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Denise Keller

Design a Signup Form Users Want to Fill Out

Feb 22 2011, 07:20 PM by

Following the topic from last week, opt-in email marketing, today we’ll discuss ways to encourage users to subscribe. For most marketers, it is the signup form on a website that handles the conversions. The design of that form can either drive subscriptions or leave you wondering why people aren’t taking the bait. Needless to say, this element is extremely important to your success.

Here are some easy ways to create a signup form your visitors actually want to complete:
Give Them a Good Reason to Sign Up
Sure, you know all about what you have in store for potential subscribers, but you may never get a chance to share it if you don’t show value at signup. All they want to know is why they should join your mailing list. What are you providing in exchange for their email address, attention and precious time? Is it something that will help them save money? Make money? Gain powerful knowledge? If you do not feel like your base offer is strong enough, you may want to consider offering incentives to seal the deal. The more value you provide up front, the more likely they will be to provide you the information needed to move forward, which brings us to our next tip...
Focus on the Essentials
Internet users are still suspicious of the web. They are understandably cautious when surfing online and parting with their personal information. No matter how genuine your intentions may be, if you ask for too much information on your signup form, potential subscribers will be reluctant to fill it out. For this reason, you should limit the requested details to the bare essentials. Keep your focus on the details that are necessary to initiate the email relationship. Any other information you need can be obtained later down the road through surveys and calls for the subscriber to update their preference options.
Make It a User-Friendly Process
The key to getting people to fill out your signup form is keeping it short and concise. Make it too long or complicated and visitors will probably head for the exit more often than not. You can optimize it to be a user-friendly process by making the form easy to find, look at and understand. If you are requesting more than a name and email address, let users know that their data is safe and will not be shared with third-party sources. Show them that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain and they will be more likely to give you the play you're looking for.
Test for the Best Results
Testing can also come in handy when designing your signup form. For instance, you could test email different positions on your site, colors and other aspects to see what gets you the best results. None of this stuff is etched in stone, so don’t hesitate to do some tinkering around to determine what gives your signup form the most appeal.

Posted in Lists & Signup Forms

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