Where Should You Publish Your Forms?

By now, Justin and I have done a couple of webinars to help customers get up and running in their AWeber accounts along with some useful tips.

One section we cover in our Intermediate Webinar is web form placement. We can’t over-stress the importance of giving attention to this for converting one-time web site visitors into long term relationships by e-mail follow up.


Let’s take a quick look at a few approaches.

Link To a Form:

Our first method involves leaving the home page as is, with just a link to another page containing a sign up form. Let’s take a look at an example of this:

Example of web page with no forms

So now, you say to yourself: ‘Where is the link? That picture’s so small, I can’t read it!’. And herein lies the real problem.

Sure, your website visitors see the text and images larger than what I’m giving you a peek at here, but since (maybe for the millionth time you’ve heard this) people tend to browse and don’t read, they’re almost as unlikely to find your sign up on your actual page.

How do you grab the attention of a visitor when they first get to your page? That brings us to our second approach.

Publish a Pop-Up / Pop-Over Form:

Instead of relying on the notoriously short attention span of the modern human, why not take advantage of it with some whizz and bang?

Here’s a glimpse of what would be seen if you were to use the pop-over forms we offer:

Example of web page with a pop-over form

Now, when the visitor pulls up your page, they are immediately given an opportunity to sign up, front and center … literally.

Still, one of the things we cover in our webinar has to do with the balance between maximizing sign ups to your list and annoying the heck out of someone who pulls up your page more than once. How do we achieve this balance (hint: Yoga won’t help)?

Combine the pop-over with approach #3.

Place an Inline Form Near the Top of Your Page

You know the drill by now. This is what it looks like:

Example of web page with an in-line form at top of page

Notice the inline form on the sidebar. You can set our pop-over forms to display once per visitor or maybe once per visitor every so many days. Even if someone comes to your page at a later point, as soon as they get to your website, they’ll have an option to sign up.

Now, for added measure, let’s explore one more form you might add.

Approach #4 …

Place an Inline Form Somewhere Beneath ‘The Fold’:

You’ve spent a few minutes setting up the forms for your page by now and you’ve found that your subscriber conversion rate has really picked up a bit. But you’ve spent hours working on the content for your web page, and we don’t want that to go to waste.

We preach the effectiveness of building trust and a relationship with prospects with e-mail campaigns. This works too for getting people on your list for starters.

So, try this also:

Example of web page with an in-line form at bottom of page

By placing a sign up form ‘beneath the fold’ (below what people see when they first pull up your page), you’re giving visitors another opportunity to subscribe once they’ve read through some of the content on your page.

Now, they have three options to subscribe, all on one page, all without overwhelming them.

One more idea: publish the inline forms to many or all of your web pages.

Was This Helpful?

This content along with some additional tips is offered in our ‘Intermediate Webinar’.

Is this a little over your head? Then, sign up for our ‘How to Get Started’ session and get some basics down first.

You’ll find the schedule and opportunities to sign up for either (or both!) at:

https://www.aweber.com/blog/live-webinars/

In the near future, we’ll also be offering topical webinars on more advanced subjects as well, so be sure to bookmark that link and check back until we find a more permanent spot in the control panel for them so that you’ll always know what’s coming up.

For the meantime, check out our video tutorials for walk-throughs on several topics. Contact our support team if you have questions you’re stumped on.

Hope to see you on a call!

Since the writing of this article, we’ve updated our webinar series. We now offer a presentation dedicated entirely to the subject of optimizing your sign up forms. for the next scheduled meeting, and let our Education Team share their years of experience to help you get the best results.

33 Comments

  1. Steve Weber

    3/13/2007 1:56 pm

    Is is just me, or are other people completely turned off by popups? I really don’t like them myself. I am not sure I could bring myself to use them for this reason.

  2. Gidon Ariel

    3/13/2007 3:27 pm

    Interesting insights!
    I put my signup form on the top of the fold on every page, but leave out the pop-up (personally I find it obtrusive, and wouldn’t want to subject my readers to it).

    I have found that many of my readers sign up after browsing around on my site.

    Maybe I’ll try a popup in the future.

    Thanks

  3. Jane Teresa

    3/13/2007 8:57 pm

    Hi Marc,

    I use the popover on every page (each visitor only sees a form once per day) and I also have an inline form ‘beneath the fold’. I get a good handful or more of verfied sign-ups every day from the popovers. They work well.

    I’d love to incorporate a form in the margin of my entry page for people who close the popover box on entry and then (after deciding they feel good about me/ my info) they change their mind and want to sign up. A form in the margin would be highly visible and fulfil this requirement, but they’re too wide to fit.

    How can we reduce the width?

    Thank you,

    Jane Teresa

  4. David

    3/14/2007 10:42 am

    Hey Steve Weber,

    Funny, I’m with you, pop overs/unders etc. irritate me, so I was VERY reluctant to put a pop over on my website, but I did… and I’ll be darned: now most of my signups come from that thing! My presumption is based on that, and my experience with seeing lots of popups, is that they are initially irritating, but they do get attention and force one to consider the offer… my 2 cents.

