Now that our support for HTML confirmation emails is live, I thought it might be a nice time to revisit some recommendations on the best approach to capturing subscribers via a form on your web site. Here are a few guidelines you should consider to ensure a good experience for your new subscribers and make sure they're primed to receive your first campaign.
1. Make it easy to subscribe
Nobody likes filling in forms. While we make it easy to capture all sorts of information about your subscribers, try not to get carried away. Ask for the bare essentials only. If you do need to capture lots of information, check out these tips on good form design.
2. Ask everywhere
Don't rely on a single page on your site to lure subscribers, such as a Newsletter or Contact page. Try and place a subscribe form on every main page of your site. Again, keep it simple and only ask for the bare essentials. Here are some tips on integrating your list with any current form on your site. Don't forget to also capture permission offline any chance you get, such as events and at the counter.
3. Set expectations
It's extremely important that you align your customers' expectations with exactly what you plan on sending them. Make sure your subscribe form clearly explains the type of content they'll be getting and how often they'll be getting it. Try and do this on the form itself, and then back it up in the confirmation email.
4. Get added to their safe senders/contacts list
When sending a confirmation email we let you specify the from email address you'd like to use. Make sure this address is an exact match to the from address you'll be using when sending your campaigns. This way you can request to be added to their safe sender or contact list in the confirmation email. Once you're in that list, you'll often go through less filtering and your images will be displayed by default.
5. Say thanks and give some gold
Don't forget to say thanks to your subscriber. They've just taken a leap of faith handing over some personal details to you, show them you appreciate it. You might also consider linking to key content on your site they might be interested in, such as a past issue or some popular articles that might be related to the reason they subscribed in the first place.
6. Track where they subscribe from
Follow this little tip on tracking where your subscriber join from. This allows you to do some A/B testing on different pages to see which subscribe offer/design works best.
7. Don't forget about forwards
Be sure to include a forward to a friend and subscribe link in each campaign you send. If you're sending useful content, some subscribers will pass it on, so try and make it easy for these recipients to join your list if they're interested.
Finally, don't forget to keep the tone of your email personal, friendly and avoid lots of email jargon. Lots of these suggestions are easy to implement, but they can make a big difference in that all important first impression.