Want to know how to create a mailing list sign up form using Mailerlite? You’re in the right place my friend. First things first though, I want to say a huge congrats on starting a mailing list. A lot of people never get this far so you’re already ahead of the game. I also want to say good choice for choosing Mailerlite as your email service provider. It’s my favourite email platform by far.
But now it’s time to take action and get that email list sign up form created.
Affiliate link disclaimer
This post contains affiliate links. If you buy through these links I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and love or products that I want to try.
Once you’ve logged into the Mailerlite dashboard you’ll see the menu going horizontally across the top of the page. Click Forms, and you’ll see a list of existing forms under the Embedded forms option, if you have any.
To create a new form hit the big orange button in the top right hand corner of the screen labelled Create embedded form. I’m going to take a minute to just enjoy the self-explanatory user experience that Mailerlite provides here – because it’s not shared by all mailing list platforms.
You’ll then be prompted to give your form a name, usually I give it the name of the freebie that I’m going to be offering through it. Hit Save and continue.
You’ll then be asked what subscriber group anyone who signs up via this form should go into. I recommend that you create one with the same name as your freebie, so that when you send emails out in future, you know how the people in the different groups came to be on your list. This is your first step towards segmenting your list and being able to give them content specific to their interests.
To add a new group, click Add new group in the top right hand corner.
You’ll be presented with the popup pictured below. Add a name and click Create.
When the popup has disappeared find your newly created group in the list, click the checkbox next to it and then hit Save and continue.
The form builder
You have 3 options for mailing list sign up form layout with Mailerlite.
They are default, horizontal or card. Default has the form fields stacked above the submit button, horizontal has the button to the right of the the form fields and card is the default form layout with a picture above it.
You can change the form layout using the Change link in the top right corner of the screen.
In the right hand panel on the right of the screen you’ll see options to customise the look of the form. You can change the following options:
- Page background colour
- Form background colour
- Layout – this allows you to make the form fill the width of the screen, add a border and change the alignment of the form
- Heading and text styles and colours
- Form elements styles
Each of these options will have different settings you can change, to see them click on the option you want to change. In the picture below you’ll see the options for changing button styles.
At the top of the right panel you’ll see a tab labelled Settings. Here you can add extra options to your form mainly around privacy and segmentation options for your list. The options are:
- Confirmation checkbox – adds an explicit user consent checkbox to your form
- Hidden segmentation field – adds a hidden custom field to your form to help you segment your list
- Marketing permissions fields (GDPR-compliant) – adds explicit checkboxes to consent to being sent email and custom ads
- Interest groups – let’s your subscribers choose interest groups
- Custom success page – allows you to redirect to a custom thank you page instead of the default success message.
- reCAPTCHA – adds an ‘I’m not a robot’ checkbox to your form to help control spam.
Adding fields to your mailing list sign up form
To change the content of the form hover your mouse over the part of the form you want to change and click the pencil icon, or to remove an element click the bin icon.
To add or remove form fields it’s the same process. Hover over the form and click the pencil icon. You’ll then see the options change in the right panel. You can add fields using the Add field button as well as choose whether you want to display labels above the fields. Where you want to display the labels is totally up to you – there’s no right or wrong answer.
When it comes to fields on a mailing list sign up form, try to keep them to a minimum. I recommend email address and name. Having their name means that you can personalise emails, which is one of the great things about email marketing.
To edit the text on the button, hover over it and click the pencil icon. I don’t recommend leaving it with Subscribe on it, no-one wants to subscribe to a mailing list. Always bring it back to the freebie you’re offering e.g. I want the checklist.
In the middle of the black bar at the top of the screen you’ll see an option for Success message. This is the message that will be displayed on screen instead of the form when someone clicks the button on your form.
To edit it, hover over it and click the pencil icon. And use the right panel to change the text to whatever you want.
Once you’re happy with your form click next in the top right hand corner of the screen.
You’ll then be taken back to the form dashboard where you’ll be able to see a general overview, form analytics, automation, double opt-in email, double opt-in thank you page.
I always recommend that you leave the double opt-in option checked and the top of the overview. What this does is send new subscribers and email asking them to confirm that they really meant to sign up. If they don’t confirm then they won’t be added to your list.
Doing this means that you’ll build a list of people who definitely meant to sign up and want to be on your list. It might mean that you lose the odd sign-up here and there, but you’ll know that you only have people you definitely want on there.
As you scroll down the overview page you’ll see a share URL that you can copy. This is a URL that you can use that will have the form you created on a standalone page. So if you don’t have a website yet, this ideal for you to start collecting sign ups right now.
Embed form into your website
If you have your own website, I recommend that you embed the form onto it. I create brand new landing pages for every new freebie I create with content focused on the transformation subscribers will get from it.
To do this with Mailerlite you need to make sure that you have a small snippet of code added to it. If you’re not comfortable adding code to your site manually, check out the Insert Headers and Footers plugin. You’ll find a tutorial on how to use it if you click the link.
The code you want to put in the header is the one in the top box within this section.
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to add the form to your landing page. To do this scroll to the bottom of the screen and copy the code.
The process for adding this code to your page will vary depending on the page builder you’re using. If you’re using the WordPress block editor, you can just add an HTML block and paste it in there.
You may find that clicking the preview tab on the HTML block shows nothing, but don’t worry about it. Click preview at the top left of the screen, and you should see it in the page preview.
If you use X Theme like me, you’ll need to add a Content area element and paste the code in there.
With WP Bakery, you’d need to add a text block and then paste the code into the text view of the element.
And that’s it. You’ve created your very own mailing list sign up form using Mailerlite.
Double opt-in email
If you want to customise your double opt-in email click the double opt-in email option at the top of the screen. To change the subject, sender or email content click the edit buttons to the right of them.
I like to change the button and link colours to match my branding. Making these changes is really similar to customising your form.
Double opt-in thank you page
When it comes to a thank you page, you have 3 options. Either edit the basic one one within Mailerlite by clicking the edit option at the top of the screen. Create one on your website and enter the link, or create a landing page within Mailerlite and use that.
I always recommend that you create a thank you page, if for no other reason than to add a link to your freebie. But if you’re really strategic you can use it to promote your services or add a link to a low ticket offer here.
Delivering your lead magnet
I’ll be showing you how to automatically deliver your freebie to new subscribers in next week’s blog post, through the use of Mailerlite automations. In the meantime, create a thank you page and add a download link to it there.