    David

  5. Marc Kline

    3/14/2007 2:41 pm

    Steve and Gidon:

    These are great insights. The truth is that people react differently to pop-ups, and its universally true that you always want to read your audience.

    Do people come to your site solely to read a particular set of information, or would they be receptive to an immediate request to sign up for your newsletter?

    Is the main goal of your page to generate subscribers to send e-mail to, or is it something you use more to optimize your on-line communications?

    You’ll need to make these decisions yourself, and this is an important point you’ve brought up. Keep in mind that there are several options you can choose for these forms.

    For instance, you can set the recurrence for the form. Should it appear only once per visitor so that they aren’t hit every time they come back? Should it appear immediately, as if it’s content on your page, or should it wait 5 seconds and fade in?

    You can try different combinations of these factors, and yes, you’re welcome to use our split testing feature to see what works best for you.

    Thanks for the helpful discussion.

  6. Marc Kline

    3/14/2007 2:53 pm

    Jane,

    When you use our web form tool to design your form and click on the ‘Get HTML" link, you’ll find two versions you can paste into your page’s content. If you use the longer version in the bottom box, you have complete flexibility to make changes to the form’s design.

    You or your designer can do so using your HTML editor or by making custom modifications to the HTML.

    If you have any further questions, just don’t hesitate to get in touch with our support team. I think you’ll find them to be helpful.

  7. Brad Isaac

    3/14/2007 6:02 pm

    David and all,

    I tried a pop up last month ans sure enough the sign ups were high. Though, I am still a bit nervous about using them.

    What percent sign ups are you getting?

  8. Florence

    3/14/2007 8:01 pm

    I use an inline form on the sidebar that displays on every page of my site. I was thinking of adding a pop over form. Any suggestions on which type is most effective-under, over, exit pops?

  9. Graham Cox

    3/15/2007 8:48 am

    Jane,

    To modify the form’s width is quite easy. You just need to take the html version and specify a width to the form in your stylesheet like so:

    form{
    width: 150px;
    padding: 5px;
    }

    You can also specify the specific width’s of your input fields and submit button eg, if I give my submit button an id of "submitbutton" like so:

    <input name="submit" id="submitbutton" value="Click Here For Access!" type="submit">

    then you could give it a width of say 130px and style it in all manner of ways, for example:

    #submitbutton{
    margin-left: 0;
    margin-top: 5px;
    width: 130px;
    font: bold 12px Arial, verdana, sans-serif;
    text-transform: capitalize;
    background-color: #c00;
    border: 1px solid #900;
    color: #fff;
    }

    Hope that helps,

    Graham

  10. Chibueze

    3/15/2007 11:16 am

    Friends,

    What happens when a visitors computer has a pop up blocker? In this case you will not be able to get the your visitor to sign up.

    Regards,
    Chibueze.

  11. Jane Teresa

    3/15/2007 5:39 pm

    Hi All,

    Graham & Marc:

    Thank you both. My site is constructed in (my own, self-taught version of) html, so armed with your info I’ll be able to design a box to suit my needs – later today or on Monday.

    Everyone else:

    I’ve also had some very negative thoughts about pop overs on sites, but they do work, and my perception is shifting! I guess it depends on presenting your pop-ups subtly, with grace, especially giving the reader a few seconds to look at your page before being popped, and then not bothering them again the same day. Not sure if I meet those standards myself, but that’s my aim!

    Jane Teresa

  12. mike

    3/16/2007 12:00 am

    I don’t care if "I" don’t like pop-ups.

    Conversion rates don’t lie. My pop over pulls 3-5 times my in-line…Somebody likes pop-ups. Who cares if I’m not one of them.

    That’s why it’s best to NEVER rely purely on your personal preferences. Heck, MORE people might buy your product if you RAISE the price. The market makes the rules, we just test to see what works.

  13. Marc Kline

    3/16/2007 2:18 pm

    Chibueze,

    Pop-up blockers will certainly have an effect on your pop-up forms. However, since a pop-over / hover form doesn’t really pop up a new window — it actually simulates or draws what looks like one above the page content — typically pop-up blockers will not effect them at all.

    For this reason, it is generally recommended to use a pop-over / hover form over a pop-up form.

  14. Steve Weber

    3/19/2007 4:23 pm

    Mike,

    I agree with your comments. Sometimes I forget Marketing 101.

    For those using pop-overs, do most also use inline on the same page?

    Steve Weber

  15. Marc Kline

    3/20/2007 8:28 am

    Steve,

    An in-line form should be standard for any page you’re looking to capture subscribers on. Pop-ups / pop-overs can be quickly closed, leaving subscribers with no way to be added to a list should they consider receiving a newsletter after reading over some of the copy on your page.

    An in-line form provides subscribers with a way to sign up even if they don’t sign up right away. Wherever you have a pop-up or pop-over you should also have an in-line form.

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  17. Lori

    3/21/2007 10:58 am

    How do you handle the pop up optin form and google adwords pop up rule? Google disapproves any adwords ads where the landing page has any popup. They define popup as any window that appears in addition to the landing page.

    I have had ads disapproved for this reason. I take this to mean I can’t use aweber pop up optin on my landing page.

