Resources Hub » Blog » How Publishers Can Create and Use Effective Email Signup Forms

As a media or publishing company, you’re constantly looking for new ways to reach your audience with digital marketing.

You’re the best in the business, and that comes with high expectations to consistently develop content that inspires action.

While publishers have the opportunity to use social media to drive conversions, email marketing remains an effective tool to engage your audience and boost the bottom line.


Modern consumers are tired of seeing the same sponsored ads over and over again. They can see past superficial promotions and, instead, want brands to develop more personal marketing that feels like a one-on-one conversation.

Email solves this problem for publishers by opening up more avenues to send relevant and personalized messages to each of their subscribers.

In fact, personalized emails receive a 25% higher open rate than non-personalized ones, and 52.7% of surveyed consumers check their accounts more than 10 times a day. To sweeten the deal, there are over 2.6 billion email users worldwide, meaning email has 3 times as many users as Twitter and Facebook combined.

Email is here to stay, and it offers your publishing company a huge opportunity. Where do you start? An email signup form for publishers to attract more potential subscribers.

If you’re wondering how to create an email signup form for your publication, we’ve got your back.

Why are email signup forms important for publishers?

Before diving into how to create an email signup form for publishers, you need to understand why it’s a staple for your publishing email strategy. An email signup form is a way to collect email addresses from leads, which are added to your contact list.

In fact, growing your email list with signup forms is one of the simplest ways to capture existing traffic.

While a signup form is a smart move for many reasons, the main one is growing a list of opted-in subscribers who want to hear from your company. Additionally, signup forms help balance out attrition rates, which average at about 2%.

When a subscriber gives you their email address, they’re actively open to receiving your content and on the way to becoming loyal brand advocates. When you have opted-in subscribers, your email engagement rates increase to establish long-term conversions.

How to create an email signup form for publishers

Email is a win-win for your publishing company and one of the best ways to diversify your reach. To get started, you need to create a signup form on your website.

Let’s review three ways you can create an email signup form with Campaign Monitor.

Hosted signup page

You can use a signup page hosted by Campaign Monitor for maximum ease of use. Signup pages are standalone landing pages with a unique URL that you can share and promote to attract new subscribers.

Here are the steps needed to build your signup form:

  1. Click “Lists & Subscribers” and choose a relevant list
  2. Click “Signup Forms” and select Link to a signup page
  3. Customize your signup form and click “Save” to generate the link

Customize Signup Form Page with Campaign Monitor

Source: Campaign Monitor

In a few simple steps, publishers can quickly set up email signup forms without needing to know any code. You can customize the form with text, background color, CTA button, permission settings, and more to grab your lead’s attention.

Embedded signup form

If you want more customization, embedding a form into your website is a great way to give your publishing company more flexibility, in terms of style and placement. For embedded forms, you can develop HTML and JavaScript within the Campaign Monitor app and use the form builder to style it with CSS. Note that you need to understand HTML and CSS to work with this technology.

To get started with embedded signup forms, follow these steps:

  1. Click “List & Subscribers” and select the list you want to collect signups for
  2. Click “Signup Form” on the right sidebar and paste the code in your site
  3. Choose whether you want to create your styling with HTML or CSS or use Campaign Monitor’s style option
  4. Customize your signup form to your brand standards, if applicable
  5. Click “Save” to generate the final code
  6. Copy the HTML code and paste it into your website

Create a Custom Signup Form with Campaign Monitor

Source: Campaign Monitor

Embedded forms give you more flexibility to choose custom form fields and design them to match your publisher’s branding. Additionally, you can embed the form anywhere in your website to offer more opportunities to increase your conversion rates. For example, if you see users are landing or dropping off on a certain landing page, consider embedding a signup form on those pages to capture their contact information.

Pop-up forms

If you want to reach website visitors quickly instead of nurturing their experience, you can add a pop-up form to encourage them to sign up as soon as they enter your website. Adding pop-up forms is relatively easy:

  1. Click “Lists & Subscribers”
  2. Choose the list you want the pop-up form to feed into
  3. Click “Signup Forms” and choose the type of pop-up form you want
  4. Customize your form
  5. Click “Save” and publish
  6. View the code and copy the script code
  7. Paste the code into your website’s HTML before the closing </head> tag
  8. Save and publish the updates to your website

As with the other Campaign Monitor form options, you can customize the form’s aesthetics, set privacy, and adjust your confirmation messaging.

