What brands have great confirmation emails

10 innovative ways you can generate more newsletter subscribers

With newsletters you stay in the memory of your readers and customers even after they have left your website. Try the following ideas (some very well known, some hidden gems) in your sign up process to tweak your email sign up forms and emails with the aim of generating more signups.

1. Create an incentive for registration

Who doesn't like to receive presents? Depending on how much value a newsletter subscriber has to you, you can try these more costly, but often highly effective ways of getting visitors to subscribe to your newsletter:

  • Offer vouchers (€ 5 discount on the next purchase),
  • free gifts, such as clothing (e.g. t-shirts),
  • Free information material (e.g. an e-book on a topic relevant to your target group or an autoresponder course) or
  • Raffles ("Win a trip to Puerto Rico!").

These are four clever ways to increase double opt-in rates - the percentage of new subscribers who click the confirmation link sent by email. The subscriber only receives the bonus if he clicks on the confirmation link in the email. In the case of raffles, you can combine the confirmation with word of mouth, e.g. B. higher chances of winning if the subscriber recommends them to their friends. Do not forget that such incentives associated with recommendations work best for well-known brands with a solid reputation, because who is recommending something that they are not convinced about.

2. Let subscribers know what to expect

Your prospective readers want to know what to expect when they sign up for your newsletter. Pick two or three of your most successful and widely read newsletters to date and use them as an example. If you z. For example, if you are running a news website, this could be a breaking news issue that informs your subscribers of important current events.

The newsletter overview page of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung contains a meaningful example for each newsletter section and details of the transmission frequency.

It is also important to explain to prospective subscribers how frequent they can expect emails and to let them know that you are not sending them spam emails or giving their email addresses away. It is common knowledge that you can unsubscribe from newsletters at any time, but depending on the target group, it may be useful to explicitly point this out.

3. Be personal

Use personal elements in the value proposition. If you run a news website, you can include your editor-in-chief's name and photo. For example, if you run an ecommerce store, E.g. show an employee curating your product selection or editorial content.

The German website for financial advice "Finanztip" shows a photo and the name of the editor-in-chief Hermann-Josef Tenhagen.

The New York Playbook newsletter from POLITICO shows Jimmy Vielkind and Azi Paybarah in addition to the topic “New York”.

4. Position the registration form according to visitor behavior

Put yourself in your visitors' shoes and think about when you would give out your e-mail address. Very few will likely sign up for your first visit to your website because they are just getting to know you. Position the registration form accordingly. For new visitors, position the registration form further down in the layout hierarchy. Move other important Calls to Action that will keep visitors to your page (such as featured articles) higher on the page. As soon as a visitor shows interest in your content (e.g. after looking at a few pages), move the registration form to a more prominent position.

For returning customers who are clearly interested in your content but are not yet signed in, you can also use slightly more noticeable overlays or fade-ins. Accordingly, you can make the references to the newsletter less conspicuous for existing subscribers (visitors who have come to your website via a newsletter link at some point) (e.g. by simply integrating a link in the footer) and space for others, create more important calls to action.

HelpScout displays the “Subscribe” prompt to action by default. However, if a subscriber arrives at the website via a newsletter, the button will be removed.

5. Offer the newsletter in a contextual context

Finanztip puts the value of the newsletter in the context of the article the reader is reading and at the same time generates subscribers for the general newsletter ("and other consumer topics").

Another good personalization method for increasing the number of newsletter subscriptions is to embed the registration form in the context of the content. If the visitor reads an article about the Paris climate conference, you can ask them if they want to stay up to date on this and other relevant topics. This way you can segment your list while attracting subscribers to your overall list.

The Guardian allows its readers to immediately post urgent messages, i.e. H. after creating value for the reader to sign up for breaking news. This will strengthen the relationship with the readers and create a funnel that can be used to attract visitors from Google News and other third-party sources to the general mailing list.

6. Offer a selection and let the user determine the frequency

If your website is divided into sections, this can be useful for your list as well. Let users decide which topics are of interest to them by segmenting the list, or allow them to control the frequency of emails.

The New York Times subscribers can select the information that is relevant to them and determine the frequency of the emails.

7. Advertise your reputation and reputation

If you have a large distributor to look forward to, don't be afraid to show it off. After all, if thousands of subscribers have already signed up before, signing up can't be a bad decision, right? If you move a little more in the niche segment, you can refer to a certain competence (“Join the 1,000 most successful professionals in the diamond jewelry trade”) or the value for your subscribers (“Thanks to the tips from our newsletter, our subscribers were able to raise 1,000,000 Save € on bank charges ”).

Who is currently subscribing to your newsletter? Perhaps some of your satisfied readers are ready to help you with a public reference that you can include under the registration form.

8. Include appealing details in the registration process

For most companies, small details like animations are of secondary importance. Design-minded companies know that small details can add up and have a measurable impact - especially in the sign-up process, where exit rates are high and it's important to keep the user's attention until the sign-in process is complete.

Patrick Rogan has created an appealing form that contains a clear second call for action ("Check your mailbox!")

There are many ways to make the registration process special. Be creative and create something that will stand out from the crowd.

9. Optimize your double opt-in process

In the confirmation emails from MY ASICS, the focus is on the double opt-in request for action without the recipient being distracted.

Have you optimized the registration form? Don't leave it at that. Make sure that the email confirmation or opt-in process required in Germany, Switzerland and Austria runs flawlessly. Make your confirmation e-mail particularly visually appealing (do not use standard e-mails from your newsletter service provider or plain text e-mails) so that the double opt-in call to action stands out and is fun. The confirmation email is another great way to convey the value to the reader by subscribing to the newsletter.

Tip for retailers:

If you are offering a newsletter or subscribing to content, you will likely generate a lot of signups in the last step of an order. If you can combine the confirmation emails for the order and the newsletter, do so. Save your customers from receiving four emails in a row - order confirmation, advertising email, newsletter confirmation, confirmation of the newsletter confirmation. You also don't have to send another email to confirm the successful double opt-in process. In any case, your subscribers will soon hear from you when you have interesting news for them - namely in the next newsletter.

The opt-out rates are particularly high in the double opt-in phase of the registration process, in which the subscriber has to open the first e-mail and click to confirm. You can make the process easier by providing a direct link to the mailbox.

This is how it works: Check whether the e-mail address ends on “googlemail.com” (or a similar well-known webmail domain such as WEB.DE, T-Online or GMX) and implement a direct link that points to a Search for the subject line of the confirmation email.

The Fluent In 3 Months confirmation page clearly shows the next step and provides a direct link to the Google Mail search (which points to the double opt-in confirmation email).

10. Enable registration without entering an email address

Let's be honest: Nobody likes to fill out forms. This is especially true when using touchscreen devices. So why not create ways to sign in without typing?
Upworthy took up a newsletter concept from the early 2000s: subscribing by sending an email. Clicking the “One-Click Subscription” button opens the user's email app, and the text explains that all you have to do is click “Send” to subscribe. The user does not have to enter their email address (if the email app is configured on the smartphone) and Upworthy saves the double opt-in confirmation, as the subscriber confirms the validity with the first email .

As an alternative to entering an email address, you can also integrate and try out the registration via social networks (e.g. Facebook or Google). This has the additional advantage that there is no double opt-in process, the risk of spelling errors is minimal and you receive the subscriber's first and last name in addition to the email address.

The 10th tips show how other companies manage to convert more website visitors into newsletter subscribers. Try out these suggestions yourself on your website.


Interested in more tips and tricks on how to get and keep your readers' attention? Download our website optimization e-book for free: