6 Email Subscription Popup Examples to Help Grow Your Marketing Lists (with Templates)
Want to grow your email and SMS lists? A quality subscription popup is a key way to do it. In this post, we look at six email subscription popup examples you can model yours on—along with best practices and templates.
Trying to grow your email list, but your popup isn’t converting?
Whether it’s a flawed design, an offer that isn’t resonating with your ideal customer, or it’s surfacing at the wrong time, we’ve all been there.
However, when everything is firing on all cylinders, the right popups can lead to upwards of 40% lead capture rates.
In this guide, we’ll share best practices for creating an email subscription popup and real examples of brands utilizing them successfully. We’ll dig into what makes each of them work so you can apply the insights to your marketing. But first, let’s start with defining what an email subscription popup is.
What is an email subscription popup?
On ecommerce websites, an email subscription popup refers to the window that appears on a user’s screen asking them to enter their email address—usually in exchange for a freebie, a discount, or a special offer (like free shipping). These can be used on desktop or mobile.
Email subscription popup best practices
When executed poorly, email popups can annoy visitors and even prevent them from browsing or buying any of your products.
Here are some popup design and copy best practices you can use to get it right.
Email subscription popup best practices
Offer. How can you entice your viewer to share their email address? “Subscribe to our newsletter” isn’t a compelling offer, though many ecommerce stores use this for their forms. It doesn’t answer the most critical question for your customer, “What’s in it for me?” Make sure to offer something valuable in exchange for the signup, like a discount code or a helpful lead magnet.
CTA button. The best way to get your users to take action is to tell them what you want them to do. Use action-oriented copy in your signup button to increase your odds of getting the email. For example, “Sign up now to get 10% off your first order.” The action is clear, direct, and shares exactly what the person will get for signing up.
Trigger. Popups can quickly become irritating if they take over the screen at the wrong time. You don’t want to bombard your audience with a popup as soon as they land on your site. Utilize a five-second time-delay at a minimum or use a scroll-point trigger. You can also use an exit-intent tool to prompt users to sign up for your subscription as they leave the site.
Suppression. If someone closes out the popup, don’t annoy them by showing it again soon after. Suppressing the trigger for a set number of days before prompting the same user to sign up again will help reduce the chances of annoying them. The next time it appears on their screen, they might be more engaged with the brand and more willing to subscribe. But annoying them can eliminate that chance.
Targeting. Make sure your popup only appears for people who haven’t already subscribed. There’s no point in targeting current subscribers because you can do more harm than good by irritating them. Another targeting tip is to consider language localization if you operate in different regions.
Two-step. Once you’ve gotten your customer’s email address, you can attempt to collect their phone number for SMS marketing on the second step. Be sure to offer an extra incentive such as another discount to give prospects a reason to share their number.
Follow-up. It’s not enough to capture an email address. Send follow-up reminders and SMS sequences to encourage engagement and sales. For example, if someone signs up for your newsletter to get free shipping on their first order but they haven’t made a purchase yet, send an automated follow-up email to remind them to take advantage of the deal.
Email subscription popup examples
Here's some subscription popup examples from six ecommerce and retail brands to inspire you.
1. Williams Sonoma's email & SMS subscription popup
Williams Sonoma leans into using its product over discounts or order promotions:
In this way, they don’t create urgency for the popup. However, it’s still effective because the freebie recipes tie into the use of the product.
Another consideration for this popup is the use of a secondary signup. Instead of waiting to prompt a mobile signup as a follow-up, this brand offers it as part of the initial message. SMS signup is optional to keep it from being a barrier to entry.
2. Casper's discount email subscription popup example
Casper’s popup form is elegant and straightforward. A plain color block with white font makes the box stand out on the page:
The popup also relies on the messaging to entice the viewer into a signup by asking them if they want to save money. After the user taps yes, a second popup prompts an email signup in exchange for the offer.
The timing is just as important as the copy and design for this discount popup. It only appears when the user leaves the screen and is an excellent example of how exit-intent can work well for your popups.
3. HelloFresh's on-click subscription popup
HelloFresh’s popup is the center of attention with its bold design and clear, direct copy. The white font on a green background helps the offer stand out:
“16 free meals plus free shipping” is an enticing offer and feels much more exciting than a small discount.
The trigger is also interesting for this. A sticky bar shows as a shopper is viewing the page, with the overlay popup only appearing once the button is clicked:
The CTA buttons of both the sticky bar and overlay are also nicely congruent—the first saying "Unlock Offer" and the second saying “Claim Offer.” And the signup form is simple.
A compelling offer, good design, and clear copy all combine to make this a successful email subscription popup.
You can replicate this HelloFresh strategy in ConvertFlow. Just create a sticky bar with a button, then set that button's action to trigger your desired subscription overlay:
Burt’s Bees Baby has a unique design for its popup form that meshes well with its brand and site aesthetic:
The offer and CTA button are both bold and highly visible at a glance.
Most notably is the line “Nurture your baby naturally with 100% organic cotton.” The line is short but plays on emotion and the desire for parents to give their babies the best. They could just offer a discount with the copy but instead promote the benefit of the brand as a whole.
5. Wayfair's segmented subscription popup example
Wayfair’s popup subscription form utilizes white space and the brand’s color pallet to create a design that stands out:
The offer and benefits of signing up for the mailing list are clear. Great deals and just-for-you finds are positioned as a bonus for subscribers.
In addition to the design, the CTA buttons allow the company to successfully segment its audience. Customers can either select “Shop for home” or “Shop for business.” This will enable Wayfair to segment its mailing list and target with relevant offers.
6. KitchenAid's full-screen subscription popup
KitchenAid goes big with its popup form that takes up the entire screen. The offer of “Save 20%” is front and center. The copy is on-brand and plays off the company’s stand mixer products by saying “stay in the mix.”
The CTA button stands out with an urgent-looking red box prompting users to redeem the offer.
One small friction point is the need to check a terms agreement box before you can submit your email. While it’s important to gather customer consent, marketers should be aware that this is something that could potentially cause frustration with their target audience.
Email subscription popup templates
Ready to create your own email subscription popups? ConvertFlow makes this process simple.
In fact, you can choose from dozens of pre-built popup templates or create your own design from scratch. You can also select from a number of triggers (e.g. time-delay, exit-intent, scroll) and targeting conditions to set when and where it displays.
Here are some list subscription templates you can start using right now:
Jessica is a copywriter and content strategist with over 10 years' experience in SaaS marketing. Her work has appeared on industry-leading websites like Social Media Examiner, SEMRush, CMX, The Next Web, Databox, Help Scout, Convince & Convert, and more. When she's not writing something epic, you'll usually find her watching Master Chef or schooling people on 90s pop culture trivia.
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