How to Make Popup Email Subscription Forms That Work

Subscribe form for email concept.

There’s a myriad amount of ways to gain new subscribers to your email lists, from subscribe-by-text to opt-ins during checkout. But one of the most powerful ways is to have an email subscription form on your website that brings itself to your users’ attention.

When done well, using a popup form can bring in fresh users who visit your website – however, when done poorly, that same popup subscription form can hurt your website traffic and even your ranking.

Popup Subscription Forms 101

Before we talk about making better popup sub forms, let’s take a look at the basics: the need that these popup forms fill, what versions might work best for your situation, and how they’re perceived by users (use visitors instead of users) of your website.

The Goal of Gaining Subscribers

Before you create a popup form, it’s important to know what your goal is. Are you starting a mailing list for future email marketing? Or are you growing a current list?

If you’re looking to target your popups to capture a specific audience rather than a general one, consider what page to place it on for best effect.

Avoiding Turning Away Users

The best way to avoid turning away potential subscribers is simplicity itself. Our friends at Sumo (one of our integration partners) have compiled a study on almost two billion popup forms to show what’s working, what isn’t, and what you should expect.

The biggest takeaway? Simple is better.

In a comparison of complicated forms with images and long-form writing of calls to action and simple forms with only a single line of text, they found that the latter had a 30% higher performance.

Make sure to check out their full article, Pop-up Statistics: Findings From Analyzing 2 Billion Pop-up Examples, for more email popup statistics.

Types of Popup Subscription Forms

Popup forms come in many different types and styles. Often their most defining characteristics is what triggers them and where they pop up.

  • Standard Popup Form: These are popups that trigger shortly after a user starts visiting your website, where their attention is strongest. However, showing these too often or poorly made can hurt their experience. Use sparring for limited-time events or sales.
  • Exit Intent Forms: When a user is showing “exit intent” such as switching to another tab or focusing on another app, these forms pop up to offer “before you go” calls to action to sign up.
  • Scroll Activated Forms: These forms trigger when a user has scrolled down a page to a certain height, perfect for end-of-blog popups and page scrolls when a user has a good idea of the content and services you provide.

Three Ways to Put the Smart in SmartForms

Here at FeedBlitz, we have an easy-to-use subscription form system known as SmartForms. These forms can be customized to come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and positions on your website, including as a popup on your website.

What separates an annoying popup from an effective one? Let’s go over the three golden settings.

  • What page to show the form on. This setting describes how many pages a visitor should browse before showing the page off. Setting it higher allows a user to show interest and commitment before you ask them to subscribe.
  • How long to wait until the form shows. This setting is all about time. Giving a delay between visiting a page and showing the popup can making the difference, even if it is only by a few seconds.
  • When to show the form again. If someone has clicked out of or away from a pop-form, the last thing you should do is show it to them again immediately. This allows you to put in a delay in days before you ask them again to sign up.
FeedBlitz SmartForm screenshot.

It’s important to be able to track the success of your popup subscription forms. Using FeedBlitz SmartForms allows you to track popular and highest converting forms.

Create a Form Your Audience Will Use

There’s a fine line between popups that are too aggressive and too passive. To create a subscription form that will be used, it’s important to avoid the common mistakes that annoy users.

Some of these mistakes can also hurt your page ranking (part of the “intrusive interstitials” Google started back in 2016), so it’s very important to design your forms with your readers in mind.

Designing the Ideal Email Subscription Form

Bringing all the above together can seem like a challenge, but we’ve got a step by step process on how to create an email subscription form that can be tailored for everything from monthly newsletters to blog feeds.

Quick and easy, this gives you a form code that can easily be integrated into your website, including all the tips and tricks above to make sure your forms don’t annoy your users.

Here at FeedBlitz, we believe you should have newsletter form and email subscription popups as effective and elegant as your newsletters and eblasts. Remember that popups are a great resource, but shouldn’t be your only form of subscription. They are only a part in the grander scope of email marketing strategy.

Interested in learning more about what we can do for you as your active email service provider? Send our team an email at You can also use our chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm Eastern.