“Nobody signs up on my website, and I don’t know why”
(Prefer video? It covers all the points, and some bonus value about how to avoid feeling that having signup forms are a sleazy, salesy way to get attention. Watch below or go to the FB Live version here!)
3 conversion-rate factors for your sign up box:
- Ensure your signup form is visible, well-behaved and visually pleasing
- The dull-looking, hidden-in-corner kind is boring.
- The in-your-face kind is annoying.
- Successfully transmit the value of signing up
- “Subscribe to the newsletter” is not very appealing. Nobody feels they need yet another “newsletter” in their inbox.
- Spread the word about your signup often
- Waiting around with your feet up won’t get the party started.
This blog post will talk about the actual signup form (point 1), but in the video above you have information also about transmitting value and spreading the word.
What is a signup form?
It’s that form you see on people’s websites encouraging you to leave your name and email. It’s looking something like this:
Why have a newsletter signup box
Because you for sure have visitors who love what they see on your website, but they are not quite ready to contact you (not the right moment to commit, maybe some doubts and fears etc).
You want to know who they are, which is why getting their email address is handy. When they signup, you can feel assured that they enjoyed visiting your website, and you can stay in touch with them via email.
Why send them emails?
You want to:
- Build up trust and credibility
- Stay on top of their mind the moment they are ready to contact you
- Give so much value that they want more (= buying your services!)
What should the signup form look like?
I’ve seen some terrible ones. No design, and some standard text that doesn’t transmit the value of signing up. Would you want to put your email address into this?
It doesn’t need to be complex in design, but it does make a difference that it has the following:
- A color that stands out
- One of your stronger brand colors would often be good to use for the signup box, or the Call to Action text above/next to the box.
- A sentence that transmits the value of signing up
- What solution are your visitors interested in that would make it worth it for them to give their email for?
- A clear Call to Action
- Using a Call to Action like Subscribe is standard, but a bit dull. Some alternatives out there are I want in!, Get onboard!, Join the community, which sound a more peppy, so don’t be afraid to go creative! Personality and humor go a long way!
Where should I place it?
I believe that for every website this is a minimum:
- The homepage
- This is your most visited page, so definitely place a signup form there. Ideally it’s already visible on the part of the screen that visitors see before having to scroll too much (because some visitors won’t scroll all the way down the entire page).
- Bottom of the blog post
- If someone reads your entire blog post, you can assume they like it and may want to be notified when your next blog post is published.
- Magic appearance when they leave your site
- I’m a great fan of the exit popup (explained further down). It’s not really placed within the content, so that brings us to the last point: Form behaviour.
How should it behave?
To pop or not to pop…
In the “old days” most signup forms were embedded (a form that is placed in-between the text content), but with the changes over time in how people absorb information online, visitors sometimes pay less attention to the embedded forms when there’s a lot of other content.
Website owners then started using the popups to ensure their signup boxes were not overseen; flash in your face the moment you visit their site. (Luckily Google is now giving lower SEO ranking to websites who use these. Read more about that in my Facebook group post).
The popups DO give more subscribers, though…
… so what to do if you are currently an “anti-pop” person?
Here are my favorites, that still ensure visibility, but are not interrupting the visitor while they browse through your site:
- Click popup
- Tempt visitors with something of value via a button. The popup appears, and they realize that their email address is needed to get the goodies (watch the video if you need to understand this better – min 9:52). Since it’s their own action that activates the popup, it’s far less annoying than the unsolicited popup. Here an example:
- Page Percentage Popup
- I like this one for blog post pages. It pops up when the visitor has scrolled a certain % down the page, and I set it to 100%. If a visitor has scrolled through your entire article, it will pop up just as they finish reading. No interruption 🙂 .
- Exit popup
- An exit popup is triggered by movement, so when the mouse moves towards the closing X in the browser window, the popup activates. If the visitor is not interested, he/she was about to close the window anyway, so the annoyance factor is low or non-existent.
What’s your feeling about signup boxes and their purpose and process in general? I would really like to hear your view on it. Share in the comments!