  18. Marc Kline

    3/21/2007 2:13 pm

    Lori,

    In my experience in working with customers, I have never heard of an issue with using our ‘pop-over / hover’ type form, which is not really a new window, but rather a simulated one using something called DHTML.

    I have, however, heard of temporary service interruption when using pure, pop-up type forms, where it was restored upon removing or replacing the form with another type.

    I can’t speak for Google’s policy — you’d need to contact them directly for specifics — but the above has been my experience.

  19. Lori

    3/21/2007 3:01 pm

    Thanks Marc for the reply. My experience is that ads have been disapproved by google and they cited the aweber ‘pop-over’ form; hence my question.

    I would like to hear from others who are using the aweber ‘pop-over’ form with a google adwords landing page. Perhaps I should try again.

  20. Scott

    3/28/2007 2:00 pm

    I’ve had the most success with the inline form near the top of my page. The pop up is annoying and I’m afraid that would run my visitors off. Thru aweber by newsletter list is at over 11,000.
    Keep up the good work!
    Scott

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    4/5/2007 8:35 am

    […] In reviewing the PharmBoard, I saw very few places to sign up for an e-mail campaign. As per our article on where to publish sign up forms, my recommendation is to publish more forms to the site. […]

  22. Debbie

    5/8/2007 3:04 am

    Alot of people say they do not care for pop ups. But it has helped me a very lot in getting subscribers. I now have a pop up that slides in and also one when one leaves my site.

    If you do not have a pop up on your website best to give it a try. If it dont work good for you it can always be removed.

    Add just the sign up into your website also.. Just make sure to use all ways available to get your subscribers.

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    […] If this describes your message, consider the placement of links much like you would a web form on your web page: […]

  24. BillyWarhol

    9/25/2007 2:15 pm

    I need to implement an Exit Ad or Popup – sounds like what Debbie has going here!

    Currently I’m getting 500 people a Day or over 2,500 Unique Folks from all over the World + obviously U want to Build da List!!

    I will Sign Up for AWeber by Canadian Thanksgiving!!

    Cheers! Billy ;))

    Peace*

  25. Maximize Signup Conversions by Asking for Less - Email Marketing Tips on the AWeber Blog

    5/6/2008 4:06 pm

    […] Where Should You Publish Your Forms? […]

  26. miroslav

    5/14/2008 1:48 pm

    Hi,
    I see that You (aweber) are using the opt in forms on all of Your pages.And I did not find them too agresive. But I have a question.Can I use this form (exactly one I am writting now,as a sign in form to collect subscribers? Are You doing that?? Do YOu consider this spam if somebody put his email on form like this (I did not give any specific permision when I put my email above) and than receive follow conversation on his email.As a benefit (and reason for filling) is linking possibility

  27. Marc Kline

    5/14/2008 3:37 pm

    Miroslav,

    We can’t assume that because someone has commented on our blog or given an email address on any other form that they’ve given permission for email *unless we explicitly ask for that permission*.

    In other words, if this form told you that you’d be subscribed to our blog newsletter, then yes, it would be permissible.

    However, I don’t think it would be the best idea since it would dissuade many from commenting on this blog and likely cause a higher rate of unsubscribers, spam complaints, and lower opens on our blog newsletter list.

    I would recommend putting a form on your site wherever it is relevant, but don’t overdo the offer and push the boundaries of permission to capture a few more subscribers – if anything this will only harm your campaign.

  28. Miguel

    10/31/2010 7:17 pm

    Hi

    I?m just a starter and ?m trying hard on figuring it all. I think that I?ll use both methods (popups and an in-line form).

    However, I think it will be very important to give a free incentive (an eBook) to my readers in order to get them to subscribe to my mailing list.

    This mustn?t be new for any of you and as I don?t know how to do it, I?ve decided to ask if anybody could explain me how to introduce my offer on my form.

    Thank you

  29. Dan

    11/15/2010 9:32 pm

    I would like to know if the pop up stops appearing after a person opts in… If it still appears even if the person leaves his data it would be a bit annoying I guess…

    Hope u guys have an answer for this question.

    Thanks!

  30. Justin Premick

    11/16/2010 10:32 am

    Dan,

    It does not. You can, however, set the form to only display once per visitor (whether they fill it out or not) or once per X number of days.

  31. Jonathon

    12/8/2011 4:34 pm

    Excellent tutorial. Learned even more by reading the comments. Like a few others I also find pop ups, flash overs and other magic stuff the marketers in the IM niche are hot on rather irritating but I take the point that what we like and what works for visitor conversions may be two different things.

    Obviously it’s something one must test.

  32. Kevin and Val

    3/7/2012 3:45 pm

    we have a turnkey website i am trying to put an optinweb form on my facebook profile page i have pubished ,bur it does not appear in my profile page . i ma a newbie so any help most welcome indeed Regards Val

  33. Amanda Gagnon

    3/8/2012 11:00 am

    Kevin and Val, the app works with business pages, not with personal profiles, so perhaps that is the issue. Details on how to set it up are here: https://www.aweber.com/faq/questions/551/