A couple of months ago, I created a simple sign-up flow to my newsletter, trying to make it fun and simple as it can be. Since then, it’s been used and I got no complaints about the process being too hard or too confusing. But, as the detective I am, trying to solve the mysteries of the world, I noticed something was a bit off. People wanted to sign up — they gave their name and email address, but nothing happened — they weren’t added to the newsletter. Why? Because they didn’t confirm their subscription. I grabbed my Sherlock’s coat, hat and pipe, threw the pipe away because I don’t smoke a pipe, and started investigating.
First things first
There were some issues that triggered me to work on my newsletter’s sign-up process:
- I want to make my newsletter list bigger.
- I have witnessed a live failure of my current process.
- I hate the “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude. My sign-up form and process are fine, but there are some weak spots that I should fix.
The current situation
I always feel bad asking too hard for signing up. I think people would want to sign up if they’d like what I write. The thing is, I need to make sure I give them a comfortable way to sign up and don’t put them through hell.
This was my sign-up form:
I don’t think there’s something horribly wrong about it, but there is a very particular thing I want to make better, and it’s that last sentence:
Don’t forget to check your inbox and confirm your subscription!
That’s where I fail. The whole “enter your mail here and then click there and go to your mailbox and then flush the toilet and precisely 13 seconds later, make an avocado sandwich” process of just receiving a weekly mail is pretty complex. Having that said, the process is important, so it won’t be too easy and an army of bots will sign up to the mailing list (Although writing a weekly newsletter does sound interesting).
Now, after the form is submitted, this is what the new potential subscriber sees:
Fun, isn’t it? Well, I think the problem here is that it’s too fun. Don’t hate me just yet for being a party pooper, but imagine a kid eating a full healthy meal, and just before he finishes his peas — a giant cake arrives, with ice cream and balloons! No doubt that’s fun, but will he ever finish those peas? No, he’ll just eat that giant cake and waste those important nutritions.
(I think I just became ready to be a dad)
After I finish my peas — I can eat what I please
I say — eat the cake. The only thing is — you got to finish the annoying process of eating the thing your body needs (=the details in the sign-up form), and then spoil yourself with a good slice of cake (=fun GIF).
So, I decided to hold the celebrations a bit. This message is shown after someone signs up:
And then, the final step before the big celebration — the subscription mail:
IT’S PARTY TIME
The new reader confirmed her/his mail address. Mission complete. Time to eat the cake.
A very annoying thing about newsletters is that they normally get to the “promotion” tab, and that might damage the visibility of the newsletter, so I made sure to explain it and what to do in order to don’t miss the mails.
Time to check if it works
Now it’s time for me to see if my hypothesis is right and if this is the way to make sure I don’t miss potential readers.
I would super-appreciate it if you’d help me, though:
- If you’re not already signed up — think about signing up. If you enjoyed this post, I’m sure you’ll enjoy future posts. Check the sign-up process and let me know what you think.
- If you’re already signed up — Hey, buddy! How are you? I’d appreciate it if you recommend a friend that’ll like my newsletter to sign up, and see how this friend reacts to the process.
Regardless, I’d love to hear what you think about this process or on other sign-up processes. You can either tell me in the comments or send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.