Generating new leads is an ongoing struggle for many marketers. Sixty-three percent of marketers say identifying new leads is their biggest challenge, according to research presented by MarketingCharts.

Marketers have to deploy a variety of lead generation tactics, one of which should be an email sign up form. Asking customers for their email address provides an effective way to find and nurture qualified leads.

To make sure your email sign up form is optimized for peak performance, use these ten tips:

1. Start with goals

What’s the point of your form? Your goal will likely steer the fields you include. For instance, if you’re trying to collect new leads, the email address will be the most valuable field.

However, if you’re using the form to identify customers that might be interested in upgrading their services with you, a customer’s job title might be of more interest.

Write down your goal, and make sure every decision you make helps you achieve it.

2. The design counts

Design matters. You need a well-organized layout. Consider stacking fields on top of each other, keeping them in a vertical line.

Pick a pleasing color palette. Let the color in your logo dictate the color scheme for a hassle-free plan. Be sure to include your logo too. Your forms should have branding on them.

If you’re creating corresponding landing pages, make sure they have the same branding and look. Consistency is important.

3. Less is more

When you’re creating a form. Don’t get carried away with the amount of information you require.

Research shows keeping forms as short as possible results in higher conversion rates. When Imagescape, a web design company, cut the number of fields on their sign up forms from 11 to 4, it saw a 120% lift in conversion rates, according to a case study presented by Unbounce.

How many fields are ideal? Unbounce suggests you go with three to five fields. With three fields, conversion rates hovered around 25%, with 3-5 fields conversion rates were between 20-25%, and with 6+ fields conversion rates were 15%.

Focus on getting the lead, your sales team can follow up and get more information later.

4. Keep it simple

When you’re creating a form, keep it as clean as possible. Adding a design element or two is fine, but don’t clutter the form with a bunch of pictures or text.

The text that prompts visitors for information should be streamlined. For instance, don’t use full questions like, “What is your first name?” Just use the text, “First name.”

Before launching your form, look it over and ask yourself if there are any unnecessary elements. If there are, remove them.

5. Be mobile-friendly

You can’t deny the mobile madness that has swept the nation. The number of smartphone users alone is expected to hit 5.07 billion by 2019, according to Statista.

Consumers don’t go far without a phone or tablet in their hand. Given this data, it’s vital that your form be mobile-friendly.

How do you know if your form is mobile-friendly? If you’re working with a reputable email service provider to create sign up forms, you’re probably in luck. Email service providers like Campaign Monitor provide forms with responsive designs, which means, they adapt to any device – from laptops to smartphones.

6. Offer good incentives

The average consumer gets 281 messages a day. By 2019, that number will go up to 293, according to a report from The Radicati Group.

Since inboxes are full, you have to give consumers a reason to sign up. Why do they need your email? Make it clear why consumers should join.

Your form should include a short explanation of benefits, or promote a freebie that subscribers get for joining. You need to entice customers to join because signing up for another boring list isn’t a priority for most.

Try something simple like, “Join now to get the best weekly deals in your inbox” or “Get VIP access to our best sales. Sign up now.”

7. Use clear dropdowns

Dropdown menus provide an easy way for consumers to fill out forms without typing in a response to each but make sure to be careful. If you are using dropdown menus, make sure all of the possible responses are available and easy to access.

If potential customers start the sign-up process and get to the “Job Title” field, for example, but can’t find a title that matches their profession one of two things will happen.

They might leave the form altogether or they’ll pick any job title to move forward. Either way, it’s not good for your marketing efforts.

Make sure each menu has the proper responses and is easy to navigate.

8. Submit buttons

The majority of sign up forms end with a call to action button that reads, “Submit.” That works, but it’s a bit dry.

Spice up your call to action text without getting wordy. You don’t have a ton of room inside the button, but you can still try something like, “Join the fun today,” or “Get on the list.”

Consider using a timely action word like “today” or “now” to convey urgency too.

9. Double opt-in

Once a form is filled out, consider sending a confirmation email as part of a double opt-in strategy. Why should you send a confirmation email to someone who just signed up? You want to verify the customer’s intent and information.

You want to make sure that he or she wanted to join your list, and that you have the right email address. If a customer joins with a bogus email or one they don’t check often, they can’t confirm their subscription. That means you won’t add a contact to your list that doesn’t have a genuine interest in your product or brand. You’re better off without them.

A list of customers that’s grown organically with a double opt-in process is one of the best ways to collected qualified leads. Remember, quality is better than quantity.

10. Easy to find

Where does your form live? It’s important that website visitors or social followers can find your sign up form. If it’s buried on your “Contact Us” page or is a small blip on the bottom of a few blog posts, it’s not going to be effective.

Give your form prime placement on your homepage, or consider using a popup form so customers can’t miss it.

To remember all of these handy tips, check out the infographic from Campaign Monitor:

10 Elements Of Successful Email Sign Up Forms - Infographic By Campaign Monitor
Source: 10 Elements of Successful Email Sign Up Forms by Campaign Monitor

Wrap up

An email sign up form is a great starting point for any lead generation strategy. You can put forms on your website, blog, and social channels. Using the tips above, you’ll create a form that’s eye-catching, actionable – and creates the kind of leads you need to fuel your business.