10 Newsletter Sign Up Strategies Used by Top Brands with at least 100,000 Subscribers

The kind of copy and design that will have the strongest possibility to captivate the attention of your website visitors

To achieve great email marketing results, you will need to have a decent number of email subscribers who are engaged on a regular basis. As almost every business struggles to acquire new subscribers, especially in the beginning, it's vital to find efficient ways to create emails that convert and enable you to maintain a meaningful relationship with your prospects and customers.

Even with the rise of social media and other digital platforms, email marketing is still standing strong. Up to 60% of people say their purchase decisions are strongly influenced by email marketing. In other words, not only is the email one of the most popular communication channels among customers, but it is also a fantastic tool for driving sales. This allows businesses to make the most out of these emails and provide their target audience with information they need to make a purchase decision.

So, what kind of copy and design have the strongest possibility to captivate the attention of your website visitors? There are several strategies that have proven to be very successful in encouraging customers to sign up to business newsletters. Before we reveal to you some of the best newsletter sign up practices in the business world, let’s take a look at how to provide your audience with exactly what they need.

Table of Contents

1. Customer's point of view

2. 10 best newsletter sign up strategies

  1. Spoon graphics: Highlight your incentives
  2. Boast: Discount vs full price approach
  3. Privy: Using the one form field
  4. Mad fientist: Creating a pop-up form
  5. Wistia: Sign up form with various choices
  6. Backlinko: Using social proof
  7. Katespade: Combining simplicity and creativity
  8. Hustle Panda: Specifying the email marketing content
  9. BizChix: Focusing on design
  10. LaunchRock: Creating minimalistic sign up page

1. Customer's point of view

However, we can't talk about the best practices if you didn't take time to learn more about your target audience. To run an email marketing campaign which will deliver you the results you want, you have to understand what your audience needs and find a way to deliver it to them through email marketing.

Those who are subscribed to your newsletter have already shown you they want to receive more information about your business. If someone is interested in your business, you have the opportunity to engage that person on a completely new level. There is so many valuable pieces of information your newsletter subscribers can provide you with, you just have to know how to ask for it.

For instance, you can offer them an incentive for a signup, such as a coupon or upgrade. A good idea would be to announce how often you will send emails to your subscribers as a lot of people are hesitant to give away their email addresses due to email spam. Also, don't forget to make your call-to-action message short and clear. The most common ones are ‘Send’, ‘Subscribe’, ‘Get Started’, ‘Join Us’, but also consider adding the ones that highlight the value for your customers, such as ‘Join Free for a Month’, ‘Try our Free Features’, ‘Claim your free guide’, etc.

To get inspired and find the right idea for your business, we've compiled 10 newsletter sign up strategies used by top brands which ensured them more than 100,000 email subscribers. But, before you start crafting your newsletter strategy, take time to understand what will be valuable to your audience and then find a way to deliver it to them.

2. 10 Best Newsletter Sign Up Strategies

There are many elements that will determine whether your strategy will convert your recipients into customers, but the most vital ones are copy and design. The way you communicate your brand is what can help you gain more email subscribers, close more deals, build and spread your brand awareness and achieve better business results in general. Here are some of the strategies that have proven to be very beneficial so far.

2.1 Spoon Graphics: Highlight your incentive

Highlighting the signing up benefits for your target audience is what will definitely help you collect more email addresses. If a person has to leave their email address, they will expect something in return. Not saying what it is right away can cost you a potential customer as people don’t leave their information without knowing the reason for it. Decide what the incentive will be, depending on the nature of your business and the profile of your audience, and communicate it in your sign up form or page.

Below is the example of Spoon Graphics where they’ve clearly stated that every email subscriber will get a free resource bundle and more than 100 vectors, brushes, logos, and other graphic design tools. It’s simple, captivating and straight to the point!


2.2 Boast: Discount vs. full price approach

If you’ve decided that your every email subscriber will enjoy a certain discount for the first purchase, you should emphasize that in your sign up form. As money is one of the determining factors for purchase, your customers will surely appreciate the discount and will gladly provide you with their email address. However, if you do a comparison of a discount and a full price, you will leave an even stronger impact on them.

Boast decided to use this strategy to attract more people to sign up for their newsletter. They offered 20% discount for the first order and below wrote an effective sentence “No thank you, I prefer paying full price”, which automatically recommends you to choose the option with the discount.


2.3 Privy: Using the one form field

You’ve probably seen a lot of sign up forms with several fields you need to fill out if you wish to click that ‘Sign Up’ button below. This will definitely reject a lot of your website visitors who don’t want to give away too much information or don’t have time to fill out all the fields.

That’s why Privy has decided to use a one-field sign up form where their visitors can simply and quickly subscribe without unnecessarily complicating the entire process. After all, their email address is everything you actually need at this moment. Later, you can ask them for their name and anything else that might help you personalize your newsletters.

