Get More Subscribers: Seal the Deal with Incentives

In the most basic sense, a solid email marketing campaign starts with a captivating web form.

There are lots of things that go through a person’s mind when they are thinking about filling out a web form and voluntarily offering up personal information. You only get one chance to impress them.

Does your web form do everything it should to make a good first impression and compel visitors to subscribe? Or does it fall short, leaving your list smaller than it should be?

Sometimes a Strong Offer Needs Help

You don’t collect names and email addresses just to send casual emails about the weather. The whole point in having a form on your site is to provide something of value to people who give you their information. This is your offer.

MarketingExperiments defines an offer as “the value you promise in your email capture in exchange for a subscriber.” In other words, it’s the why in “why should I sign up?”

Your offer might interest visitors, but it’s not always enough to make them send their personal data out into cyberspace. They consider filling out your form, but find a tiny voice whispering “what if?” in their ear.

Eliminate Doubt

When the time comes to actually fork over their name and email address, a lot of visitors freeze.

In that moment, they are almost ready to subscribe to your list but need just a bit more persuasion.

What to do? Sweeten the deal.

Incentives Put The Icing On the Cake


An incentive motivates someone who is on the fence about offering up their contact information, and solidifies the fact that they are truly interested in your offer when they press the submit button.

Incentives are different from your offer. Combined with your offer, incentives compel subscribers to sign up regardless of any initial hesitation.

There are several things you can do with your incentive:

  • Provide a free ebook or report in addition to your offer
  • Hold a drawing for a grand prize
  • Have an ongoing promotion (like free dessert on your birthday each year)
  • Offer a free consultation
  • Provide coupons that offer a percentage off of your products

Location, Location, Location

You need to make sure that the placement of your incentive is logical.

This form (that I easily created in about three minutes with our new web form generator) illustrates how and where you should place your incentive:

Your offer should go here, with a brief (but detailed) explanation of what you are offering.
It should explain what they get, why they should want it, and how often they will be contacted.

Tip the scale in your favor by offering something above and beyond to subscribers who fill out this form.
Adding the incentive above the submit button ensures that it is the final piece of information the visitor sees and combats anxiety of providing their information.

Which Incentive is Most Effective?

This depends on a lot of factors that change from business to business. To find out what works for you, the best thing to do is test.

  • Split test different versions of your form to accurately track which incentive removes the most doubt, and ultimately brings you the most subscribers.

What Works Best for You?

Do you offer an incentive? Have you done any split testing to find out what works best for you?

We would love to hear your experiences, share them below!