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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Email Sign Up Idea

When site visitors encounter something expected they slow down and curiosity spikes.

Let’s say you’re looking for ways to drive up email signups. This example from could be an inspiration.

On the Truman’s homepage, the email signup is on top of the page. Below it is a countdown timer. Normally, email signup call-to-actions make an offer like “Give us your email and we’ll give an X% discount”.

Here there is no explanation for the countdown timer.

This is genius because now I’m 10x more interested (our brains are wired to detect anomalies). What happens once I signup? I’m dying to know. The only solution is to actually sign up.

Here is what I saw:

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How to Write Product Description that Sells (with Example)

You spent money to attract a new visitor. This visitor was different. Unlike 91% of new visitors they didn’t bounce. They actually spent time reading the first page.

Oh, they’re really getting into this.

They then went a few steps further and looked at a few product pages to finally zero in on THE product page.

The only thing that matters at this point is making sure the product description does its job. If we fail now everything else that’s been nailed till this point will be lost.

There are many best practices for product descriptions:

“Focus on Benefits”

“Tell a Story”

“Use Power Words That Sell”

“Know your Audience”


These strategies are great but they aren’t exactly rare. Marketers already use them. Your competitors already use them, which means in order to have an impact you need to work extra hard on “Tell a story” if you decide to go with that tactic.

Ready to hear about a tactic that is most definitely rare and also most definitely effective?

What if we flipped the way the product description was written? Instead of treating your product as an inanimate object what if we brought it to life and let it tell its own story?

That’s exactly what does on its organic probiotic product page:

Genius copywriting tactic.

Live page:

This is a genius tactic. I study online retailers 8 hours a day. Have been for the last 9 years. This is probably only the second time I’ve seen this tactic used.

Run an A/B test. Test this on your best selling product page and let me know how it did.

You’re welcome.

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Our Process:

We are always looking for ways to show you our process, so here is an example of what we would have done if we were working for a site like

Stasher is a product that reduces the use of plastics (you know, the ocean killer). Yet, on their product page they simply don’t talk about this (and if they do it’s so buried we weren’t able to find it).

What Stasher’s product page currently looks like:

This is our concept (notice how we’ve placed our test element, “Priceless for Mother Nature”, near the price, where this pitch makes the most impact):

This is what appears after shoppers click on “Priceless for Mother Nature”:

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Make Sure Your Test Element is Visible

When people run experiments, they are simply looking at the outcome of the experiment and determining if it was a success or a failure. This can be a problem.

We started adding tracking to see how many people were actually clicking on our test elements. Turns out, the number is low. If people aren’t seeing our test element and interacting with it, it’s impossible for the test to predict the positives and negatives of our experiment.

To illustrate our point (because we can’t show actual client examples), we’ve picked a typical example closely related to a real experiment we have tested to show you the process.

Costa is a premium sunglasses retailer that is relatively known…but they are in a very highly saturated and competitive market. With companies such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, Versace, and many others, why would the user choose a less known brand such as Costa over these others?  Below is the default Costa product page without our idea implemented:

Costa Control.png

In this instance, we are creating a call-to-action that expresses why the user needs to choose Costa for their next pair of sunglasses. When the user clicks on the call to action, a message will be displayed to them. Here is the design (the red arrow is not part of the design):

Costa Default 1.png

This element might be completely overlooked due to its location (away from the add to cart) and how similar it is to the “view all options” button. Since the element is somewhat hidden shoppers will not interact with the popup message and as a result, the test would not move the needle. The idea would be scrapped as a dud.

One of our core tactics is Visibility and a super important element of Visibility is importance hierarchy. Importance hierarchy is making sure the most persuasive elements on a page have the most visibility. It doesn’t matter how great our content is within this experiment, if no one sees it then what’s the point? We decided to change the location of the button (placing it right by the add to cart button) and made it stand out more. Here is the second design (CLICK ME! text is part of the design):

Costa Activated 2.png

Copy reads: When we started Costa in 1983 we had one goal, create the best sunglasses possible. We spent over 24,469 hours creating the best frames and lenses for whatever the situation. Whether you need glasses for driving, fishing, or everyday activities, you’ll find a Costa product for you. However, we didn’t stop there. We want to truly make a difference in the world and that means preserving our water. From removing plastics from our beaches to using old fishing nets to create frames, it’s more than sunglasses at Costa.

Not only is this button in a better location (directly below the add to cart), the color makes it stand out from the mostly white background. More people will notice it and be curious about what the contents are, and that’s where we are able to capitalize on the story of the company.

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If Your Video Converts Well Make Sure It’s Seen

If you have an asset that strongly influences conversions but isn’t seen by enough people then make it more visible. This is usually the case with video content. Video on your site likely definitely converts really well but is seen by a disappointingly low percentage of visitors. has solved this problem.

I’ve seen plenty of product pages that also show a product video. I’ve never seen one that defaults to the product video:

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Clever Popup

Shoppers ignore everything, especially annoying popups. So, to draw attention show something unexpected. On text is intentionally shown outside the popup box. This creates an asymmetry, which causes the shopper to slow down and notice the message. Few milliseconds of slowdown make all the difference: Popup.png


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Novelty: Add a Dash of Personality

The brain is a curious device. Who knows why it’s drawn to certain things and freaked out by others (go ahead and Google trypophobia).

Marketers are always concerned with the Visibility of their page. One method that is beginning to be used more and more frequently is Novelty.

But what is Novelty? Novelty is a design trick that is meant to be unusual and attention grabbing.

Take this example of this Amazon Prime up-sell page:

Amazon Upsell

It gets the point across of the benefits of Amazon prime, but it looks like any other generic sign up page that we have seen thousands of times (and 99% of the time, we skip over).

Now take this example from Amazon where we have a man sitting on a rocket while holding a package for delivery:


All that has changed is the addition of the graphic, but why is this a great example of Novelty?

A: The graphic is unexpected and causes the user to slow down.

B: The graphic is visually describing what Amazon is asking (sign up for Amazon Prime).

C: It’s funny, and that makes Amazon seem more Likeable (people buy from people they like).

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