How to Increase Email Signups With Simple CTA Wording Tweaks

by | Jan 14, 2013

how to raise your email signup

If you want to use Email Signup to grow your business and keep clients coming back for more, you probably know that the larger your email list is, the better the chances to have returning clients. But, how to build a good email list? Here’s perhaps the easiest tweak that many overlooks.

As the year picks up and we all make New Year resolutions and plans on how to grow our business, we all get in a frenzy to make an actionable plan and start implementing ASAP:

  • I vow to get 10 new clients in the first trimester
  • My business should get on top of Google search results by the end of this year
  • I want to triple the size of my email list
  • My new website should bring me 10 new leads each day

But sometimes, it happens that we jump in the frying pan before we take care of the small stuff. Quick decisions result in web texts that sound quite different from what we intended… and the result is not so desirable. Some practices have become so prevalent that people don’t even stop to think about the message words communicate to web visitors, and email signup forms end up as brash and insensitive as US Army conscription posters:

Here’s a good example of how even professionals can make mistakes in optimizing the Email Signup Form so that it captures the attention of many, and convinces many of them to sign up.

even professionals make this email signup mistake

Call To Action: Make it Actionable & Desirable


Why This is Not a Good Email Signup Form?

1. The Email Signup Title

In email signup forms, the first thing that people should see is a client-oriented, value-packed Title. Like any other web element, the Email Signup Form should be able to create a small dialogue so the visitor gets engaged and starts thinking of why he/she should sign up at all. The best way to start a dialogue is with a question, so the Title could be a short question that gets web visitors thinking in terms of  “What’s in it for me”.

What’s Wrong With The “Submit To Our Newsletter” Title?

In this time where people are obsessed with personal value and most see themselves above the rest, the “Submit” word comes across as an insult. I remember a few months ago when Dr. Flint McGloughlin from MecLabs made a strong case against the S-word.

Submit… I will NOT submit, to you, your newsletter or to anything else!

Unfortunately, most of the email signup forms wear this undesirable title “Submit”. With such wording, this Title acts as a barrier, as a bounce-off for web visitors. Submit-based words cause people to stop looking at what’s after this word, and consequently, they won’t even consider placing their email to a site that asks them to Submit.

2. The Call To Action Button

Buttons are extremely important because they require a specific action, and in terms of value, web buttons are as important as cash registers at the supermarket because everything you do in a supermarket revolves around that crowning few seconds (or minutes) at the register, when you make the card swipe.

That swipe, or in this case, the click on a button, is the culmination of this imaginary dialogue between the email signup form and your web visitor. So the button (just like the cash register) should be as friendly as possible, so people won’t be in doubt as to what it is they’re getting if they click the button.

A simple “Join Now!” won’t cut it. The first thing that pops into my mind is that famous the US Army conscription poster, and in combination with the S-word, the story that is being transferred to the reader on a sub-conscious level is:

Submit! Join Now, or else…

Call To Action (CTA) buttons should be value-packed so people feel more informed and justified to leave their precious email address. They should also be fancy and attractive to look at. Generic gray buttons are almost invisible to visitors, and many don’t even notice them. There are tons of studies about colors and how they affect human behavior.

There are also anthropological studies that show how different cultures attribute different emotions to colors, so you will need to know who your target audience is, what kind of “vibe” you want to convey and match the color with your intentions. For the Western world, big red CTA buttons are conversion killers. Think STOP sign.

Anti-Spam Warranty, Anyone?

Whenever we are faced with a signup form, one of the top questions that pop up is

“Why should I place my email here… what if they spam my inbox with tons of emails every day?”

The trick with email forms is that every element in the form must anticipate and appease anxieties people face when leaving their email on web forms. Fail to appease anxieties and very few people will sign up. But be careful, email signup forms are like make-up: less is more. Do appease anxieties, but don’t over-do it because then it will have the reverse effect.

If there are too many appealing elements people will feel confused and confusion creates anxiety. A simple “Spam-free updates” or “We won’t spam you, ever” will suffice.

Check your website and see if your email signup form is friendly for your visitors:

  • Is the Signup Form Title conveying any value to my web visitors?
  • Does the Title convey the right tone of voice I use when I talk to my clients face-to-face?
  • Is the CTA Button descriptive and value-packed?
  • Is the button styled properly so that visitors can spot it at first glance?
  • Would I feel confident and at ease to leave my email to such a signup form?

by | Jan 14, 2013

Recent Posts

How To Write Product Descriptions That Sell

How To Write Product Descriptions That Sell

With the unstoppable rise of ecommerce, and the growing reliance of websites to find, compare, shortlist and buy products, ecommerce owners are facing a complex challenge: How do we replace the senses of touch, smell, sight and taste with written words? How do you...