How Many Form Fields Should Be In Your Newsletter Sign Up Form?

2020-05-27

When setting up a newsletter sign up form, you may wonder how many form fields you should have. Should you capture their name in addition to their email address? Should you only collect their email address? Should you try to collect any other info or keep it simple to optimize for the conversion rate?

While it’s true that simply asking for the email address can usually result in the highest conversion rate, there is a business case for capturing the following info at the point of optin as well:

1. Job role

2. Business type

3. The current pain point for their business (sometimes this can be surmised from the content they’ve consumed on your website).

The segmentation questions you set up for your business may be different. It’s good to sit down and determine the different segmentations you want to focus on for your business.

Some may not make sense and would be of no use.

For example, say you’re a veterinary clinic. You could segment your customers based on if they’re male or female, but you wouldn’t speak any differently to these two segments so there’s no point in segmenting based on gender.

Now, segmenting based on whether or not they own a cat or dog would be a useful data point.

You could then send personalized content that just speaks to dog owners and personalized content that just speaks to the cat owners. This would be much more effective than simply sending them all content and marketing materials about their generic ‘pet’.

That’s why collecting this info at the point of optin is so helpful. Because then you can segment the subscribers and serve them more personalized content via email. Content that is based on who they are, the type of business they’re in and the problem they’re struggling with the most right now. It also makes your sales pitch much more targeted.

I encourage you to test both to see if gathering the additional segmentation info at the point of optin will lower your conversion rate compared to asking only for the email address at optin. If it’s trivial then I’d recommend getting that additional segmentation data at the point of optin so all of your subscribers are properly segmented.

It is possible to segment an unsegmented list using a progressive profiling sequence along with ‘trigger links‘ but that’s content for another blog post. The most ideal scenario is to segment at the point of optin as much as possible.

One thing to note, instead of letting them input anything in these additional form fields, it’s best to have them select only one of several options for each of these fields using a dropdown menu so as not to create an unlimited number of segments. We can’t create personalized content for EVERY situation after all.