10 Ways to Win Newsletter Subscribers on Your Website

Where do I best collect email addresses of potential customers?

… for Shop, Blog or Online Presence – Winning Email Subscribers Part 1

Collecting email addresses is a central issue in email marketing. More precisely: Where do I best collect email addresses of potential customers? Well, why not start where you meet your customers every day: your website, online shop, or blog.

According to statistics, 2 out of 100 website visitors subscribe to a newsletter1. That quickly adds up to 20 out of 1,000 or 200 out of 10,000 website visitors. It’s a mystery why website visitors are so rarely invited to subscribe to a newsletter. Even in online stores of big international brands, email subscription links are often hidden in the footer.

Why make subscribing so hard for potential subscribers on your website?

Your very own website offers numerous options to move subscription offers to the center of attraction with the help of a squeeze page, welcome mat, pop-ups, navigation, blogs, in-content activation or 404 pages – with success rates of up to 50%!

We present the 10 best and most successful strategies for collecting email addresses on your website:

1. Taking the Detour via Squeeze-Page or Welcome Mat
2. The Junction: Subscription Slider
3. Pop-ups – Milestones or Stumbling Stones?
4. Leading the Way – Subscribe Button in the Navigation
5. The Easy Way – Signup Form in Sidebar and Footer
6. The Golden Way – Discounts on Product Pages
7. The Best Way – In-Content-Activation
8. By the Way – Newsletter Subscription on the Go via “Contact Us“ Checkbox
9. Paving the Way – „Thanks for Your Purchase!“
10. The Extra Mile – Newsletter Subscription on 404 Pages

1. Taking the Detour via Squeeze-Page or Welcome Mat

Subscription Rates: Up to 40%

The Squeeze page is an upstream landing page that only offers visitors to sign up for your newsletter. That’s where visitors end up when entering your URL. They only get to your website when they’ve subscribed or hit the “No Thanks“ button.

It’s a detour for your website visitors. For you, however, it’s a shortcut to a bigger email list.

A squeeze page only ever serves one single purpose: In this case, collecting addresses for your newsletter. It contains nothing but an attractive subscription offer, a signup form and a “No Thanks“ button. This is why they are so successful.The focus only lies on the decision: To subscribe or not to subscribe?

Naturally, website visitors may feel a little taken by surprise, after all they thought they were going directly to your homepage. Subscription rates of up to 40%, however, turn the squeeze page into an undisputed leader when it comes to winning new subscribers.

Screenshot: Example of a Welcome Mat by Jeff Bullas

The alternative to the squeeze page is a Welcome Mat: a page-filling opener. The Welcome Mat also focuses on a newsletter subscription, but offers the possibility to simply scroll down to the regular homepage. The subscription rate for a Welcome Mat with 5% to 10% is therefore significantly lower. You know the visitors of your website – you decide which detour is your way to go: Squeeze-Page or Welcome Mat?

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2. The Junction: Subscription Slider

Subscription Rates: Between 3% and 5%

A slider displays images or news on a web page alternately in a kind of slide show. The images get visitors in the right mood for your products and/or services. With an appealing and emotional design, the slider immediately draws attention to your subscription offer.

It’s a clever way to use one of your slides to promote your newsletter subscription offer. Combined with a strong promise or a special offer, the subscription slider entices up to 5% of all site visitors to subscribe. Here’s an example from a US fashion brand:

Screenshot: Example of a subscription slider on effortlessgent.com

Keep in mind, that the slideshow continues after a few seconds. That’s why you need short titles for your offer. Use arrows or buttons for your prospects to click on to get back to the desired registration form.

Sliders convince up to 5% of all site visitors to sign up for your newsletter.

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3. Pop-ups – Milestones or Stumbling Stones?

Subscription Rates: Up to 40%

Similar to squeeze pages and welcome mats, pop-ups get in the way of your visitors and require their immediate reactions. Pop-ups are therefore often considered as annoying. For the same reason, however, they’ve proven to be quite successful – they are a classic for building email lists!

