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If your email list isn’t growing as fast as you’d like, here’s a reality check: just adding a subscribe form to your website or competition page, or adding a subscribe app to your Facebook page isn’t a guarantee that people will automatically sign up. Sometimes they need a bit more coaxing in order to hand over their precious contact details.

So how do you get more subscribers? By learning how to optimise your subscribe form, you’ll increase your conversion rate and get more people signing up than ever before.

Why you should be optimising your subscribe form

It’s not easy to grow a dedicated subscriber list, but it’s worth the time and effort. So, to get people signing up, you add a subscribe form in some capacity or another to your website. The logic is, if you’re driving traffic to your site, more people are going to see your form. And the more people that see it, the more people will subscribe.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Current research from Send.ie has pointed out that the average conversion rate for website visitor to email subscriber is somewhere around 0.4%. So if you’re getting 1000 hits to your site in a month, at most 4 of those people would actually subscribe.

By optimising your email subscribe forms, you can turn that conversion rate into something closer to 10%. If that doesn’t sound like much, think of it like this instead: instead of 4 new subscribers, now you’re getting 100 new subscribers every month, without any extra effort or expense.

The 3 Principles of High-Conversion Subscribe Forms

We recently covered how to apply conversion centric design to an email campaign, and those same principles apply to subscribe forms as well. Here are the basic principles:

1 – Your subscribe form should inspire a person to action

2 – Your subscribe form should reduce apprehension towards taking action

3 – Your subscribe form should make it easy to convert

In addition to upping your email game, here’s how you can apply those principles to your subscribe forms:

Your subscribe form should inspire a person to action

Act Now

Your first step is to foster a sense of desire within your potential subscribers. You want them to want to join your list, so you need to point out why they should. Fundamentally, people are motivated to do something for one of two reasons: either to gain pleasure or avoid pain. So how would you apply this to a subscribe form?

Focus on your benefits

An easy way to grow that desire is by showing the benefits that potential subscribers will get from signing up to your email list. Spell out what you’ll be doing for your subscribers.

Example: Get weekly email marketing tips that will help you increase your revenue

This way, you’re appealing to their pleasure-seeking motivation, and that they will be gaining some form of benefit with no cost to them.

Foster curiosity with Open Loops

In copy writing, an Open Loop, or Knowledge Gap, is when you create an information gap in a reader’s mind, a gap between what they know, and what they want to know. It’s also more commonly (and rather unkindly) referred to as “click-bait”, but you don’t need to go overboard.

Example: have a look at these two subscribe forms:

1 – Subscribe to our email list to get new posts sent to you weekly

2 – Subscribe to our email list and get exclusive access to:
– The 4 Email Marketing Best Practice Tips You Might Not Know
– The 10 words you have to add to your subject lines
– The secrets to successful copywriting

The difference between options one and two is that the second subscribe form is stirring the readers curiosity. What are the best practice tips? What is the secret to successful copywriting? I need to sign up to find out.

Get rid of Friction Words

The funny thing about getting people to subscribe, is that no one actually wants to subscribe. They get enough emails in their inbox every day, so having the word SUBSCRIBE on your sign-up button is going to hinder your chances.

Instead, continue to show the benefits of signing up on your button copy by replacing your generic word SUBSCRIBE with something else.

Example: Try changing your button to say “Get free advice” or “Get monthly vouchers” or whatever it is that your newsletter is going to offer your subscribers.

Your Subscribe Form should reduce apprehension towards taking action

From unsure to sure

People might have any number of reasons that they don’t want to hand over their email address to you or your company. They might worry that you won’t keep their email address safe, or they might think that you’re going to flood their inbox.

In order to reduce the apprehension that potential signups might feel, here are some steps you can take. Just remember, whatever promises you make, you need to stick to them!

Tackle their privacy concerns

One of the first, and easiest, ways to gain a future subscriber’s trust is by addressing their concerns head-on. Add a small portion of text that will convince them that your intentions are pure. Something like “100% Privacy Guaranteed – we will never spam you” or “Your info will not be shared” will go a long way to decreasing the fears that people have around giving out their email address.

Show your numbers

Adding your subscriber count to your subscribe form might look like you’re bragging, but it serves another purpose. If you have a large list, a subscriber count shows potential sign-ups that other people have trusted you as well. Saying something to the effect of “Join 15,000 other marketing professionals who get weekly advice on up-and-coming marketing trends” will speak directly to the customer, showing them that other people just like them have trusted you.

Your subscribe form should make it easy to convert

Easy to convert

The last step in making sure that your subscribe form will net you more sign-ups, is making it as easy as possible for subscribers to join. Let’s face it, no one is going to jump through hoops for you, so the easier you make it, the more people are likely to join.

Here’s how to make it super simple for people to sign-up:

Increase opportunities

If you only have one sign up form, people only have one opportunity to add themselves to your list. So it stands to reason that the more opportunities you give people to sign up, the more likely they are to do so. You can add a subscribe button to your footer, so it stays on every page, as well as having a side bar and a feature box. You can also add a sign-up form to your Facebook page, so when people aren’t on your website, they’re still given the opportunity to subscribe.

Decrease fields

If you are asking customers for their entire life story, they’re probably going to bail on signing up to your list. As much as you want to know everything there is to know about your subscribers, you need to strike a balance between what you need to know, and what you want to know. The fewer the fields on your form, the more conversions you’ll get.

How to get more subscribers out of your subscribe forms

Once you understand the mind-set of your potential subscribers, it’s easy to think of ways that will get more signups on your subscribe forms. Test these principles, and keep testing. Play around and see what works for you and your industry.

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