Best Email Subscription Practices


Following best practices for email sign-ups starts before you’ve even sent your first message. When you’re building an audience with a subscription form, it’s vital to get it right. The first-party data you capture in your email subscription form is the most important initial source of truth you will find about your customer because it is coming directly from them.

Whether you are setting up subscription management for the first time or you are looking to improve your current practices, there are a few key elements that can help prevent deliverability issues, including spam complaints, bounces, and poor inbox placement. Almost all of the data points we gather via email and subscription forms are self-reported, so it’s our job to protect, and respect that data. Read all about where to start with our email opt-in best practices below!

What Is An Email Sign Up Form?

Email sign-up forms, also called email subscription forms, are a contact form that allows your visitors to opt-in to receive emails from your organization. By collecting your users’ email addresses, you’ll be able to generate leads and receive feedback from your audience. Email sign-ups are a great way to communicate with your audience and establish brand loyalty.

Building Your Email Sign-Up Form

Your subscription form is the perfect opportunity to acquire key information about new leads. If you only have an email address field, your lead/contact record will be blank and you won’t be able to personalize emails. Keep your form short and simple, but include the essential details:

  • First and Last Name
  • Company (optional, but recommended for B2B relationships)
  • Location (including country)
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number (optional, but recommended if you also send SMS notifications)
  • Link to a landing page with your company’s terms and conditions (including privacy policy). You can also require a check box to affirm agreement to these terms and conditions. Depending on the location of your subscriber, you will need to respect their regional privacy laws concerning handling their data. This will ensure your emails go straight to the inbox.
  • Concise description of the subscriber benefits and what they can expect (content and frequency). Including expectations can help reduce spam complaints and unsubscribes. 
  • Recommendation to add your sending email address to their Safe Sender list. Always send from the same address. 

Before you send emails to your subscribers, make sure your emails are clean and ready to go. Use our handy 3-step email audit checklist to ensure your emails look professional.

Confirmation Email

To weed out fake and typo email addresses, send a confirmation email immediately after the sign-up form is submitted.

Invalid addresses will hard bounce. Clean these hard bounces and unsubscribes from your marketing lists on a regular basis to maintain a more accurate membership count. Not sure what a hard bounce is? Check out our blog “Soft Bounce vs Hard Bounce: What’s the Difference?” to learn more about hard bounces and why they occur.

If you want your lists to be squeaky clean, consider trying double opt-in. Double opt-in means that you require the new subscriber to click a link to the subscription preference center to confirm their options before you add them to your marketing list, which will also allow people to fine-tune their preferences or to unsubscribe. Read more about double opt-in in our blog post “Double Opt-in: Increase Your Email Deliverability and Open Rates” to see the benefits of this strategy.

Record Keeping For Your Email Sign Ups

Maintain evidence of how and when people subscribe to your marketing emails on their contact records. Get express consent from new leads before sending your marketing emails. Assumed consent can result in higher spam complaints, which can damage your sender reputation, making it harder for you to get into inboxes for all subscribers. 


Shift Paradigm provides powerful insights and a full-service partnership to a variety of businesses. Explore our capabilities to see how we can help you plan and activate email marketing campaigns, sales playbooks and more. Our expertise across industries gives us a unique advantage to help facilitate business growth.

Need help with your email sign up form and messaging strategy? Let us know here.

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Best Email Subscription Practices

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