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The Anatomy of a High-Conversion Sign-Up Form

Without a doubt, sign-up forms are the most affordable way to gather more leads and witness more conversions. Across different industries, the average email sign-up rate varies between 1.95% and 4.77%. These numbers may be small, but a lot goes into making that 3% difference.

This includes the number of fields, form design, CTA, value proposition, etc. 

For instance, research by Omnisend suggests that sign-up forms with three or fewer fields have the highest conversion rate, at around 10%. But that is not it by any means. A lot goes into ensuring that your sign-up form is as kickass as you want it to be. Let’s explore the elements that can make or break your sign-up forms and get you more conversions. 

7 key elements of a high-conversion sign-up form 

Here are some key pointers to keep in mind when working on your next sign-up form. Read carefully, go through the examples, and always try to think on your toes. Sign-up forms give you a chance to be as creative as you want to be – so don’t let that opportunity go! 

1. Keep the form fields balanced

The total number of form fields is an important factor in determining the efficiency of the sign-up form. But how to exactly keep the form fields balanced? How to know which fields to include and which ones to ignore?

The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer for this question, and it depends on your overall campaign goals. For instance, if your only goal is to keep people informed and updated with your blog posts, the singular form field you need is for the email address, and anything more than that would be an overkill. 

List building with embedded signup forms

However, if you are looking for a sign-up form on your e-commerce website and want to make it more ‘high conversion’, you might want to have more fields on there than just the email address. You would like to keep your audience updated with promotional offers, new arrivals, etc. You would also want to keep this personalized for the end-user. For that, you will need your user’s name, location, gender, and so on. So, your sign-up form should have relevant fields to catch this information. 

Essentially, the idea is to ensure that your sign-up form and the number of fields it has relates well with what you want out of that sign-up form. Any discrepancy can cause you to get lower conversions than you should have. Another important thing to note here is that while single-field forms generate more leads, longer forms generate better quality leads. After all, if your prospect is willing to go through your multi-line form and fill in 5-7 fields, they are more likely to have a higher purchase intent. 

2. Add value, not noise

Your value proposition plays an important role in all of your acquisition campaigns. Before you get your visitors to fill your forms with their data, you want to assure them that you will add value and provide something meaningful to them. There are numerous ways you can go about it – and the correct approach for your cause will depend on your audience, goals, and so on. 

This is particularly easy for e-commerce brands that can offer value propositions ranging from promotional coupons to personalized products, convenient notification, community benefits, and so much more. Domino’s campaigns are a great example of how you can add value by using sign-up forms. Their campaigns are high-impact and aimed at website visitors, specifically those who abandoned their shopping carts. 

Customers who abandoned their carts were prompted with a 25% discount in a simple sign-up form. That way, Domino’s used their sign-up forms to provide immediate value to their users and influence their decisions. 

Email sign up form example - Domino's

The simple reason behind such a staggering success of this approach is that it couples incentives with timing and offers the customers and users precisely what they need when they need it. That way, even your reluctant leads will want to take the next step and experience what lies ahead. 

3. Have a relevant and meaningful CTA

Your value proposition alone is not enough, you also need to follow it up with a strong call to action. The best way to come up with good CTAs for your forms is to write them from your user’s point of view. That way, you will highlight the instant benefit they will receive from taking a certain action. 

Another good idea is to use benefit-oriented keywords in your CTA, like – create, join, save, upgrade, and so on, instead of submit, click, subscribe, and other archaic terms. Essentially, you could change the boring “Subscribe Now” CTA to something more relevant and meaningful like “Click to Save Money!”, “Click to Get Access”, “Try the Demo”, etc. 

Check out the below example from the brand Moscot. This is a five-generation family-owned business, and with this call-to-action, they are taking things a bit more personal by inviting users to be a part of this legacy “family”. 

Email sign up form example - Moscot

You can also use first-person phrases to make your CTA buttons attractive and relevant. So, “sign up” will become “sign me up”, and will read a lot more relevant and personal to the user. Check out another example – this one from Mavi Jeans. This brand used a Facebook Messenger integration on their sign-up forms to connect with the visitors on social media. The button says “Send this to me” – speaking directly from the user’s perspective – and forms an instant connection with the visitor, increasing the chances of conversion. 

