5 Great Practices for Newsletter Sign-Up Boxes

It’s usually such a tiny part of a website: the newsletter sign-up box. But there may be no piece of virtual real estate more valuable!

For this is where visitors to your site can raise their hand to say: I’m curious. I’m interested. Tell me more. Keep in touch. (And this is why it’s so important to HAVE a newsletter…to develop a relationship with the people who raise their hand!)

Here are 5 practices to keep in mind around newsletter sign-up forms. IMPORTANT: Don’t worry if you’re not 100% with these; use these as guidelines toward the ideal.


1. Make your sign-up box easily visible on your website. Some high-profile locations: the right-hand side of your header or the navigation bar (whether that’s on the left or right). Put your sign-up box on every page of your website. This can be accomplished most easily by building it into your website’s template.


2. Give visitors an irresistible incentive to sign up. For example: an assessment, an e-book, a special report. It used to be that “Sign up here for my newsletter” was sufficient. That was sooo 2004. Not anymore. People are less willing to part with their email addresses.


3. Describe the benefits. Let people know the benefits of receiving your newsletter. In other words, what do they “get” from the content in your newsletter? This can be brief, or you can link to a page that describes the benefits and content in greater detail.


4. Don’t ask for too much information. Unless you’re doing a print newsletter, all you really need is an email address. However, I like to ask for at least a first name and email address, because that helps me start seeing the person behind the address. When you ask for too much information, you risk what’s known as “form abandonment.”


5. Include your privacy policy. People want to be reassured that their contact info is respected. This stated policy doesn’t have to be legalese or bureaucratese. It’s just an extension of your voice. My privacy policy states: “We NEVER rent, sell or share your information. Period.” (That’s because I LOVE to use all caps for emphasis, and I really enjoy one word sentences!)

Don’t ignore this little box. It can make the difference between a drizzle and a flood of new contacts.

Linda Claire Puig is a newsletter marketing expert whose company provides busy coaches and personal development professionals with high-quality, education-based content and newsletters to grow their businesses. She also teaches unique, action-oriented programs on how to create newsletters and use them to make more money. An award-winning writer since 1983, Linda’s articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines and newsletters throughout the world. She has produced newsletters for small businesses and professionals since 1990 and has trained thousands of individuals in “the way of the newsletter.”