How To Create Better Converting Sign-Up Forms For Your Business + Examples

When building your email list, your first challenge is getting people to sign up. That's why opt-in forms play such a crucial role in your email marketing.

There are many factors that determine whether someone gives you their email address or clicks away from your website forever.

By making some strategic changes, you can improve your conversion rates.

Here are 8 great tips to make your sign-up forms or registration forms more compelling.

Tip #1: Make Your Form Visible

A pop-up subscribe form

If you want visitors to fill out your email form, make sure they can easily see it.

Your opt-in form should be visible on every one of your landing pages on your website and contain eye-catching images, colors, and fonts.

Always use a form rather than a link, as a mere link is easy to overlook. One way to make sure people notice your email form is to put it inside a feature box.

This is a popup form that's placed at the top of the landing pages, usually within a square or rectangular box.

Conventional wisdom dictates that you should place the popup form on the upper half of the page (or above the fold) as not everyone will scroll down to the bottom of the landing pages.

However, an even better strategy is to use multiple opt-in forms in different places.

You could, for example, have a feature box at the top of the page, sidebars, floating bars, and other form types.

An exit popup form is an effective tool to capture visitors who might otherwise leave your site and never return. Using several variations of your inline form increases the chances that a visitor will notice and respond.

Tip #2: Use an Appealing Design

Eye catching call-to-action buttons

While it's important to make your opt-in form noticeable it also has to be appealing and fit with your site's overall design.

You want your inline form to stand out, but in a positive and harmonious way.

Images are extremely important for capturing visitors' attention. Your image should be interesting yet also relevant to your offer. Some marketers try to cheat on this point, using a random silly or cute image (such as a cat or bizarre animated image). This might work with certain niches but in general, it's best to stick to relevant images.

Stay away from generic stock photos or graphics. For example, if your website is related to business or online marketing don't use one of those common place stock images of business people in suits smiling as they look at a chart or computer screen. It's worth it to use original photography or have custom images created by organizing a photography session. Including your logo is also helpful for branding purposes.

Another aspect of the design is to make your form easy to read and uncluttered. Avoid using too much text. Your objective is to convey the benefits of your offer in a concise way.

A simple form with an appealing image and a clear explanation is all you need. Don't try to include too many details as you risk boring or confusing your audience. A cluttered form is also visually unappealing.

Tip #3: Provide a Strong Reason to Subscribe

Strong call-to-action message

Keep in mind that subscribing to your email list or newsletter is not an end in itself for visitors. Most people are already on multiple mailing lists and aren't anxious to get more messages in their already crowded inboxes.

You need to provide a good reason for them to subscribe. You can do this in a number of ways. It's typical to offer subscribers a gift. This may be some kind of information product such as an e-book or white paper. It could also be a coupon, free sample, or free trial to your service or membership site.

Another approach is to force people to enter their email address to access an article or to gain access to your website at all. This is also known as gated content.

Aside from getting more opt-ins, it can add to the prestige of your content as people tend to value something more highly when they have to take extra action to obtain it.

Be aware, however, that this will tend to increase your bounce rate (visitors who land on your site and immediately leave). This is appropriate for high-level content such as original research but not for shorter or more generic blog posts.

You don't need to offer a gift or put up a gate to your website. Simply offering helpful information in the form of a newsletter can be enough to get subscribers.

However, it's important to word the offer in an enticing way. "Subscribe to our newsletter" is fairly generic. Get more specific based on the needs of your audience. For example, "Get the very latest research on the most effective diets and exercise programs." will get people curious and make them subscribe.

Tip #4: Keep Forms Short and Simple

A simple opt-in form

People don't want to spend a great deal of time reading and filling out your opt-in form.

You want to save time for your readers so that they don’t lose interest.

Research indicates that the more input fields you use on your form, the lower your opt-in rate will be. Neil Patel reports that ImageScape increased its conversion rate by 120% by reducing the number of fields on its contact form.

You have to balance this, of course, with your need for personal information. Only one field for the email address would maximize opt-ins. However, that wouldn't give you the chance to personalise your emails.

The best balance is usually to request email and name (either first name only or first and last name, depending on how formal you want to be).

Of course, you need to design your form based on your needs. For example, if you want to call prospects you obviously need to ask for their phone number. It's best to use an email marketing service that lets you add custom fields. As a rule, however, don't add any more input field than you absolutely need.

Tip #5: Test All Variables

AB test your email marketing campaigns

While you can make educated guesses on what your audience prefers, the only way to really find out what works is to test it.

You can test every aspect of an email form such as size, fonts, colors, placement, and number of fields.

