What is a Good Email Sign Up Rate? [Easy 5-Step Guide]
What is a good email sign up rate? How many subscribers should you be getting, and how can you improve your sign up rate?
It's good to have a benchmark, otherwise you're operating in the dark.
But more importantly;
I'm going to share with you, (from my 20 years' email marketing experience), how to improve your email sign up rate.
You want more subscribers and I'll show you how to do that.
Before we dive into the simple steps, here's the quick answer you've been looking for;
What is a Good Email Sign Up Rate?
A good email sign up rate varies, depending on the type of web page;
- 30% - for a landing page dedicated to signing up emails
- 1.95% - for a content page or blog post with a pop-up or optin form
- 1% - for your website as a whole
Those are the headline figures but what do they mean for you, how can you increase your email sign up rate and how do you optimize your website to get more subscribers?
Let's dive in...
I've been building emails lists for over 20 years.
During that time I've created countless landing pages (sometimes called a "squeeze page" or "landing page").
In fact, I've had several hundred thousand subscribers join my lists, over the years.
Whenever I create a landing page I have one golden objective;
Hit the magic 30% number.
If you can get 30% or more of your visitors to join your email list from a landing page, you are doing well.
Don't misunderstand me;
I've created landing pages which get over 90%.
On the flip-side I've created horror shows which got less than 5%.
"30% is the golden number for a landing page sign up rate - it means you're doing something right."
If I don't hit 30% with an optin page, then I know I need to edit it until it does (we'll come on to the details in a moment).
And if I still can't hit the magic 30% email sign up rate, (or higher), then I'll start over completely.
Again - this is for a page whose sole purpose is to get email addresses onto your list.
It needs to be short, concise and use exciting copywriting which evokes curiosity.
The formula is simple;
- Headline (containing a big promise)
- Subheadline (explaining what they're getting)
- Call to Action (big button which repeats the main object they're getting)
We'll tackle each of these components in more detail later, but first...
If you're smart then you will have pop-ups and opportunities to join your email list peppered throughout your content.
Sure - you might have a dedicated squeeze page.
But you shouldn't stop there...
You need to take advantage of all the virtual real estate you've built up.
The chances are - most visitors will just hit your site once, never to be seen again.
So you have one shot, one opportunity (as Eminem would say), to get them to sign up.
"Saying 'Join My Newsletter' is NOT going to cut the mustard."
Let's talk about Sumo.
They are a big-ass site and they did a ton of research.
Research on the visitors they got to their site - all 3.2 billion of them! 😮
What is a good email sign up rate?
Well, what they found is this;
On average, their content pages were getting 1.95% sign up rate, from visitor into subscriber.
Think about this.
These guys are true experts.
Heck. They even SELL software which builds you a list and creates pop-ups to get subscribers.
And THEY only get 1.95% of their content visitors to sign up.
This shows you the uphill struggle you are facing.
Sumo uses full-screen pop-ups, smaller pop-ups, in-content optin forms, scrolling bar optins and more to achieve this number.
That's a lot of different tools they're throwing at this.
But then they are getting billions of visitors, so fair play.
For the rest of us, we can still compete, if we do things right.
I'll share some tips with you in a sec, but first...
Looking at the metrics for many of my websites, the figure which comes up time and again is 1%.
If you can get 1% of all your visitors to opt in you are in good shape.
So this is not just visitors who see your blog posts or content pages.
But even visitors who hit the homepage, stumble onto some random page with no place to optin and everything else in between.
Like all statistics - you have to take this with a giant-finger pinch of salt;
Maybe your site is slow to load?
Perhaps you don't have an optin form or pop-up on every page?
Your site could have been designed in 1993 and have animated butterflys zooming round the screen.
Here are the basics you need to get right;
- Fast-loading speed
- Good, helpful and super-relevant content (and lots of it)
- Friendly positioning of opt in opportunities in all content
If you do all that, then 1% email sign up rate, across all traffic, is achievable for you.
Okay, so we've looked at the benchmarks...
Now let's ask the question;
There are five methods I want to share with you in this section, here's the first;
Use the Power of Headlines to Increase Email Sign Up Rate
The headline you use to get people to sign up has the biggest impact on your sign up rate.
If you get this wrong - it's crickets.
If you get it right - you could have a winner on your hands.
The trick is to tie in curiosity, desire, speed, specifics and ease of use into your headline.
