Top 7 Email Signup Ideas for 2019

It’s 2019. By now, shoppers know what to expect when they’re confronted with an email signup popup.

What are shoppers likely going to do today? They’ll immediately close the popup, skip past the email signup form, or uncheck that sneaky little email newsletter box.

They do this automatically, as if they’ve been conditioned to hate popups and email signups with a passion. Well, they have been conditioned to hate them, and we as marketers are to blame.

We all show the same popups and email signups with the same generic messaging. Would you sign up for your own email newsletter? Chances are you would close out of a popup before reading the first 3 words.

But it’s not because the 10% off coupon or free item with a purchase coupons upon signing up aren’t compelling offers.

It’s because our popups and the mechanisms that trigger our email signup prompts are not compelling.

What do I mean? Below I’ll show you 7 of our favorite ideas for generating more email signups in 2019:

Idea 1: Unconventional Popup Shape

90% of the popups out there look exactly the same. They’re rectangular and feature an easy-to-spot and all-too-enticing ‘close’ button on the top right corner.

Seems like a good way to immediately tell users how to close your popup, right?

So why not try an alternative popup shape—something that will make your shopper stock for an extra second because they weren’t expecting something so different?

Look at this popup from

Instead of a rectangular popup shape, uses a circle. They also removed the ‘close’ button and replaced it with a “No, thanks.” link at the bottom of the popup.

The shopper is practically forced to slow down and scan through the content. They have to do this even if they want to close out of the popup. Just by changing the shape and ‘close’ mechanism, was able to slow their shoppers down and increase the chances they’ll submit their email address.

Idea 2: Use Human Nature to Your Advantage

Humans are naturally curious creatures. Someone says, “don’t go in there!” and suddenly you feel the urge to go in there. You want to know what’s there or what will happen if you go in there.

Take a look at this email signup from

What’s the countdown timer for? What do they mean when they say “So close we can taste it”? Many shoppers will feel like they’ve got to know what this is all about.

But in order to know, they have to sign up.


Idea 3: Asymmetry

Popups are often very neat. Nothing is hanging off the edge of the popup, the design is sleek, the popup is symmetrical, and so on.

However, creating a little bit of asymmetry can be all that’s necessary to slow down your shoppers and get them to read your popup content. Take a look at this example from

The Rock Bottom Golf logo is large and hanging off the edge of the popup! It looks weird, but that’s why it works. Shoppers will take notice and slow down before instinctively moving their mouse toward the ‘close’ button.

Idea 4: Let Your Shopper Play a Game

Shoppers—and people in general—love to play games. When they see a soccer ball, they have to kick it. When they see an upset bird that can be launched with a slingshot, they have to download Angry Birds on their phone.

And when they see a giant The Price Is Right style wheel . . . well . . . they can’t help but spin the heck out of it. knows this. So they’re taking advantage of this in their email signup popup. Once a shopper wins a prize, they have to sign up and claim the prize within 15 minutes.

Could you resist the urge to spin the wheel?

Idea 5: Hand-drawn Popup

Take a look at this popup from

You’re probably taking an extra few seconds to look at this popup right now. It looks fun and inviting.

More importantly, it’s unexpected.’s shoppers will definitely slow down to look at this popup. That could be enough to generate more sign ups.

Idea 6: Popup Shape that Looks Like an Object

This is taking Idea 1 above two steps further.

Take a look at this popup from

Not only is this popup an unconventional shape, it’s a dang truck! This will certainly be unexpected and slow down more shoppers.

Idea 7: Can You Keep a Secret?

You probably want to know what the secret is, right?

Like I said earlier, people are naturally curious. knows this and they’ve taken advantage of this with their email signup.

Take a look at this floating tab that appears on their site:

Many shoppers will definitely want to know what the secret is, so they’ll click on this floating tab. When they do, they’ll see this: is making their shoppers feel exclusive. After all, only people who subscribe will be notified of “secret sales”. Do you think all shoppers would be able to resist the urge to find out what secret sales they could benefit from?

What do your email signup popups and prompts look like? Could you be taking advantage of any of these ideas?

