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8 steps for creating high-converting email forms for eCommerce stores

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If you run an eCommerce business, email marketing is one of your most powerful tools. According to a 2021 study, 90% of professionals believe that email is crucial to the overall success of their business. 

But where do these email subscribers come from?

A great way to generate email subscribers is by using email capture forms on your eCommerce website (see the image above). When designed effectively, these can be high-performing, lead-conversion tools for your business.

Below, we’ll take a look at how to design strong, marketing-focused forms that really will improve your conversion rate.

Screenshot from meundies.com

Use proven strategies to create your form


1. Create an eye-catching design

Choose a design your customers will remember for the right reasons. The design should be eye-catching yet effective. This means the key message you’re trying to convey should stand out. 

The design should reflect your brand to ensure you’re memorable because these long-lasting impressions help you to form a bond with your clients. You can use a multimedia approach by including video or animation or a “wheel of fortune” where clients can spin the wheel to win a prize, like a discount.

Most importantly, your call to action must be prominent. If it’s a button, it should leap off the screen. You should also make sure the call to action is clear by using words such as “win,” “join,” “save,” and “upgrade.” Words like these can be used in modern, more engaging, and colloquial ways than traditional calls to action, like “subscribe here.” 

If you’re a global business, you should also make sure to localize your emails. This will ensure they’re optimized for the local language and culture.

2. Keep it simple

Clear and concise communication will help you get your message across. Many people spend just seconds glancing at their emails, and you have to assume that’s the maximum time they’ll allocate to your communication, so make it count.

Sourced from Pexels

Consider how you can convey your message to trigger a particular desired emotion, and include a call to action to complete the sign-up form in a few short, snappy lines. Avoid having two-column fields because they’re less optimized for mobile users because of different screen sizes.

On this note, making your email forms accessible is important. There are many ways you can adapt your form to enable people with disabilities to access them, such as using sound or having the option to view it in a larger font size.

3. Keep your form short and straightforward

Being faced with too many fields to fill in can be daunting. Even the most promising leads can be put off by lengthy forms requiring a lot of information. Research by Omnisend shows that the best-performing number of fields on a form in terms of conversion is three, which generates a 10% conversion rate on average.

When deciding on what information you want to capture, consider the goals of your campaign, and collect only what’s needed. For example, if your goal is to offer special access to an exclusive online event, you only need an email address and name.

Different purposes may require more fields on the data capture form. While three fields will generate more leads, it’s worth noting that longer forms, combined with a good incentive to complete them, generate higher-quality leads.

Look at the Dominoes email form below. One field is all that’s required to send special offers to entice customers to make further purchases. The incentive of 25% off is a huge draw for first-time customers.

Screenshot taken from dominos.co.uk

4. Offer something in return

You’d have to be living off the grid to have never come across this powerful information-gathering and marketing tactic. If you want to gather more information from your email list, offering something in return is effective. 

Some incentives you could offer include:

  • Discounts 
  • Free gifts
  • The promise of a future discount, such as a birthday discount if you need date of birth information
  • Information or a how-to video or booklet
  • Presale access
  • Discounts to people who’ve abandoned their shopping carts, like free postage or example

5. Don’t breach privacy laws and regulations

Sourced from Pixabay 

Customers are increasingly aware of their safety and privacy online. Having a privacy policy is not necessarily going to increase conversions, but it’s a necessary feature to include in any email marketing. It also shows customers you care about privacy and online safety, which will help instill confidence in your business. 

If you operate globally, then you’ll need to comply with the local rules and regulations of each country, state, or region. Any staff or team members working with the data will also need training on applicable regulations.

6. Include some glowing testimonials and stats

Sourced from Pixabay

Star ratings, user comments, product endorsements, and statistics are powerful marketing tools. Building a few examples into the design of your email form can validate your brand and be the push prospective clients need to sign up.

If you have many subscribers, put that on your form to create a feeling of FOMO. For example, something like “join our community of 10,000 subscribers today” is an effective way to do this.

7. Choose your placement and timing.

An ill-placed or ill-timed pop-up form can be distracting to customers and can even hinder a purchase. Because of this, it’s vital you know how your web traffic performs and what the goals of your campaign are.

It’s a similar process to if you were to send recurring emails. You need to think about when you are likely to get people's attention and the frequency rate to get your customer’s attention without them feeling bombarded. 

Consider the following parameters when deciding where your email form should be placed:

  • After a certain percentage of the page has been scrolled
  • When landing on the homepage
  • After a certain amount of time has been spent on a page or on the site
  • When clicking or hovering over a link
  • After a certain number of visits to the website or pages visited

The purpose of your campaign will also determine the timing and placement of your email form. For example, if you’re running an abandoned cart campaign, you’ll want to grab visitors just before they leave with an “are you sure?” message. If you want new visitors to sign up, an early prompt on the landing page is preferable.

8. Make sure your follow-up process is just as smooth

If you've designed an eye-catching, easy-to-use email form and experienced a high lead-conversion rate, it’s important to keep the follow-up process just as simple. For example, enabling customers to revisit their shopping cart with the click of a button or signing a waiver with a waiver template free for the customer to use.

Having paperwork to send back is time consuming and annoying. E-documents are instant and allow you to hook a customer before they talk themselves out of a purchasing decision. E-signatures can be a great help here, so consider products that suit you such as Docusign Vs Adobe sign

To wrap things up

Email forms are a low-cost way of generating necessary leads. It’s crucial to have a clear goal in mind and to use it to inform your strategy. Combine it with the steps outlined above. This will ensure that you create something that works for you and increases both the quality and quantity of your eCommerce leads. 

Ultimately, building your email database is a vital marketing strategy in modern eCommerce. Being able to target people with products or services relevant to them is one of the most powerful ways to turn leads into customers. 


Yauhen is the Director of Demand Generation at PandaDoc, document solutions with HubSpot integration. He’s been a marketer for 10+ years, and for the last five years, he’s been entirely focused on the electronic signature, proposal, and document management markets. Yauhen has experience speaking at niche conferences where he enjoys sharing his expertise with other curious marketers. And in his spare time, he is an avid fisherman and takes nearly 20 fishing trips every year. 

Published December 13, 2022