Screenshot: Example of an exit intend pop-up from fab.com

There are different kinds of pop-ups:

  • The Site-Wide-Pop-up: It opens up about 2 seconds after calling up the website and takes up so much space that it is impossible to ignore. It aggressively disrupts your visitors in their actions. That’s why it has a success rate of up to 17%.1
  • The Exit-Pop-up appears when visitors are about to leave your website. This makes it less annoying. Correspondingly, the subscription rate (6.5%) for your newsletter is lower.
  • The Slide-In-Pop-up slides into the screen once a preset percentage of a page has been scrolled. If an article has been read up to 50% and a visitor has shown real interest, offer them a free email tutorial on the topic. The probability that the reader will subscribe to your newsletter is very high.

The more aggressively pop-ups get in the way of your visitors, the more successful they are!

That means for you: If you decide to bother your visitors with a pop-up, then bother them with a page-filler! This way, your newsletter subscription gets the most attention and you get the most email addresses!

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Subscription Rates: Up to 20%

Anyone who has ever dealt with the reading behavior of website visitors knows: The main navigation is of great interest. A subscription button in this position is the optimal signpost for 20% of all visitors.

A subscription button in the main menu holds another advantage: Visitors can access it from all subpages of your blog, shop or other online presence. Even if the homepage has the most web page calls, many visitors end up directly on a subpage when they come via search engines. It only makes sense if they find their way to the newsletter subscription through the prominent placement in the navigation.

Here’s an example from our homepage:

Example of a Subscribe Button in the CleverReach Navigation Bar

Tip: In addition to a prominent shape and color, your CTA buttons in the navigation can create particularly high click rates when it contains trigger words such as „free“.

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5. The Easy Way – Signup Forms in Sidebar and Footer

Subscription rate: Between 3% and 5%

There’s a reason why signup forms are extremely popular as a part of your sidebar navigation or your footer: They are set up fast, just like the Double-Opt-In signup forms by CleverReach, and your website visitors know how to handle them. They know exactly what to look for when they want to subscribe to your newsletter. Unfortunately, only 1% of all visitors feel that inner motivation to sign up for a newsletter. The other 99% ignore what’s in your footer or sidebar navigation. This is known as “Sidebar-Blindness“.

Here is how you can fight Sidebar Blindness:

  • Clean up your sidebar – only fill it with a signup form that takes up all the space in your sidebar navigation. Nothing should distract your potential subscribers – neither social media buttons, nor any other widgets!
  • When it comes to design, count on everything that stands out: Bright colors, an animated frame or flashing subscription buttons.
  • Humor makes you easily win new email subscribers.

Here’s an enjoyable example from „Screw the Nine to Five“:

Example of a Signup Form in the Sidebar

With a feature box for a newsletter subscription in the sidebar you achieve subscription rates between 3% and 5%!

Placing a complete signup form in the footer is a little more difficult; It makes more sense to add a subscription offer at the bottom of your page near the footer and add the link to your subscription form instead.

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6. The Golden Way – Discounts on Product Pages

Subscription Rates: Up to 20%

Signup options on product pages that offer a discount are the golden way of winning new recipients in an online shop! With subscription rates of 20% you don’t only boost your email marketing but also your sales.

Let’s say, you are searching for a new blouse online and come across an appealing offer. Next to the product description you discover a signup form that offers 15% off. All of a sudden, that blouse becomes irresistible – and the exchange of 15% off in return for your email address is a great deal.

How to turn your product pages into a bigger address generator:

  • Place a countdown next to your discount to force urgency. The fear of missing out on the offer leads interested visitors to signing up faster for your newsletter.
  • Make an exit pop-up actively point towards the discount offer once again – this leads to more subscriptions and boosts sales.
  • Offering free shipping costs also increases subscription rates and sales.

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7. The Best Way – In-Content-Activation

Subscription Rates: Up to 50%

Captivating blog posts containing subscription links can have a success rate of up to 50%!

When promising to provide new subscribers with additional content, or email courses, they can’t wait to hit “Subscribe”. Drawing an attractive prize can be just as appealing. If, for example, readers on the subject of low carb diets are enthusiastic about the weight loss concept and would like to dive into the topic further, they will quickly click on the text link to the signup form. If you also incentivise the subscription with a recipe eBook, your subscription rate increases further.