It's important to use an email service that provides good tracking and analytics. You can often increase your opt-in rate by making seemingly small changes to your lead generation forms.

For example, you may find that your visitors respond better to a blue form than a red one. You can use form templates to save a type of form that converts and use those templates for your future design forms to save time.

Or they may prefer a certain type of wording such as "discount" rather than "sale."

The only way to be sure is to test as many variables as possible.

Tip #6: Enable Autocomplete For Your Signup Forms

An easy way to simplify the sign up process is to add an autocomplete option to your signup forms.

Most people signup to many different mailing lists, so they’ve already entered the same personal information multiple times in the past.

Autocomplete simply works by remembering the personal information your visitors have typed in before, depending upon their browser settings. When they start entering the same information into your registration forms, their internet browser recognizes the input field and brings up their information as a suggested autocomplete.

To enable autocomplete for your signup forms, you will need to enable the feature while programming the form on your website.

Google reports that forms with autocomplete are filled upto 30% faster. This will then enable you to add more fields and collect more information from the user in a lesser amount of time.

Gathering more information from your subscribers will allow you to study your audience more easily and tailor-make content for them.

Tip #7: Integrate Your Website With Social Media Platforms

Example of sign-up form with social media signup

Integrating social media platforms to your web pages will allow your users to sign up in just a click.

According to research, 34% of retailers have integrated their signup forms with social media platforms. The most popular platform seems to be Facebook.

You will need to follow instructions from Facebook on integration to do this successfully.

Tip #8: Remove Unnecessary Distractions

Every page of your website should have one top priority. There should just be one main function for your landing page.

If you put too much on one page, it can look cluttered and distract the user from doing what you want them to do - sign up to your email list using your registration forms.

Multiple call to actions on the same page will confuse the reader and they will not know what to give their attention to.

Limit your text and images, and focus on your call to action to increase your conversion rate.

6 Examples Of Effective Sign up Forms

1. Netflix

Netflix has a pretty clean sign up form layout. This ensures that the subscriber is not distracted by anything else on the page. With a simple 3 step sign up process, Netflix takes out the hassle in signing up to them.

Takeaway: Use a clean design with minimal wording. Add just the right number of input field that are absolutely required so that the user is not overwhelmed.

Clean looking sing-up form

2. Brightkite

Brightkite uses cute images that are consistent with their brand. This helps build familiarity with the reader and eventually, trust.

Takeaway: Use colours, fonts, and images that are consistent with your brand so that your customer feels connected.

Avoid using tacky colors and writing in all caps as this will put off your visitors.

Sign-up form with lively design with consistency branding

3. Kate Spade

Kate Spade uses simplicity in their sign up form. With a very minimalist design and simple to read fonts, the form is easy to read and easy to fill in. It also clearly mentions what the subscriber is going to receive by subscribing to the newsletter.

Takeaway: Again, we cannot stress enough the importance of minimal design. Keep your sign up form clear and to the point, free from distractions. Briefly mention what the subscriber will receive once he or she signs up to your email list.

Minimalistic design for a sign-up form

4. Hustle Panda

We love this sign up form design by Hustle Panda. Not only are the colours cute and the text simple, but the form also informs potential subscribers about the frequency of emails they will be receiving. This addresses a very common issue that prevents users from signing up - too frequent emails.

Take away: Make the intentions of your sign up form evident so that users know exactly what they are signing up for and how many emails they can expect from you.

Clear message on emails frequency

5. Upworthy

Sign-up form with a humour touch

Upworthy adds humour into their sign up forms to stand out from the crowd. Their layout is simple, and their sign up box is pretty straightforward, with only one field to fill in.

Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to let the personality of your brand shine through your sign up forms. A little humour can lighten someone’s mood and encourage them to sign up to your newsletter!

6. Smart Passive Income

Providing sign-up incentives is another good example

Takeaway: Providing your customers with incentives is a great way to grow your list. Find creative ways to advertise your freebie and entice your readers to sign up. Remember, your freebie must be in line with your brand and what it stands for, otherwise, you will be attracting the wrong set of subscribers.


You can learn from these examples and use form builders to create your own sign-up form that will bring in a ton of interested subscribers! All you need to figure out is the goal of your list and your email content plan.

Once you’ve planned everything out correctly and set up your sign up form, you will quickly grow your email list from tens to hundreds to even thousands!

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to connect with your customers and increase your influence.

In order to get more subscribers, it's essential to use form builders to create optimized lead generation forms that get your visitors' attention and convey the benefits you have to offer.

Enginemailer is an all-in-one integrated email service. To find out how we can help you grow your business with email marketing, please contact us.