Chapter 4: Signup Forms & Collecting Subscribers
Building email lists efficiently is core to great email marketing and effective growth. We make major investments into acquisition – and for a lot of us, it’s one of the biggest lines on our expenses each month.
There are four places we recommend you gather new subscribers:
- Your homepage
- Your product and collection pages
- In your footer
- During checkout
We’ll step through some good examples of each of these, and how they help support your growth. You should be using at least 3 of these types of forms on your website – and all of them are very quick to set up on your site once you’re ready.
For this chapter, I’m assuming you are using Klaviyo’s signup forms feature, but the guidelines are similar and work just as well if you’re using Privy, Justuno, or other apps.
In general, you should have a goal to convert around 5-6% of your website visitors on the average day. You can measure this easily through the Klaviyo Form Performance Dashboard, which shows conversion rates by form among other information. The best, highest-performing sites typically have conversion rates around 10-11%, so that’s a great upper goal to keep in mind.
The brands that have really strong conversion rates typically deploy their forms in a smart way, mixing different types of forms depending on the area of the site and what a visitor there might be interested in, and then link that back to their brand and reason for existing to make sure the visitor is actively interested in getting email.
Depending on your form and strategy, you might also want to develop branches on your welcome flow that are specific to different forms that someone may have entered through. You can create a branch based on the form submitted. You can learn more about how to do this here.
1. Collecting subscribers on your homepage
If you don’t have a popup form connected to your newsletter list yet, this is the single most valuable thing you can do. It immediately turns on the spigot of new subscribers into your welcome flow and campaigns.
Generally, people who are entering your website through your homepage are already familiar with your brand. The sources of traffic that drive people into your homepage are usually things like organic search (for your brand name), direct traffic, links from press or other PR – In other words, places that were already educating that person about your company.
As a result, the best homepage offers typically:
- Reinforce your brand’s message and why someone would sign up for your emails.
- Are in popup or flyout format.
- Show up right after the page loads for the visitor and try to collect their information.
In Klaviyo, this looks something like this – this form will show immediately for new visitors, and only once every 90 days if they dismiss it, to avoid getting in front of them too often.
The other thing to consider is any additional questions to ask on your signup form, which might help you qualify the lead or interact with them in a more personal way. These could include:
For example, collecting the size lets this store target this person for sales and promotions about specific items that are only left in the medium size.
The other popular choice is to use an exit intent form, which waits for someone to look like they’re leaving the site before showing the form. These can be good for trying to rescue someone right before they leave the site. You can set one up in Klaviyo by checking that “Loading Delay” button in the top-left.
For this kind of form, it’s best to keep it super simple and focused, since the person was originally just going to leave. You can try a last offer to try and get their address or keep them shopping before they leave.
Check out Module 2 of the Email Intensive for additional examples and guidance for building your on-site popup.
2. Collecting subscribers on product pages / collection pages
On product and collection listing pages, there’s a great opportunity to use flyout forms to help educate shoppers and collect opt-ins. One great way to do this is to position help, buying guides, and customer service to people who are scrolling or looking at pages for a long time and not interacting.
For example, a form could look like this:
This can be a really powerful form for getting shoppers onto your list that are pretty sure they want to buy something – but aren’t quite sure what. You can either send them the gift guide in an email, or redirect them to a landing page or collections page that gathers your best gifting ideas and advice and applies a discount to their cart.
By using the URL Targeting at the bottom, I can make sure this form doesn’t distract from people looking at their cart, or browsing the homepage or other content on the site. I just want to target the people browsing collections pages for a long time (45+ seconds) without clicking through on a product, because those definitely sound like lost shoppers! Giving them a friendly introduction to the brand and information is a really important step.
If a gift guide doesn’t feel right, you could also try this with product information / brochures, or an invite to contact customer service and ask a question. Something like this could be used to gather interest in a higher-cost item where people might have questions or need to review technical specs.
3. Collecting subscribers in your footer
You most likely have a default footer form in your site’s theme right now. That’s fine to use – and the names will sync to your Newsletter list in Klaviyo automatically.
If you’d like to customize it, for example to add additional questions or control the styling more easily, you can use an Embedded form to do that. This guide from Klaviyo is helpful on how to install a form in your Shopify footer. If you have sites or content outside of your main store site (Like a WordPress blog for example, or microsites) this can also be a handy way to put your form
This form would make it easy to collect birthday or other custom properties at signup even in your footer. Besides birthdays, you could ask for preference or sizing information, or anything else that would be helpful in qualifying them.
Typically, these footer forms have a relatively low conversion rate because they just get seen so much more – where only some visitors see a popup or a flyout, everyone will see a footer form on every page load.
As a result, a good conversion rate for a footer form is usually around 0.5 – 0.8%, and popular ones are around 1%. This is additive to the conversion rates from your other forms though, so you can treat this as kind of a baseline anchor that makes sure that no matter what page someone is on, or how they found you, there is always an opportunity to say they like what they see and sign up.
4. Getting subscribers during checkout
You’re probably already doing this – but remember this is a valuable source of subscribers. People going through your checkout process are highly likely to subscribe to your email marketing, but also have one of the highest unsubscribe rates of any source. In the next chapter on Welcome Flows, I’ll review some strategies to help identify the high value subscribers and keep them and remove the rest.
To make sure that your footer form and checkout process are properly integrated with Klaviyo, your Klaviyo / Shopify settings should look like this under the “Subscribe Customers” section. The other checkboxes are highly recommended too.
When setting up a form at checkout, there’s one other thing to consider: Do you want the checkbox to be checked by default (essentially, opt-out at checkout) or unchecked (opt-in at checkout)?
There are benefits to either way – you’ll definitely get more people on your list if you have it default to on. However, for brand that have it default to on, I have often seen unsubscribe rates on subscribers from this method often around 50-60% within the first month. The impact varies depending on how much messaging new subscribers get – whether it’s just a couple welcome messages, or they’re adding to a regular campaign stream right away. You’ll need to decide for yourself whether to have it default on or off, but I’d recommend keeping it off and letting people turn it on if they want it.