Email sign up form example - Mavi Jeans

4. Work with modern, sleek designs

Needless to say, sign-up forms give you a lot of room for creativity and innovation. From the content that goes there to your value proposition, the CTA to your form design – everything counts towards making your form more successful. 

Your sign-up forms don’t need to be orthodox, bulky, and archaic-looking. It would help if you tried to incorporate interactive design elements, eye-catching visuals, images, GIFs, and so on to make the design better and more interactive. Broadly, here are some design ideas that you should consider to make your sign-up forms more successful: 

  • Include interactive elements like videos or GIFs.
  • Use gamification and gamified elements like scratchcards, wheel of fortune, and so on. 
  • Turn your sign-up form into a small, interactive quiz. 
  • Add social proof (example – “be a part of a family of 10,000 and more!”) to increase legitimacy. 
  • Include drop-down menus, radio buttons, or checkboxes as and when needed to capture more information from the form. 
  • Keep the colors, fonts, and overall design relevant to your brand identity and other brand assets.  
Lead capture form - Dropdown menu

Mix and match different approaches, be as creative as you want to be, and design sign-up forms that fulfill their purpose and look beautiful enough for anyone to want to give them a try!

5. Keep user experience at the core of everything

While you want your visitors to see and interact with your sign-up forms, you don’t want your forms to disturb your user’s website browsing experience. You don’t want forms popping up from left, right, and center on the screen. It is very easy to deter your users’ attention if you don’t use your sign-up forms strategically, and that can have negative consequences in the long run. 

In general, sign-up forms that take up the whole page, use full-screen modals, and hide the content underneath, are often seen as annoying and disturbing from the users’ point of view. As a result, you should try a balanced approach that aids the user’s experience and does not disturb it. 

Check out the Australian chef’s sign-up form, Teresa Cutter, for her website The Healthy Chef. The sign-up form results from a floating button click. That way, the form is always there, within the user’s consciousness, but it does not disturb them. Plus, users can click the floating button and quickly check the form contents and fill it in whenever they want to. 

Healthy Chef case study

The key takeaway from this point should be that you should identify important conversion areas for your website, then think outside the box to create forms that simplify, and not restrict, your visitors’ UX. 

6. Timing is everything

Just like your value proposition, CTA, placement of the form, design and UX of the form, your sign-up form timing should be on point, too, if you wish to ensure higher conversions. Follow one simple rule – do not jump the gun. Don’t throw sign-up forms at inconvenient times to distract the users. Instead, wait for them to perform specific tasks or actions, and display sign-up forms based on that – so that there is a higher chance of conversion. Here are some important things that you should keep in mind regarding the timing of your sign-up form: 

  • Display it upon page load – as soon as someone lands on the page. 
  • Display it upon some proportion or percentage of the page scrolled. 
  • Display it when the visitor spends a certain amount of time on the page. 
  • Display it upon hover or click, or on any predefined interaction by the visitor. 
  • Display it upon exit intent, when the user indicates that they are about to exit the page. 
  • Display it upon rapid scroll – when someone rapidly scroll across your website, typically on a mobile phone. 

Again, to find out which of these times work best for you, you will need to do some A/B testing, mix and match different things, and then you’ll come to know precisely what mix works for you. Luckily, with MarTech tools like HubSpot, A/B testing of campaigns is extremely easy, and so is gathering and analyzing data for your campaigns. That way, it becomes simpler to design and carry out sign-up campaigns that are likely to result in higher conversion. 

Check Out: Content Marketing Agency

7. Always stay compliant

Mentions of important legalities and privacy policies can work in your favor when it comes to form conversion. By staying compliant, you are signaling your visitors and users that their data is completely safe and secure, and is not under any harm. Naturally, if you stay compliant and if you mention this on the sign-up forms, people are more likely to approach your forms without any fear or questions. This will also remove all possible barriers associated with handling personal information, and lets you get consent and stay transparent. 

Check out – Inbound Marketing Agency

In conclusion

Sign-up forms are important, and High-conversion sign-up forms are even more so. While there is no formula that you can use to come up with the best sign-up form for your cause, there are some considerations and deliberations you can make. The above-discussed steps are extremely important, and if taken carefully, they will result in a sign-up form that will be relevant for your users, support good UX, and enable more conversions! 

If you’re struggling with getting your sign-up forms designed, let us help you! Reach out to ContentNinja, and we’ll give you the forms you and your users deserve! 

Author avatar
Mayank Gulati