The newsletter is the solution to a problem that only becomes apparent to the reader through the article. This is the recipe for success with which in-content activation can attract up to 50% new subscribers. Winning email subscribers with your content – that is indeed the best way.

Place subscription links in various paragraphs of your text. For example, the experience of successful Low Carb participants in another position can further increase interest in your newsletter. The signup form at the end of the text is also obligatory; You can also use an opinion poll on the article – including a checkbox to subscribe to your newsletter.

Keep in mind: According to GDPR, you’re not allowed to pre-check the consent checkbox. Learn here how to use your subscription form in a legally compliant way.

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8. By the Way – Newsletter Subscription on the Go via “Contact us“ Checkbox

Subscription Rates: Between 5% and 10%

An advantageous opportunity to generate email subscribers „on the go” is your contact page. Visitors leave their name and email address at that point anyway. So, why not also ask them if they want to subscribe to your newsletter? With an attractive offer and a checkbox to click on, you have the chance to take 5% to 10% new subscribers with you.

Note: In this case, you’re also not allowed to pre-check the consent checkbox according to GDPR.

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9. Paving the Way – „Thanks for Your Purchase!“

Subscription Rates: Between 5% and 10%

When it comes to the purchasing process, it’s not that clever to offer a subscription to your newsletter “on the go”. Customers already expect a checkbox for subscribing to your newsletter and actively ignore the subscription option in the checkout process.

It is much more surprising to draw their attention to a newsletter subscription on the purchase confirmation page with a Thank You offer. In a feature box, you could offer them a 10€ coupon for their next purchase, for example. A promotion that not only paves the way for winning new email subscribers and increasing customer retention, but also generating traffic and sales.

You want to combine your gratitude with a coupon? Count on psychology. Customers don’t want to miss out on attractive offers. Trigger this need– and offer a solution at the same time: „Yes, keep me updated via email on every sale, product launch, promotion and more!” This brings you 5% to 10% new email subscriptions.

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10. The Extra Mile – Newsletter Subscription on 404 Pages

Subscription Rates: Between 3% and 5%

In eCommerce it often happens that some posts are no longer available, and posts from blogs or websites get deleted. The visitors end up on a 404 error page in such cases. Use your 404 page to grow your mailing lists!

Putting your subscription offer on the 404 page means you’re going the extra mile for your customers. It may still pay off for shop operators with a high level of trade, to offer a compensation discount on sold out items. This can boost your subscriptions, customer retention, traffic, and sales.

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Many Ways on Your Homepage Lead to a Newsletter Subscription

Many of our 10 ways to win email subscribers make you leave well-known paths. It can be challenging to try new ways such as squeeze pages, welcome mats or subscription buttons on a 404 page.

It’s crucial, however, to confront your website visitors with new ways. Place signup options not only in the usual spots but surprise visitors with subscription offers in unexpected spots like your 404 page. This generates attention – and consequently new newsletter subscriptions.

Use as many surprising signup options as possible – ideally on every page. Vary your signup forms from time to time to surprise visitors time and time again.

Don’t ignore your customers‘ needs. If squeeze pages or pop-ups disrupt the flow of action, they must not disrupt for long and not without compensation. Reward your customers for giving you their email address with a discount, coupon, a small gift, insider tips, a sneak preview, a behind-the-scenes video, expert knowledge, email workshops or inspiration. Offer an appealing incentive with every subscription offer.

Don’t use signup forms for collecting data. Always keep in mind that you are disturbing website visitors! Only ask for their email address and, if necessary, their name. According to GDPR, the name may no longer be a mandatory field.

If you follow these signposts, you are on the best way of winning new email subscribers.

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Signposts at a glance:

  • Signup options at surprising spots
  • Signup options on all pages
  • Vary signup options from time to time
  • Always reward subscribers!
  • Don’t collect additional data with new subscriptions

1 https://sumo.com/stories/email-signup-benchmarks

2 https://www.activecampaign.com/blog/do-pop-ups-work

Simple and Safe: The CleverReach DOI Signup Forms

You’re not sure which of the 10 ways of generating addresses on your website you want to implement? Take your time to make a decision, but still offer a signup option on your pages. This in incredibly easy when using our DOI (= Double-Opt-In) Signup Forms.

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