2.4 Mad Fientist: Creating a pop-up form

Sometimes it’s hard to place your sign up form so it captures the attention of your website visitors. That’s why a pop-up window is an excellent solution to captivate your visitors when they enter your website. This way, you will know that every person who was on your site was asked to subscribe to your newsletter.

Mad Fientist has decided to create their form this way but they’ve also provided benefits for their subscribers in the form. With a ‘Join Now!’ button below only two fields, their visitors can easily complete the sign up process and enjoy the same benefits as their other subscribers.

2.5 Wistia: Sign up form with various choices

As every customer is different, their needs and expectations from your brand will differ as well. Some might prefer to receive a weekly overview of trends in the industry, while others might want daily tips on how to make the most of your product. By giving them a choice, they will be in control of what comes into their email inbox. Many people don’t subscribe to newsletters as they fear they will receive the information they aren’t interested in, but by giving them an option to choose the type of the newsletter they want to receive, you will be able to collect more addresses.

One of the companies which are aware of the efficiency of this strategy is Wistia. They’ve decided to allow their subscribers to choose their preferences and enjoy a personalized email experience. This also increases the engagement rate as your subscribers will only receive what they need so they will be more motivated to read your newsletters and purchase from you.

2.6 Backlinko: Using social proof

With social proof, you can demonstrate your potential subscriber how many of subscribers you already have. For instance, if you have 100,000 subscribers who love to read your weekly updates, this one might love it as well. Letting your website visitors know how many subscribers you have will show them you bring additional value into a communication channel they should start using to interact with you.

That’s how Backlinko communicates with its website visitors. They tell them that exactly 103,891 people are already enjoying their newsletters which obviously tell us they send great email marketing content. There is also a sentence below the ‘Sing Up’ button where Brian Dean, Backlinko’s owner, lets everyone know he will share his tips that doubled his traffic in two weeks. It’s hard not to click on that button when you have so many social proofs on one page.


2.7 Kate Spade: Combining simplicity and creativity

There are plenty of ways you can craft your messaging and design for your sign up form, but the ones that are simple yet creative usually bring the best results. Having too much text on a page or a form can make a person stop reading and not sign up in the end. However, if you keep it simple, provide one crucial benefit and interact with your audience in a fun, creative way, you will easily gain more subscribers.

That’s the strategy Kate Spade uses for their newsletter. They’ve provided a simple form with black letters on a white background without any design elements, but their message is definitely not plain or boring. Their messaging is fun and catchy as they mostly communicate with the younger audience and they’ve even decided to create a unique call-to-action button which says ‘Get my 15% off’. This way, their website visitors know what they will get if they subscribe right away.


2.8 Hustle Panda: Specifying the email marketing content

If you want your target audience to subscribe to your newsletters, you will need to give them a reason for it. Being transparent about the content you will send to those who subscribe will encourage them to sign up. More importantly, those who sign up will be interested in the content you’ll be sending because they know what to expect in your newsletters.

Hustle Panda immediately lets their audience know what they will get if they subscribe. By providing your name and email, you will receive new domains every few weeks. So, not only do they tell you what content they will send you but also how often.


2.9 BizChix: Focusing on design

As we already said, copy and design are the most important elements of email marketing. However, not a lot of businesses focus on design as much as they do on the text. So, if you decide to make your design a bit different than others, be sure it will captivate the attention of your audience.

BIzChix used a simple form but they’ve decided to play with the color contrast to invite people to join their community. With only two fields to fill, their customers get to enjoy a playful form and a simple sing up process. Knowing that simplicity is key, they’ve spiced it up with a strong color like yellow and painted their call-to-action button blue.


2.10 LaunchRock: Creating minimalistic sign up page

Among all the options you have when thinking how to attract more people to sign up to your newsletter e.g. simple popup forms to pages with benefits, social proof and multiple choices, there is one more you need to consider – minimalistic sign up page. For it, you will need to create a 'Sign Up' page on your website or a landing page but provide only essential information. That includes the name of your brand, reasons for signing up, one field, and a call-to-action button. Minimalistic pages are great for converting your visitors into subscribers as they are pretty simple yet intriguing enough to subscribe.

LaunchRock created an excellent example of such page where they offer one-step sign up for their audience. With a great background, this site provides the visitors with just enough information to join their email list, but also have an additional 'Learn More' button for those who wish to read more information about their business.


If you still haven’t created your sign up strategy that will bring your hundreds of thousands of new email subscribers, you should do it now. Your customers love to be engaged through interesting newsletters from businesses. Ignoring the potential of email marketing could harm your business more than you can imagine. Choose one of our suggested best practices and find a way to adjust it so it fits your brand. Regardless of your choice, if you create a captivating sign up page or form, you will enjoy new subscribers every day. 

Joel Koh

Joel leads software development at One X Tech's Technology Management & Digital Solutions practice. He leads the firm's Asia Pacific office efforts in continually evolving and growing new capabilities to serve clients in technology-led transformations.

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