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Maximize Email Signups on Landing Pages in 2021 (+ Pro Tips!)

Louisa McGrath Louisa McGrath

If your landing pages haven’t been performing as well as you’d like, don’t worry. From rethinking your copy to redesigning your layout, there are lots of practical things you can do to get people signing up more often.

In this article, I’ve compiled five tried-and-true tricks for maximizing email signups. They’re all based on simple principles, so you won’t need a Ph.D in advertising – but you will need to have first-rate tools to make them work.

In my research, I’ve found that using a reliable website builder, like Wix or WordPress.com, is the best way to create exciting and versatile landing pages. These builders have all the functionality and marketing tools of dedicated landing page builders, but give you the option of growing your site further down the line if you need.

Still looking for the right builder? Check out our list of the very best in 2021.

So without further ado…read on to find out how to build an ace landing page and boost your email signups, with five important principles, pro tips, and lots of examples!

#1: Offer a Powerful Incentive

People rarely hand over their email address without expecting something in return. At the very least, they want to know that your newsletter content will be gold!

The better the incentive, the more signups you’ll get. But incentives vary hugely from industry to industry. Knowing your target audience’s pain points and passions will help you choose one that resonates with them. And remember: whatever you offer needs to be something that people can’t easily find anywhere else.

Here are some ideas to kickstart the brainstorming process:

  • Competitions and giveaways: One drool-worthy prize or a few standout pieces of merch can be enough to attract an influx of signups. Consider teaming up with other brands your target audience loves – that way you can reduce costs and boost your exposure.
  • Exclusive perks: Promise your email subscribers sneak peeks, event invites, special discounts, early access, exclusive content, and other special privileges.
  • A free trial: Software companies, bloggers, and newspapers swear by this one. Later on, when you start emailing subscribers, you’ll have plenty to talk about!
  • Hard-to-come-by content: We’re talking ebooks, research reports, white papers, and webinars. Because this kind of content contains information you can’t easily find anywhere else, they’re often based on unique research, surveys, or super-niche topics.
  • Discount codes: This one is a no-brainer: who doesn’t love saving a few bucks? If you’ve already got a store on a platform like Wix or Squarespace, you can easily create promo codes for your landing pages.
Urban Outfitters' email sign up page
10% off? Yes, please!

It’s best to deliver your freebies via email, as this will motivate visitors to submit their real email address. Also, that way new subscribers will know your email address.

Pro Tip: Have a little fun and drive conversions with an opt-in wheel. Place a range of incentives, like discounts or prizes, on the wheel and let visitors have a spin – once they’ve signed up!

If you’re using WordPress.com, you can set up a free plugin with just a few clicks. Wix has one too – but it’s only free for 30 days.

Pro Tip: By adding exit pop-ups to your landing pages, you can win back visitors before they even leave. Remind them of what they’ll be missing out on if they don’t sign up.

The Wix App Market offers tons of free apps to help you create exit overlays and pop-ups, while GoDaddy Website Builder comes with a built-in pop-up box option.

#2: Create a Sense of Urgency

Psychological research has shown that conveying a sense of urgency on your landing pages increases conversions. Why? Well, because it encourages visitors to take action right then and there – which is exactly what you want.

Using some carefully chosen words is the easiest way to create a sense of urgency:

  • Sign up now
  • Subscribe today
  • What are you waiting for?

If you’ve got some enticing incentives in place, this kind of language raises the stakes and makes your job even easier. A fear of missing out often drives people to convert. Take a look at these examples:

  • It’s your last chance, our competition ends tonight
  • Get your discount before it’s too late
  • Just one spot left, don’t miss out
  • Only the first 100 subscribers qualify

The key is to let visitors know when they should subscribe and what they stand to lose if they wait any longer.

Colors like red, orange, and yellow can attract attention and promote a sense of urgency on your landing pages. Multiple marketing studies have shown these colors often increase conversions – particularly when used on call-to-action (CTA) buttons.

