As a digital marketer, you know that effective subscription forms are a big deal. These crucial interfaces are the entry point for potential leads and newsletter subscribers alike. Since your business runs on a steady stream of converted prospects, it pays to have your subscription forms working as expected on all your campaign pages. In this piece, we suggest six straightforward techniques you can use to optimise your subscription forms without much effort.

6 Subscription Form Best Practices for Effective Email Marketing_Everlytic Blog_Woman Sitting at a Table Behind a Laptop and Looking at Her Phone

1.   Determine What Data You’ll Need

Before building a subscription form, it’s essential to nail down what you want to achieve with it. If your goal is to grow your marketing base, then you’ll need to prompt prospects to submit contact information like email addresses, cell phone numbers, and importantly, their names.

Besides adding people to your standard marketing list or newsletter database (which are both great pluses for your business), you can also use subscription forms to sign prospects up to lead nurturing workflows.

2.   Stick to Proven UX Design Principles

The most appropriate place for your subscription forms will depend on your landing page composition and the messaging directing there.

For example, if the prospects you’re bringing to a page are so-called “hot leads”, i.e., ones at the bottom of the lead nurturing funnel, then consider placing your form at the very top of your landing page to ensure that they subscribe as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Similarly, if you’re engaging top- or middle-of-the-funnel prospects, you should avoid being too direct. For this audience, rather put your form at the bottom of your page, or on a subsequent landing page to warm them up sufficiently to take the next step.

Don’t forget to send your new subscribers a confirmation message after they submit their info since this will reassure them that their data has been added to your list.

For more on the stages that prospects go through before converting, read our guide to B2B Lead Nurturing in Email.

3.   Simplify the Subscription Process

Keep the number of fields in your subscription forms as low as possible without losing sight of your data gathering goals. Long, complicated, and confusing forms scare off prospects.

Lastly, be open and honest about what subscribers can expect when they sign up to your list. For example, you can’t send them promotional emails unless they expressly opt in for them (see our POPIA Guide for more info). A double opt-in process is one way to ensure you get the necessary permissions for effective email marketing.

6 Subscription Form Best Practices for Effective Email Marketing_Everlytic Blog_Subscription Form on a Laptop

4.   Speak to Your Audience’s Pain Points

It’s worth asking, “How do I catch prospects’ attention so they act on my subscription forms?” Start off by weaving solutions to consumer pain points into your content as a whole, building your argument progressively until you reach the call-to-action (CTA) in the form itself.

This solution-focused approach will increase the chances of prospects completing and submitting your forms. That’s because this type of messaging makes them feel that you have genuinely useful content and expertise on offer, and that they can trust you with their data.

CTAs need to be optimised too. You can do this by using short, command type formulations that don’t ask too much from your readers, e.g., “Learn More”, “Read More”, or “Check it Out!”. Focus on making their choice to convert as straightforward as possible.

5.   Sweeten Subscriptions with Content

Promise prospective subscribers something in return for their data. Content is a powerful incentive, especially if you have a wealth of expertise in your organisation that you can leverage to create it. For example, you can gate an industry guide download page behind a subscription form requesting contact data. See how we do it on our very own Marketing Guides page.

Sometimes content isn’t the right incentive to use though, especially if you’re targeting a potential B2C base more interested in gadgets or shopping. In these cases, you can offer promotional codes or vouchers for use on your ecommerce store, or some other consumer freebie for signing up.

6 Subscription Form Best Practices for Effective Email Marketing_Everlytic Blog_Happy Woman Looking at Her Phone

6.   Capitalise on Industry Testimonials

It’s always a good idea to have some social proof alongside your subscription forms since it helps to dispel unnecessary feelings of unease – prompting people to take the next step. A simple example would be placing a testimonial banner or carousel next to or leading up to the form. Ensure that the content is aligned to the industries your prospects are operating in.

For more tips on optimising your subscription forms, check out our blog piece titled, 11 Subscription Form Tips for High-Performing Email Campaigns

A last point worth mentioning: Never buy contact lists! You’ll be far better off setting up your own subscription forms with compliant opt-ins that ensure a progressive yet reliable flow of subscriber data. That way you can avoid the costly fines associated with not obeying data compliance regulations.

Prompt Submissions & Start Engaging via Email

We hope you found the six tips we laid out applicable to your data gathering efforts. Remember that effective email marketing begins with compliant contact lists. You’re far more likely to achieve your marketing goals by addressing a willing audience, and you can ensure this is the case by synchronising engaging messaging with optimised subscription forms that are both user-friendly and transparent.

Nurture Quality Leads with Subscription Forms

Keen to put your subscription form building skills to the test? Our powerful form building feature can help you level up your data gathering campaigns.