Email signup form best practices

Before you start promoting your email form, it’s important to use best practices to get the most out of your strategy. When building your form, consider these highlights:

Use a valuable lead magnet with a strong CTA.

Your leads should know the value you’re offering them when they complete the form. In a world of data privacy concerns, consumers have grown wary of submitting contact information. Add a catchy headline and brief description that helps your lead learn more. For example, instead of saying “sign up for our weekly newsletter,” say “sign up for our weekly newsletter to learn exclusive insider information from experts,” for example.

With consumers receiving over 121 marketing messages a day, your call to action needs to stand out and persuade your lead to take action. Here are a few tips:

  • Use an actual button to draw your visitor’s eye
  • Design the button with contrasting colors and font from the rest of the form
  • Write a personalized copy with “my” instead of “you”
  • Use words like “get” and “learn” to imply the user gets something in return

 Livingly Creates a Bold CTA Button

Source: Livingly

Use a double opt-in process.

More email signups are great, but, as a publisher, you want qualified signups that push your company forward. To promote quality form signups, create a double opt-in process that asks your subscriber to confirm their subscription twice.

The first time is when your users submit their information through your web form, and the second time is often an email confirmation. This method ensures your leads want to hear from you.

Keep it simple.

When a lead comes across your form, they should be able to quickly enter their information, hit “submit,” and move on. A successful publishing signup form needs to be concise and straightforward. If you ask for too much information right away, you may overwhelm your visitor and turn them off from your website.

If you want to develop a simple form that drives action, all you need is an email address to get started.

Morning Brew Keeps Form Simple By Asking for Email Address

Source: Morning Brew

Use a signup form to drive your marketing strategy.

Understanding how to create an email signup form for publishers is critical to your success. However, you also need to build a robust email marketing strategy that helps you build a long-lasting subscriber list that grows over time.

Developing a cross-promotional marketing strategy centered on your signup form is a step toward elevating your brand. While your signup form is the beginning point of your user’s journey, you need to center additional marketing channels around your goal. These include the following:

  • Social media: Engage with subscribers on social media to promote your brand and encourage their engagement. Many social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, allow you to create a separate signup form directly on the platform.
  • Content marketing: When you develop videos, blogs, or webinars, drive awareness around your email newsletter by using a CTA at the end.
  • Gated content: Offer an incentive, like an eBook or checklist, to offer added value.
  • Affiliate advertising: Work with an influencer relevant to your audience to promote your email list.

Once you’ve earned quality subscribers, you need to keep providing content that meets customer demand and stands out in a crowded inbox. From there, you can continue with additional digital tactics, such as targeted ads, webinars, or email journeys, that are personalized to the customer’s interest, actions, and more.

Wrap up

Publishing companies are always looking for ways to build new relationships and further brand awareness. Unlike social media sites, email marketing offers a unique opportunity to create a personal relationship with each subscriber.

To get started on your email marketing journey, you need to develop an email signup form. You can choose which form best fits your publishing needs to create a premier customer experience:

  • Signup page that’s hosted by Campaign Monitor
  • Embedded signup form that allows for ultimate customization
  • Pop-up forms that quickly connect with subscribers

With all forms, you need to keep branding, permissions, and data collection in mind.

Are you ready to take your publishing company to the next level? Try Campaign Monitor out for free.

Better insights to build winning campaigns
Better insights to build winning campaigns

Our analytics suite gives you smart, actionable insights to improve your campaigns.

Learn More

Case Study

This nonprofit uses advanced tools and automation to create more emails—and more time.
Learn how
You publish, we help

You publish, we help

You bring the content, and we’ll bring the rest. Explore our publishing capabilities today.

Learn more
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.
Press CMD+D to Bookmark this page

Get started with Campaign Monitor by Marigold today.

With our powerful yet easy-to-use tools, it's never been easier to make an impact with email marketing.

Try it for free