How to Create Landing Page - Louisa-1
This landing page features bold colors and a list of incentives to drive email signups.
Pro Tip: Countdown clocks are another great way to add urgency to your landing pages. If visitors know exactly when an offer ends, they may be more likely to convert. Wix has its own countdown-clock app, while WordPress.com offers a few different plugins to choose from.
example of landing page with a countdown clock
This Black Friday countdown clock could definitely inspire signups from online sellers.

#3: Carefully Craft Your Landing Page Layout

When it comes to landing pages, less is more. You want visitors to stay focused on your offer, so keep things simple and get straight to the point. You don’t need to fill up your page with busy images and rambling text.

Your landing page should include these five key elements:

  • An enticing heading
  • A brief but compelling introduction
  • Some attractive visuals
  • An opt-in form or box
  • An eye-catching CTA

You can also use testimonials, partner logos, influencer endorsements, or personal appeals to build trust with your audience. Just don’t go overboard with the extras – as I said, less is more.

Depending on the incentive you’re offering, you could also give visitors a glimpse of what they’d be getting: exclusive content, free-trial perks, or items they could purchase with their discount code.

Pro Tip: Creating a great landing page layout is easy if you choose the right template.

Wix’s template library has a whole section for landing pages. There’s 15 options for email signups, for everything from webinars and conferences to real estate agents and stores.

SITE123 also has some templates specifically designed for landing pages, while Squarespace has a selection of what it calls cover pages. WordPress.com also has 12 one-page themes to choose from.

Wix's landing page templates
Wix isn’t just for full websites – it also offers lots of landing page templates.

You should always try to fit all five key elements at the top of your landing page if possible. People usually aren’t willing to scroll through a ton of information to sign up, so you need to make conversion as easy as possible. You can draw their attention to the most important parts of your landing page with visual cues, like icons, bright colors, and large fonts.

Agile CRM landing page features incentives, testimonials, and social proof
This landing page has loads of convincing content, so there’s a CTA both at the top and the bottom.

Pro Tip: If you’re completely new to web design, Wix, GoDaddy, and SITE123 all offer beginner-friendly editors that help you quickly build attractive landing pages.

The Wix and GoDaddy editors are great because they let you intuitively drag and drop your content anywhere you want on your page. With SITE123, you just choose a template and fill it out. It’s less flexible, but at least you’re guaranteed that the end result will always look good.

#4: Remove Barriers to Conversion

Even if you’ve got a great layout and high-quality content, people won’t convert if too many things get in their way.

You need to cut out anything that might discourage people from continuing on their conversion journey. Here are some barriers to watch out for:

  • Slow loading speed: Want to reduce your page’s bounce rate? Start by making sure it loads quickly. You can test your loading speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights. If it’s too slow, you can try reducing your image sizes with an image compressor or optimizing simple graphics by using PNG file formats. But most importantly…you need to choose an efficient landing page builder or website builder!
  • Long opt-in forms: If your signup process takes too long, people will give up halfway through. So only ask for the information you really need! Lots of great landing pages simply ask for an email address (although you can ask for a first name if you want to personalize your emails).
  • Non-responsive design: If your content isn’t optimized for mobile devices, your landing page will lose traffic. Lots of builders feature responsive templates – SITE123 and Squarespace have even made their entire range of templates mobile-responsive. Another option is to choose your mobile and desktop layouts separately, like with GoDaddy Website Builder.
LinkedIn's landing page features autofill option
LinkedIn’s signup form is long, but its autofill feature helps reduce this conversion barrier.
  • Data concerns: People can be wary (for good reason) about giving out their contact information. Letting your prospects know how you plan to use their data can show your visitors that your brand is open, honest, and transparent. This is particularly important in certain industries, like banking and technology.
  • Fear of spam: Let people know that you won’t inundate them with emails. Tell them how often you’ll contact them – or let them choose how often they’ll hear from you or what kind of content they’ll get.
  • Unanswered questions: Visitors are often hesitant to sign up if they don’t quite understand how the offer works. A dropdown FAQ can be a great way to overcome possible objections and increase conversions.
New Yorker landing page with opt-in options for different types of emails
The New Yorker has subscribers select the type of emails they want to receive.
Pro Tip: If you don’t want to take up space on your landing page with a FAQ, on-page chatbots are another way to quickly answer any questions your visitors may have about signing up. SITE123 offers eight different live chat apps, while Wix’s in-house chat app features a free plan.