"Discover the Little-Known Secret to Easily Losing Belly Fat in 5 Days without Dieting"
Now I just made this headline up, to illustrate a point.
You need to make sure you can back up what you promise, of course.
But notice how this headline uses;
- A big promise (losing belly fat)
- The power of curiosity (little-known secret)
- Specifics (5 days)
- Speed and Ease (easily ad 5 days)
You might need to re-write your headline over and over again to get these elements in.
There are thousands of copywriting resources online but a great free place to start is the Gary Halbert Letter.
You don't want it to come across too salesy either - you are always performing a balancing act.
Check out these landing page examples which will help you get more subscribers.
Okay, onto the next method to increase your email sign up rate...
Switch to Single Opt In
There are two ways to get people to subscribe to your email list;
1. Double opt in (where people have to click a link in a verification email to be added to your list)
2. Single opt in (where people are added the moment they enter their email address)
If you want to get a better email sign up rate - switch to single optin.
Now, this won't necessarily equate to getting a higher quality email list, of course.
But it will get you more leads.
I've been in this game for 20 games and swear by single optin.
I personally use Getresponse to build my list and they let you know do single opt in, no problem.
Even a low quality lead has some value.
The harder you make it for people to join your list then, yes, it's true - the more qualified they will be.
But think of how many potential customers you might be losing.
I prefer to do my qualifying and filtering in the email broadcasts I send out.
Let your subscribers self-select and qualify themselves, by the actions they take on your emails, not by the hoops you make them jump through to join your list in the first place.
Okay, onto the next method to boost your email sign up rate;
Be Consistent in Your Wording
This often gets missed.
You need to use the same words and phrases throughout your email sign up process;
- In your headline
- In your call to action text
- On the button
- On the confirmation page
- In the first email
- In the freebie
If you give people mixed messages with what you're saying and how you describe your freebie then you'll run into problems.
Work out what people respond to best, and use this throughout the sign up process.
I have found that using the 'first-person' wording on the call to action button or link works best;
"Send Me This"
"Give Me Access"
"Yes I Want This"
These work much better than "Join Now", "Subscribe" or "Submit".
Make the prospect feel like they are in control and they are driving this experience, and not you.
Get Targeted Traffic
It goes without saying, yet here I am saying it anyway 😀 that you need targeted traffic to increase your email sign up rate.
You need to make sure you've done your audience homework and you know your niche.
You need to step inside their shoes and really understand their desires, their fears and how they tick.
Once you've got this down, you can easily pinpoint traffic sources, which are going to work best for you.
Doing keyword research is a good start, but remember to look beyond the data.
The important factor here is search INTENT.
What are people thinking and wanting when they land on your website?
Help them get what they want and you will get lots of email sign ups.
I have an article all about building a free list on Facebook that helps you with this.
Use a Specific Freebie for Specific Content
This is an advanced, "nice to have", tactic.
In fact, I know this works but I've personally not even had time to implement it on all my pages yet! 😀
The idea is simple;
Rather than have one generic opt in freebie you give to all email sign ups.
You instead have a specific freebie you give to people who are viewing certain type of content.
Let's say you run a gardening website.
You have a section on planting seeds, and another section on recipes using home-grown vegetables.
When you first get started, for ease and speed, you might just offer a generic freebie - "How To Be a Better Gardener".
And that's fine, it will still work, to an extent.
But to really increase your email sign up rate, you would want to create a specific freebie for each type of content - a seed-planting guide, a vegetable guide and so on.
This is more work but you will harvest the rewards. 😉
Okay, let's talk about the elephant in the room...
I've put this last because, let's face it, the last thing you wanted to hear right up front is that this might all be a pointless exercise! 😀
It IS important to have a metric to aim for.
Email sign up rate can help.
But on its own it doesn't reveal too much about the success of your business, your website or your profitability.
"I could offer free money on an optin form and get 99% sign up rate, but it wouldn't count for very much, would it?"
Let me ask you a "devil's advocate" type question;
Q. Would you rather have 100,000 subscribers on your email list who don't engage with your emails OR 1,000 who are highly-responsive?
It's a no brainer. (Or at least it should be).
And yet, some entrepreneurs obsess over subscriber numbers and email sign up rates.
Ultimately, they count for very little IF you can't get them to convert into clicks and sales down the line.
So while it's definitely a good idea to measure your email sign up rate, and try to increase it using the tips on this page, it's not the be all and end all.
Sales are king.