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Earlier this month, we asked creators of popular subscribe forms to show us the subscriber stats behind a few different types of behavioral-targeted subscription forms, including slider forms, popup forms, and anchor tab forms.

Whilst they all proved effective at capturing email addresses, we understand that not everybody is willing to sacrifice the user experience of their website for the collection of email addresses.

As big proponents of creating a beautiful user experience ourselves, we wanted to present 6 alternative ways that you can capture email addresses and grow your list without sacrificing the user experience of your site or store.

Add a Feature Box to your blog homepage

If you are running a blog as part of your marketing mix, then chances are the blog homepage is one of the most visited pages of your blog.  If that’s the case, then why not use it to promote subscribing to your email list?

One of the best ways to do this is by including what blogger Derek Halpern calls a ‘Feature Box’. Essentially, a Feature Box is a large call to action designed into the top of your blog homepage, often below the header but above the posts. It typically includes some information on the benefits you get from subscribing as well as an email input box where someone can enter their email address.

sign up form get updates example

This tactic has been so successful that Derek has become somewhat famous for it. If you type ‘Derek Halpern Feature Box’ into Google there are literally thousands of pages that mention it. The real test of success though is whether it improves subscriber conversion rates when implemented, and when DIY themes implemented it on their site they increased visitor to subscriber conversion rates by 51.7%.

If you’re not ready to code your own feature box for your blog, you don’t have to worry. WordPress users can try plugins like Plugmatter, which will allow you to easily incorporate a custom feature box design on your own blog without additional coding or design work. If you’re a Campaign Monitor customer, you’ll be pleased to know this plugin integrates directly into your existing lists so details are added automatically.

Add a subscribe button to your site

RSS feed signup

If you are wanting to be even more subtle about pushing your subscribe options, then the subscribe button might be for you. This button is sized just like the ‘Tweet’ button for Twitter and the ‘Like’ button for Facebook, so it fits seamlessly with the social sharing buttons on your site.

Best of all, it comes with built-in social proof, with the option to show how many subscribers you currently have on your email list. According to a study by iPerceptions, 63% of consumers are more likely to buy when they see product reviews and ratings. One can assume that if social proof will encourage people to buy, it will also encourage them to subscribe.

Most email marketing software offers some form of this button for their users and it’s really easily to implement on your site. If you are a Campaign Monitor customer, you can get your Subscribe button here.

Add a subscribe tickbox to your comment form

If you are running a blog or any sort of publishing site, chances are you will have a comment form where people can give their opinions, ask questions and have a conversation around your content.

On almost every blog I have ever seen, you need to enter your name and email address to leave a comment. So if people are entering that information already, why not allow them to subscribe to your email list as well?

The folks over at Dubsat do this nicely, with a tick box underneath the comment box that allows users to easily opt-in to receive notifications on new posts via email.

signup form example - Dubsat

For those with a WordPress blog, you can implement this functionality using free and premium plugins such as Newsletter Sign-Up, Subscriber’s Magnet, and WP Subscribers.

If you feel like getting a bit more fancy, you can also custom code this functionality in and use the API’s provided by your email marketing software to add the users details to the appropriate list. If you are going to do this, you might want to try segmenting your list by the categories of your blog to ensure the content you send subscribers is relevant to their interests and likely to be opened and clicked.

Create a dedicated landing page for your email list

signup form example - Unbounce

Imagine you wanted to promote subscribing to your email list in your email signature, or get your customer support team to promote it to people wanting to be kept up to date with product announcements; Where would you send these people too? You can’t just link them through to your website and hope they find the form hidden down in the footer or the sidebar.

Instead, you should create a dedicated landing page for your email list that you can send people to. You should include some key elements on the page to ensure the visit page to subscribe conversion rate is as high as possible, including

  • Benefit statements – Use enticing copy to present to viewers the benefits of subscribing to your list. A great way to do this is to present what they will learn and how it will help them (I.e. Learn email marketing best practices that will help you grow your business).
  • Example content – Use your chosen analytics tool to find out what your most popular content is and feature the headlines on your email subscription landing page. This will give people a good idea of the kind of content they will be receiving and reduces friction.
  • Frequency – Use copy to inform people of the frequency in which you will be emailing them. Or better yet, include options in the subscribe form which allows them to choose between instant, weekly or monthly updates and allow them to control the frequency of communications.
  • Social proof – If you already have a substantial-sized email list, you can even include social proof in the form of a simple statement such as “Join over 5,000 marketing professionals in learning the latest email marketing tips to increase sales.” The statement not only tells the visitor that others are enjoying your content, but it qualifies the people likely to sign up to your email list.

If you don’t have the ability to code a landing page yourself, tools like Unbounce can be a really simple way to create these landing pages and they have direct integrations with a bunch of email marketing tools to ensure all subscribers are automatically added to your email lists.

Collect emails in-store

signup form example - Depot Coffee

If you have a physical business location, then chances are the majority of your potential customers interact with you in person rather than your website. If that’s the case, why limit your email list subscription options to your website?

There are lots of great ways that physical businesses capture leads, including asking for an email address during checkout or placing a fishbowl on the counter for business people to drop in their card. Whatever option you go with, be sure to let people know they will be getting email updates from your business and try to include some of the same elements from the point about landing pages earlier to really convince people of the benefits of subscribing.

A great tool to help you achieve this are the Campaign Monitor sign up forms.

In Conclusion

With the effectiveness of Facebook as a marketing channel decreasing, and email recently being named as the most effective communication channel by the Direct Marketing Association, there has never been a better time to start focusing on building your email list. As you can see from this post, there are a variety of ways to capture email addresses on your website and in-store that can help you grow consistently grow your list without sacrificing the user experience.

What other genius ways have you used to capture email address both online or offline? We’d love to hear your clever ideas as we’re trying to compile a master list for our Resources section.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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