#5: Optimize Your Landing Page with A/B Testing

Once you’ve finished your landing page, I suggest split testing absolutely everything! Try out different headings, colors, copy, CTAs, and images. Try different types of signup forms, or even test drive completely different incentives.

If you A/B test your page elements one by one, you can tweak your landing page to make it as effective as possible. Understanding what resonates with your audience allows you to choose the best version of everything and drive more conversions. The insights you gather can even inform other marketing campaigns and future landing pages.

So how do you A/B test a landing page? Well, there’s a few options. Some of the best landing page builders, like Unbounce or Landingi, feature built-in A/B testing tools.

List of A/B testing tools in WordPress plugin library
The WordPress.com plugin library offers a selection of A/B testing plugins.

Then there’s standalone tools – like Google Optimize, which is totally free. This tool integrates with Google Analytics, so you can add it to a landing page built with Squarespace or WordPress.com. There’s even a workaround for Wix through the Google Tag Manager – although you’ll need a paid plan to use it.

Other standalone tools include Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer, and Convertize, all of which offer free trials. You’ll just need to make sure they’re compatible with your builder. WordPress.com has you covered with plugins for all three tools, although you’ll need a Business plan to access them. Optimizely is also available in SITE123’s app market.

If you’re on a budget, it’s worth noting that the WordPress.com plugin library also offers free A/B testing tools Nelio and Clevernode.

Pro Tip: If you’re unsure what changes to make for your A/B split test, you could try using a heatmap to see what areas on your page your visitors interact with most. You can zero in on those spots to test different solutions.

Wix Analytics (included with the Unlimited and VIP plans) includes heatmap functionality. WordPress.com also has some free plugins, such as Aurora Heatmap, Nelio AB Testing, and Reactflow Visitor Recording.

Revamp Your Landing Pages – Today!

Landing pages are where all your hard work pays off. They’re what your ad campaigns and social media messages all lead toward. So it’s worth the effort to make sure they’re bringing you the signups you need.

The tips in this article will get you on track to maximize your landing page conversions. Of course, you need to be able to act on them. Choosing the right landing page or website builder is the most important step in this process, so make sure you pick one that has all the important features and marketing tools I covered in this article.

Once that’s in order, you can start checking off the steps on this list…and maxing out your email signups!

FAQ

What is an email landing page?A landing page is a standalone web page that aims to convert visitors into leads. Landing pages are designed to capture visitor information, so they will always have a form to fill in and a call-to-action (CTA) button. Email landing pages are specifically designed to capture visitor email addresses. Custom email landing pages can be created with a general website builder or a dedicated landing page builder. If you’re interested in designing one for yourself, check out our rankings of the best website builders and landing page builders for 2021.How do I create a landing page for free?Lots of website and landing page builders offer free plans and trials. (Here’s our list of the best free builders for 2021.) Each of these offer enhanced functionality, fully-free plans, and more intuitive site editors compared to landing page builders. And if you ever need to move to a paid plan, they often have generous deals and discounts.How can I grow my email list for free?Once you’ve got your landing page set up, all you need to do is promote it. There are tons of free ways to do this: you can link to it on social media, in a guest post, or at the end of a blog post, for example. You can also drive signups by giving away discount codes or the chance to win some of your products. You could also invest time in creating content that provides unique information, like ebooks, tutorials, and white papers. Most people are happy to hand over an email address in exchange for content they can’t find elsewhere.What is the best email marketing platform?Sendinblue tops our list of the best email marketing services. With affordable plans, intuitive tools, and practical features, it’s ideal for a broad range of businesses. Sendinblue’s free plan is really generous, too, with 300 emails per day for an unlimited time.

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