How to Optimize Your Sign Up Form on Your Landing Page
There’s a lot to be said on the subject of landing pages. And if you were at this year’s ASCEND Digital Marketing Summit, you heard Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner’s epic talk on landing page optimization.
Part of Oli’s talk focused on how to optimize your page to urge visitors to sign up for your email list – a crucial step towards email marketing success.
Where Do I Start?
One of the first things Oli recommended is to admit that you have a problem.
Take a look at your landing page. Figure out what the point of that page is: What action do you want a visitor to take? How many calls to action are there?
There’s an idea out there called “the paradox of choice,” which essentially means that giving someone too many choices paralyzes them into not making a decision and bailing out. So if you are trying to optimize your page for sign ups, you need to make the call to action clear, and the copy on the page should support that.
Supporting the 1:1 Ratio
According to Oli, you should “strive to attain a ratio of 1:1. That’s the number of things someone can do versus the number of things they should do.”
So if you want people to sign up to your email list (the thing they should do), then you have to make sure that’s the only thing to do (the thing they can do) on that page. Avoid asking them to click on other links or offering them a chance to make a purchase. If the purpose is to get them to sign up for your list, that should be the only call to action.
You should also ensure that your copy supports this as well. Think of your page copy as an extended headline of your form. Highlight the benefits of signing up to your list, give people a preview of what’s to come, offer an incentive, and give them every reason to sign up.
The Form Itself
While the copy on the page will support the sign up form, the form is the star player here. After all, it is the call to action of the page. Here are two things to keep in mind when building your form:
Have a clear headline.
Headlines should explain what someone is signing up for and why they should do it.
Keep the entry fields to a minimum.
In his presentation, Oli showed several examples of forms that had required fields that probably shouldn’t really have been required, or just simply too many fields in general. One thing that really stood out was his plea to not “get in people’s way [when asking them to do something].” Keep your form fields to a minimum and only ask for relevant information.
Here’s a great example of a clear and concise form:
Another important thing to note is form placement. If you’re familiar with email marketing, you’ve probably heard of “the fold.” For a long time, marketers were afraid to place anything beneath the fold, for fear it wouldn’t be seen. Oli disproved this fear when he found that conversion rates were highest when a form was placed about 650 pixels down the page – falling below the fold.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should run to place your form at the bottom of all of your webpages. What it means is you shouldn’t discount putting key pieces of content below the fold.
Give your visitors a story, with copy that supports your call to action. Tell that story, let your visitors absorb it, and then give them the opportunity to join your list.
Putting the Plan into Action
Now it’s time to take a look at your pages, trim out all of the unnecessary calls to action, and focus on the one great call to action that helps you build your list. We’ve got great materials to help you get started with your form, and even test out different variations to see which works best.
Remember, forms don’t have to be fancy. In fact, a lot of the time people overthink them. As I mentioned, keeping your call to action clear and avoiding any obstacles for your visitors will help make their path to become subscribers a lot easier.
How do you approach building a sign up form? How do you encourage people to take the action of signing up to your list? Share with us in the comments below.