You have something to say or sell and you want everyone to know about it. Whether it’s getting your writing out with a weekly update or a newsletter to tell users what your company is up to, you need an email list and readers.

For companies who rely on email marketing or user readership, subscription is key. Blogs are great entry points to get your message to users, and getting users to subscribe is part of the equation in doing that. UX plays a huge role in making those sign-up asks appealing and making your content strategy more apparent.

Many of the takeaways for this UX Flow are similar to the articles that came before it. Basically, be opportunistic without getting annoying. Give users something worth asking for. Creativity is definitely a must because users have become blind to banners and an email sign-up ask that looks like a banner may not get clicked.

Tips for Getting the Subscription

One Zurb Quip directs, “the first step for encouraging people to sign up for email newsletters is to make people aware with a visible sign-up button [and if] the content is relevant and trustworthy, people will be more inclined to sign up.” Getting users to sign up is about two things: content and presentation.


By dangling a tasty carrot of compelling content, the user will bite. This means that enticing a user can help them to click to subscribe, and if you make that content something that only they get to receive, the odds are even better. For example, the carrot may be free exclusive recipe tips that are sent to readers and not posted on the blog, or a free download for signing up.


Building trust in the language you use is also important. Accomplish this with a small line of text, promising them you won’t spam them. And then only send them the best of the best because nobody wants crap in their inbox.

I hope that it goes without saying that you should make your content interesting, but language can be a fun way to engage users. In terms of messaging the offer, asking a compelling question and telling users what they are going to get, like Melissa Ambrosini, Noble Creative or Madewell below, can be a good approach.


Options can also be helpful – by offering your subscribers the option to sign up for weekly or monthly emails, they get to control how often they receive information from you. People love power. And they may like the less frequent option for the size of their inbox.


UX/UI Design comes in to play big time when it comes to presenting the offer that will get users to sign up. We talked about waving that carrot, now let’s look at visual techniques for showing the carrot and also ways to clearly direct users. To use our previous recipe example, showing users a small visual or giving them a link to a sample of a recipe may be a good approach.

Melissa Ambrosini hits the nail on the head again with a great example of a compelling presentation. The interaction of collapsing the nav and replacing it with the form above also leverages design and interaction to make the sign up more compelling. Also, showing how many steps the process will take is a good idea here, though one step is best for conversions.

Other possibilities? Morphing the action element, and interaction through animation. The below FlipJack example definitely adds a little something something that might be all the viewer needs to want more.


Designers are always looking for creative ways to get users to put in their email address and hit subscribe. A persistent subscription form is one of the most common approaches. Reinventing the pop-up via interaction and style is another neat approach to grab users.


A beautiful pop-up overlay prompts users after they have been on the site more than 5 seconds. If a user has spent this much time on the homepage already, this pop-up may be relevant to them. And the innovative approach asks forgiveness for the interruption.


Another unique approach to the pop-up comes in the interaction of this site. The pop-up doesn’t obstruct the user from reading and the slide in interaction is compelling and attention grabbing.

Clients are always asking for a BIG freaking loud button to get clicks. Now, remember, it does not have to be neon and 60 pixels tall to be “visible” and highly clickable. Primary call to action buttons should be larger in size than secondary actions, like the continue subscribe vs “Read More” button below.


Hacking UI asks for a subscription and the button stands out among the other clickable items on the page. They also cleverly cover the content without obstructing and annoying the reader with a pop-up.

But sometimes it can be effective to just trust your content, know your users and choose to go subtle. Kinfolk is a niche magazine and therefore is confident that the users that need or desire their content will subscribe.



1. Content is King
From how you sell the subscription to what you put in users’ inboxes, content matters. Tell users what they are getting in a compelling way, and make what they are getting is worthwhile.
2. Creativity is Contagious
In a world of content advertisements and pop-ups, creative ways to get users to sign up can make a difference for getting that follower.
3. Honesty is the Best Policy
Users are protective of their email inbox. Be real with them and build their trust. Don’t just get their email for the sake of building your list; give them a reason to want to hear from you.

Lastly, don’t forget to follow up and keep in touch with your users but also don’t alienate them with spam.