How to Get People to Sign Up for Your Newsletter



February 26, 2014 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

The majority of your interaction with customers, clients, and leads isn’t going to be through a friendly phone call. You’re fighting for eyes, not ears. One of the easiest ways to reach those eyes is by delivering content specifically to each inbox in the form of weekly or monthly newsletters. Let’s explore how to get folks to actually care about your email list. First things first, the breakdown.

Where They’re Going to Look:

Viewers aren’t just going to read everything you put out there. In fact, a majority of your viewers are simply skimming your site. So, for those important emails lists, updates, and other various things you desperately want your viewers to read, heed these three strong suggestions.

1. The upper left hand corner is your friend.

If you put all of your information in a right hand side panel then you’re only hurting yourself. The upper left hand corner is where a majority of readers will look first. This is because western culture is conditioned to read from left to right, top to bottom. It’s natural for us to want to look in the upper left hand corner, no qualms about it.

2. Eyes start in the left hand corner, then they Z-pattern down.

Because we’re conditioned to read from left to right, top to bottom, it’s natural for our eyes to start doing the Z-pattern. You want to put your most important feature (for now it’s your newsletter sign-up) up in the left hand corner under your border. Then you can put your second most important thing to the right. DO NOT put it further down than half of the page. People typically don’t go that low when they’re reading.

3. Follow the “F-Pattern”

The “F-pattern” is the secondary backup when it comes to content. The eyes move from one line to the next and back up to the vertical line, creating an F-like pattern. This is because your audience is skimming and they need to go back to make sure there’s nothing they’ve missed. Put your email signup along the horizontal lines, preferably to the left unless you position it perfectly on the right.

Pop-ups are Annoying… Sometimes

Sometimes popups are annoying. However, if they’re done right, you can get a pretty decent conversion rate. Popups are effective if you are running a promotion and you are going to offer your viewers something exciting and awesome and free. They’re also a good shortcut for those who aren’t going to read.

Popups do work, but they come off as pushy and annoying at times, so be careful. Here are a few examples of websites that handle pop-ups effectively.


If you do opt for popups, timing is everything. Upworthy has a big orange and white popup that appears after the user has had time to go through their content. They let them digest everything and then hit them with the signup box. The company at least has the courtesy to wait and let you explore the site before asking you to convert. If you’re marketing your content and trying to share it with people, this is the way to go. Content based sites should heed this as a means to get people to sign up for your newsletter.

Content Equals Money

Content Equals Money also has a delay on their pop-ups, but rather than asking for an address right away, they lead with a question. This gets visitors to engage, because they only have to click one thing. It’s low risk. Then they ask the visitors if they would like to have updates in their inbox via the newsletter. A conversion is ideal, but they still get information about who is visiting their site if you only answer the first question.

Consider Traditional Banners

If you don’t want to use pop-ups to gather email addresses, you could always place a banner at the bottom of the article. Remember to include a call to action at the end of your posts, encouraging readers to sign up for more.

Convince and Convert places their email signup box right at the end of the first line of sight. This is handy for those of you who are going to look through the page, get to the second point on your Z-pattern and see the massive banner waving at you and asking you to sign up. This works great in the sphere of social media and curation sites.

Whichever banner placements or pop-ups that you choose, you’re going to have to test and test and test again. What works for the sites above might not work for your audience. Once you do find that sweet spot, the hard part is coming up with newsletter content to share with them.

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