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How to Optimize B2B Lead Form Pages for Better Results

After searching for “video management software” on Google, we stumbled upon—the website for Costar Video Systems. After reviewing their site, it became clear that Costar is primarily a B2B (business-to-business) seller of video management software, surveillance cameras, digital video recorders, and other similar security products.

The focal point of their site—the element they are trying to draw the shopper’s attention to—is undoubtedly their video management software, StarNet. This is what their StarNet page looks like:

Costar’s goal on this page is to get shoppers to download their software after filling a lead capture form. How can we improve the conversion rate on this page?

B2B sites are often filled with jargon and words that are unique to that specific business. On the StarNet page, Costar mentions in the features section that StarNet offers “video analytics reporting supported with use of a video analytics box (CRIA04).”

As marketers, we often make the assumption that shoppers will understand everything we say on our sites. This is a habit we need to kick. While some shoppers (and certainly return shoppers) will be familiar with what a video analytics box is, many others will not be, especially if this is their first time searching for security video solutions. To tackle this issue, we developed a concept for this page:

In our concept, we’ve made 3 key changes.

Change 1:

Let’s take a closer look at the features section:

Beside “video analytics box (CRIA04)”, we’ve added a tooltip. Once clicked, the following lightbox window will appear:

This lightbox window features a video from Costar’s YouTube channel that provides an in-depth explanation for the CRIA04 video analytics box. For shoppers who had no idea what a video analytics box was, they now know. This new information makes the product more compelling for them because now they have a better understand of how it works and what benefits it provides.

Change 2:

Another way B2B sites can improve conversions by helping shoppers visualize the product or service. Costar takes a baby step in this direction by including an image of their video management software interface on the StarNet page.

However, the image is small, which means it’s difficult to see all the details. To help shoppers visualize the product a bit easier, we’ve made the image clickable in our concept. Once clicked, a much larger version will appear in a lightbox window:

Now shoppers will really be able to see what the interface looks like and how it works.

Change 3:

Lastly, we wanted to take advantage of something called the Zeigarnik Effect. In marketing, the Zeigarnik Effect is used to refer to the shopper’s better recollection of unfinished tasks instead of finished tasks. Shoppers want progress when they see something is incomplete.

In our concept, we’ve hidden the lead capture form by default:

Instead, the shopper is now required to click a button that says “DOWNLOAD NOW”. When they do, the full lead capture form will be revealed. Now that shoppers have begun the process of downloading the software, they will feel more obligated to fill out the form because it’s incomplete.

Another marketing practice you’ve likely seen that takes advantage of the Zeigarnik Effect is a progress bar. Progress bars serve as visual reminders that a task is incomplete, but nearing completion.

Each of these changes contributes to better conversion rates. Can you adopt any of them on your own site?

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Using Small Ask Trigger to Get Leads


Online shoppers (especially mobile) are intimidated by forms. They’re hard to fill out, take a long time, and often make the user give up information they don’t want to. A Small Ask is a good way to get the ball rolling. Definition: Small Ask is when you inspire the shopper to take a single action.

In the bottom right screenshot, “For whom do you need a hearing aid?” is the Small Ask. It’s an innocent and non-threatening question (that’s the key).

Once the user answers the Small Ask they are shown the rest of the form. At this point it’s likely they will continue (sunk cost syndrome). The user thinks, “I already answered this first question, might as well take a look at the next.” This is why the image on the right works so much better than the one on the left.


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Keep the Scent Alive makes money when visitors create $18/year paid accounts.

People land on the site looking for creative greeting cards.  The first thing asks you to do is personalize your favorite card.  This drives engagement.  At this point the user doesn’t have a clue about the $18/year ask.  After personalizing you compose a message for the recipient and hit DONE.  This is when they ask the user to create a paid account:


The clever bit is that to the left of the payment form they show the card you had selected for customization as a subtle reminder of why becoming a paid member is such a good idea.  Why does this matter?  Well, when a shopper is going through the payment process they are constantly asking themselves, “Should I really be paying $x for this?” and seeing the thing (personalized greeting in this case) that got them this far into the funnel is a warm reassurance.

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