Subscription Forms Basics: Types, Creation, and Optimization

Subscription Forms Basics: Types, Creation, and Optimization

A subscription form is an essential tool for businesses to capture the contact information of their potential or current customers. This form allows companies to use an email channel to build a communication system with their subscribers and, potentially, drive more sales.

A Subscription Form and Its Main Components

A subscription form is a web form that collects contact information from website visitors. The form can be embedded on a website or made in the form of a popup, and it usually includes fields for personal information (such as name, company, email address, etc.). 

Here’s an example of a subscription form by EmailSoldiers Inc:

A pop-up subscription form by EmailSoldiers Inc

A subscription form typically consists of several parts that collect information from users who are interested in receiving updates or information from a company. These components may vary, but some common elements include:

  1. Headline. a clear and concise message that informs users what they will get after the subscription. 
  2. Email field. This is the most important part of a subscription form. This is where users enter their email addresses, which will be used to contact them in the future.
  3. Consent checkbox. In many countries, you must get explicit consent from users before sending them marketing emails. You can use a consent checkbox that users must check to indicate that they agree to receive your emails.
  4. Name field. Including a field for the user's name is optional but recommended. If you address users by their name in emails, you create a more personalized experience which is likely to increase engagement.
  5. Additional fields. It depends on your business's needs. Some of the additional fields may ask for users’ location, interests, or industry.
  6. Subscription options. If you’re a big company with lots of email sequences, it may be a good idea to let subscribers choose newsletter frequency, topics of interest, or other preferences.
  7. Submit button. This is a button that users click to submit their information.

When you collect information from users, you should be transparent about how the information will be used and stored. Provide a clear privacy policy and obtain consent for any data collection or processing activities. Additionally, it's important to comply with data protection regulations, such as the Can-SPAM Act (it depends on your country), to protect users' data and privacy.

3 Reasons You Need a Subscription Form

If you’re still thinking about whether a subscription form is a must for your website or not, here are some of the reasons to help you make a decision:

  1. Collect a subscriber database. One of the main reasons to use a subscription form is to collect contact information from those interested in your company. This information can be used to build an email list, which is an essential tool for businesses to communicate with their audience and keep them informed about new products, services, or promotions.
  2. Collect applications. In addition to building an email list, businesses may use subscription forms to collect applications for various purposes, such as job applications, event registrations, or membership sign-ups. These forms typically include more detailed information about the user so you may use the data to process the application and follow up with the user.

Gather additional information about subscribers. Subscription forms may also include fields to collect additional information about subscribers, for example, location or preferences. This data can be used for customer segmentation. This way, you can send targeted emails to specific groups of subscribers and increase engagement and conversions.

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Types of Subscription Forms

There are several types of subscription forms, each with its advantages and disadvantages:

  • Inline form: a form that is embedded within a webpage's content. This form is less intrusive than other types, however, it may not stand out as much as other subscription forms. Inline forms are often placed in the footer of a website.
An inline subscription form by EmailSoldiers Inc
Inline form on our website
  • Pop-up form: a form that pops up over the webpage content. This form is more attention-grabbing than others and can be timed to appear after a certain amount of time or after a user has scrolled to a certain point. However, some users may find it annoying and, as a result, leave the website without completing the form.
A pop-up subscription form by Gardener's Supply Company
Here’s a pop-up on the Gardener’s Supply Company
  • Slide-in form: a form that slides in from the side of the webpage. This form is less intrusive than a pop-up form but still catches the user's attention. As with a pop-up form, you can set it up to appear after a certain amount of time.

That’s how a slide-in form on Overstock looks like

  • Welcome mat form: a form that covers the entire webpage with a call-to-action. This form is probably the most attention-grabbing but the most intrusive as well. Still, if you use it wisely, it can show great results and bring you lots of new subscribers.
A welcome mat subscription form by Skillshare
Take a look at a welcome mat form by Skillshare

If you’re not sure about what type to choose for your website, think about running some A/B tests to see which variant shows better performance.

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8 Tips for a Perfect Subscription Form

If you want to create a subscription form that will bring you lots of subscribers, follow these tips:

  1. Keep it simple. Your subscription form should be short and easy to complete. Don’t overwhelm users with unnecessary fields or questions.
  2. Highlight the value proposition. If you want to get more subscriptions, clearly state how the users will benefit from subscribing to your newsletter.
  3. Choose the right type. Analyze all the types of subscription forms and choose the one that suits your needs and resonates with your audience. 
  4. Place the form in the right location. Choosing the right type of a subscription form is not enough because the location of the form is also important. For example, a pop-up form may work well for some websites, while a sidebar form may show better results for others.
  5. Optimize for mobile. The number of mobile users is constantly growing so make sure that your form is optimized for mobile devices as well. 
  6. Make it visually appealing. Use simple design elements to make your form visually appealing. One more tip here is to choose easy-to-read fonts and colors that match your branding. 
  7. Provide social proof. Provide social proof or testimonials to show that other people have already subscribed and benefited from your content.
  8. Test and refine. One of the most important things is to test your form regularly and make changes if needed. Use A/B testing to determine what works best for your audience.

Follow these tips and create a perfect subscription form that effectively captures new subscribers and helps grow your email list.

How to Create a Subscription Form

There are several ways to create a subscription form, depending on your business's needs and resources.

Use a Form Builder Tool

Online tools such as Sendinblue, SendPulse, Mighty Forms, and so on offer form builders that allow users to create custom subscription forms without coding. When choosing a perfect form builder tool, consider these factors:

  1. Features. Form builder tools offer various features and customization options. Think about the features you need for your subscription forms, such as the ability to add custom fields, integrations with other tools, and design templates.
  2. Ease of use. The tool should be user-friendly and easy to navigate, even for those without technical experience. Look for tools with a drag-and-drop interface and intuitive editing tools.
  3. Cost. Some form builder tools offer a free plan, however, the number of features or submissions may be restricted in the free version. Choose the pricing plan that will suit your business's needs and ensure that the cost fits within your budget.
  4. Data security. Make sure that the tool you choose provides adequate security measures to protect the data you collect from subscribers. Check for compliance with data protection regulations such as the Can-SPAM Act and GDPR.
  5. Customer support. Look for a form builder tool that offers reliable customer support in case you need help with the tool or the subscription form. 

Create the Form In-house

If you have a web development team, you can create a subscription form in-house. This method gives you full control over the form's design and functionality, and you can customize it to fit your specific business needs. However, this option requires significant resources, including time, money, and staff.

Hire a Professional

If you don't have web development skills or a development team, you can hire a professional to create the form for you. This option can be costly, but it allows you to work with an experienced developer who can create a customized form that fits your specific needs and branding.

Key takeaways

  1. A subscription form is a web form that collects contact information from website visitors.
  2. Subscription forms allow you to add new users to your email list, gather applications, and collect important information about your audience legally.
  3. A subscription form consists of many elements, some of which include: a headline, email field, fields for additional information, a consent checkbox, etc.
  4. The most popular types of subscription forms are inline forms, pop-up forms, slide-in forms, and welcome mat forms. Choose the one that suits your business needs best.
  5. Keep the design and content of your form clear and straightforward, and make sure to include a clear call-to-action that encourages users to submit their information.
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