecting:
Breaches in GDPR can result in severe financial and legal sanctions against your brand, so be sure to familiarise yourself with these regulations before introducing email collection for newsletters into your website.
With content saturating the marketplace, what makes people sign up to receive email updates?
Your email, from your signup copy to your email content, needs to offer your subscribers something. From the minute they click that signup button, they need to feel as though your brand is offering them something unique that they cannot get elsewhere or at least wouldn’t want to get elsewhere.
What this looks like will differ depending on whether you offer a product or service.
If yours is an eCommerce or retail brand, the critical points for your customer’s email subscriber journey are before and after their first purchase.
Before their first purchase is when they are still a prospective customer, and your email content could be what converts them into a customer. On product pages and information pages, make sure to include your email signup forms with CTAs that include financial or product-based incentives to subscribe.
Some examples include discounted products or the first notification for new product releases.
If you’re offering a service, then your signup form needs to be on pages offering information about your service and pricing pages. The incentives you offer should be about providing information about your service and how it works to make implementing your service more convenient for your customers.
Free ebooks, for example, are popular incentives because they establish your brand as a thought leader and industry expert, driving uptake of your service above others.
Your welcome email should provide a glimpse of the content your audience can expect from you in the future. It should be short and to the point while still engaging your subscribers with information about your company.
You could also offer unique insight into something related to your brand. For example, if you offer content and design services, you could provide an information sheet on creating a digital brochure or properly implementing new branding.
Ensure your welcome email is in keeping with your existing branding and future campaigns.
A/B testing is a way of finding the best content for your audience. It works by designing two emails with a variable component, like an email subject line or header image, and splitting your audience into two sections. Ideally, the rest of your email will be the same across both groups so you can isolate the component you are testing.
Consider language and CTAs for a cloud communications brand, providing solutions like cloud PBX, as an example.
Group A receives email 1, containing the same messaging but delivering it with language in the sales pitch style. It is business-oriented, straightforward, and simple but lacking in creativity.
Group B receives email 2, containing the same messaging but drawing in parts of their latest posts from blogs and news feeds. Less straightforward, it delivers brand messaging in a more customer-oriented way.
Neither is necessarily better without considering the audience. An A/B test will tell you, based on clicks, opens, and conversions, which type of language works better for your audience. This can be applied to all aspects of your email and signup form.
Aside from emails, you should test different forms in different parts of your website to find out which placement and language work best and when your popups should occur for maximum impact and signups.
To create the perfect eye-catching email signup form and introductory email to draw attention to your brand, you should familiarise yourself with examples for different sectors and placements on your website.
These are just a few examples of newsletter signup forms and emails, with a brief explanation of why they work to boost your subscriber count. All these can be created using a form-building tool or a template. A specialist form-building tool will likely give you more options and better results.
Don’t overcomplicate things! In a plain box, available from a plugin or a built-in form builder, you can collect this information in this order:
PERMISSION TO CONTACT:
Optional add-ons include:
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT US?
INTERESTS (OUT OF YOUR SERVICES)
Make sure the form incorporates your brand’s colors and fonts. Follow this up with a simple email greeting, letting new subscribers know how to contact you further.
All newsletter email signup forms and emails build on this.
This is one of several newsletter email signups that can be risky but also have high rewards. When a user wants to download a brochure, collecting basic information is a great way to collect data in order to follow up with leads.
Screenshot taken from spaceforbusiness.eu
Fields to include are:
SERVICE/PRODUCT OF INTEREST
However, be careful not to require too much or keep too much of your content behind a sign-up wall, or you risk customers exiting your site without taking any action.
Perfect for eCommerce or retail, offering product samples is an under-utilized but effective way of driving email signups.
Building on the basic and brochure signup emails and forms, you have a legitimate reason to collect address data here. This is doubly effective as you also get a sense of what the customer needs and their interests in your brand.
Useful information or extra content - fans of the brand will want to see this. Encourage them to sign up for your mailing list by offering dedicated customers content that reflects their needs, like a useful blog post or whitepaper piece.
Ask your website visitors to make an inquiry. Particularly effective for service providers, this email signup revolves around starting a conversation with your audience. It encourages further discussion or purchases and promotes a long customer lifecycle.
