Let's just get out in front of it: your opt-in form needs work. It is costing you subscribers, sales, and new business leads.
Okay, so that's out of the way (like ripping off a band-aid, right?), let's move on to what you can do right now in order to fix the mess.
1. Too many questions
Asking too many questions for a simple email signup form automatically turns customers away. For that, you only need a name, email address and a checkbox for your privacy statement.
As your relationship develops with your new subscribers, you can ask them to update their information in their accounts and send surveys out to them so that you can learn more.
Besides the information that you need for emails, here are the only questions you need to ask your potential subscribers: name, mobile phone (SMS) and fax number (fax).
2. Designed poorly
If your design is preventing eager customers from opting in, then you need to fix that quick-snap. Your design needs to compliment your questions, meaning, highlight the necessary information from the optional information.
Also, if you vary between design styles too much – radial boxes, check boxes, drop-down menus and text boxes – it makes the process go slower, you're making your customers work harder, and you're turning them off all the way through.
3. Doesn't highlight benefits
What in the world are they signing up for? What are they going to get from you? They gave you the privilege to contact them, so you need to meet them more than halfway.
Right in the opt-in widget and signup form, list the benefits. These can range from exclusive deals, members' only information and first crack at hot, new products.
4. No privacy statement
Privacy statements are something that you just can't live without in the world of marketing. You need to reassure your customers that you're not going to sell, trade or barter for goats their personal information. Whatever they gave you, stays with you.
But, if you have business partners that like to contact your customers, then include that as an option upon sign up. Let them know that a third-party is interested in contacting them, and ask if it's okay to do so.
5. Not visible on your website
Don't play hide-and-seek with your future. Place your signup form in a prominent place on your website (upper right-hand corner usually works). Don't make your customers work for it and rely on your website's sitemap to find your signup page.