What is your value proposition? What do you offer that no other brand can? Project this directly into your customer’s inbox with content that adds value to existing purchases or services.
This is really a newsletter email signup that you want to direct to your existing customers. You’ll want to welcome subscribers to this list with content that aligns with how they have previously interacted with your brand.
Use your email signup form to connect with your customers. Similar to the inquiry, a connection builds on the values of your brand and encourages a community between yourself and customers
Ethical brands and social enterprises use these email signups a lot, and they are effective because they drive meaningful, long-term conversations and relationships.
For events and conferences, use invitations and events calendars to promote engagement with your brand. You may need to collect more information here than on other forms, like geographical location and personal interests.
This works because consumers are able to physically engage with your brand, get value from your emails, and find out practical information not available elsewhere.
Make your customers feel special. Your email newsletter has to offer something, so why not offer exclusive deals and information to subscribers?
These are highly effective because consumers often connect exclusivity with quality and high levels of customer service, both of which are highly desirable in competitive markets where consumers face a lot of choices.
Less secretive than the exclusive, this newsletter signup email offers a simple exchange: content in exchange for a subscription.
Your offers need to reflect the nature of your business and what your customers are likely to want from you. For example, if your brand offers email marketing solutions, then you could offer a free crash course on email copy or a free digital guidebook on building databases.
A post-purchase email is a great way to engage with your customers and extend the customer lifecycle. These emails are effective because they leverage existing excitement around your brand and build on existing momentum.
The best way to do this is to include an opt-in (or opt-out) tickbox during the initial purchase. Once this is done, you can then email your previous customers with new products or offers, or simply thank them for their purchase.
Your email should be short and snappy, including information relevant to your purchase without being intrusive. You should also avoid spamming your customers’ inboxes with excessive post-purchase communications.
More effective for services or social interest projects than eCommerce, this signup promises a closer relationship with the brand. It’s effective because it encourages long-term engagement with your brand or company, particularly when you follow up with an informative email on your current work and future projects.
Aside from an email address, make sure to ask about needs and interests if you plan to use your mailing campaign to directly influence conversions.
Subtle and discreet, this newsletter signup form is a constant presence on your website. Just a banner asking for an email address, it’s effective because it’s a quick transaction that requires little effort on the part of your audience, with a potentially very high payoff.
Related to the exclusive, the sneak presents your newsletter signup to your audience as a covert communication between two parties.
It can be so simple and yet so effective. It works because it makes your user feel a personal connection between themselves and your business as if you are offering them something specifically and exclusively for them.
However, the sneak popup is more subtle, using the corner of the screen or a small animation to prompt your audience to take action.
As we can see above, you need only to ask for an email address as this type of popup is designed to be a quick interaction.
Follow this up with a welcome email in the same tone, perhaps offering an exclusive offer or information.
Very tricky but worth it if it works, the all-in-one newsletter signup email and form collects a lot of information but offers high-reward content for your audience.
The form might be laid out like this:
DATE OF BIRTH:
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT US
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE CONTACTED
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN (INSERT OFFER OR SERVICE)
This is highly effective in terms of following up with leads, but you’ve got to be careful here. Consumers may be unwilling to provide such information without high-reward content, so you should be prepared to include substantial offers or information upon completion of the form. For example, providing a subscribers-only area on your website or delivering content straight into their inbox.
Once you’ve reviewed and understood some great newsletter signup examples, it’s time to get started on driving audiences to your own site via email newsletters. If you’re not sure where to start, you should consider using a dedicated email newsletter builder tool to get the most out of your mailing campaigns.
With Mailmunch, you can build the perfect email capture form for your brand with customizable branding, tone of voice, and location within your site. Embed your form or create a popup - Mailmunch can provide high-quality forms that will drive newsletter signups.
Mailmunch can also help you to create a great welcome email to engage with new subscribers from the get-go. Whatever your industry, design excellent welcome emails that will leave your audience wanting more.
A voracious reader and a music lover, Ammar has been writing engaging and informative content for over 2 years for B2B and B2C markets. With a knack for writing SEO-optimized content, Ammar makes sure that the results speak for themselves.