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Customize your signup form

All Emma accounts include a default signup form, which is linked to from the footer of email templates, as shown below, and can be published on your website or shared via a link.

A standard email template footer containing the signup form link

In this article, we'll explain how to customize the signup form, which is also used as your manage preferences form, for contacts to update their personal details or change subscription settings.

Another type of form available is our lightbox form. It includes advanced time delay and more customizable options.

Edit your signup form

Follow the steps below to customize a signup form in your account. If you're just getting started, the form will be called, "Your Default Signup Form".

  1. Open the Audience section in your account, then click Forms on the left.
  2. Select Signup from the form options, then click the name of the signup form you want to edit.
    The Signup tab, showing the default signup form
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to edit the “About this signup form” section, then click Save.
  4. In the section below, click Signup form to begin customizing your form.
  5. Optional: Customize other stages of the signup process, including the thank you page and subscription confirmation email.
    Signup stages: Signup form, Thank you message, Confirmation email
  6. Optional: If you use Google Analytics, set up tracking for signups.
  7. When you're done, click Publish this signup form, on the right, to see your options for sharing the form.

You can create as many signup forms as you like. For each mailing you send, there’s an option to select which signup form to link to from the footer of the email.

We recommend enabling reCAPTCHA by ticking the box in the “About this signup form” section (see step 3, above). reCAPTCHA adds an extra layer of security that helps to protect your account from spam signups.

Form customization

The signup form can be customized to include your logo, a custom message, your preferred font and whatever contact details, or email preferences, you want to collect from your subscribers.

You can view a preview of the form while you're editing, but be sure to click Save, on the right, so you don't lose your changes.

Logo and description

You can optionally upload an image, such as your company logo, and set the display size. Below the image placeholder is a default description for the signup form. To edit the copy, click inside the text field.

The default signup form before any customization

Your signup form also serves as your manage preferences form. When a recipient clicks "Manage" in the email footer, the form description is automatically changed to: “Update your contact information and email preferences using the options below.”

Everything you customize below the description stays the same, including which contact fields are displayed, which order they're displayed in, and which audience groups the form is connected to.

Add contact fields

If you've set up contact fields to store information about your audience members, they will be listed below the default contact fields: Email, First name, Last name.

The first field, above "Email" is to give contacts the option to receive either plain text or HTML mailings.

The signup form editor showing contact fields: First name, Last name

Below are the customization options for contact fields:

  • Order — Change the display order for your fields by editing the numbers assigned to each field. Changing field order here will overwrite any changes previously made on the "Manage contact fields" page.
  • Display name — This pulls in the field name of contact fields in your account. You can edit contact fields to change the field name, but you also have the option to edit the display name only. For example, you might have a contact field named D.O.B, which you'd prefer to display on your form as "Date of birth".
  • Field — Shows how this field will look on the form, based on the contact field type selected.
  • Require — Select the checkbox for fields you're including on the form that you want to make mandatory.
  • Hide — Select this checkbox for fields you do not want included on the form.

Choose audience groups

Next to the contact field customization options is a section titled "Add subscribers to". Click add or remove groups to choose which group, or groups, new signups will be added to.

Signup form editor showing the option to add or remove groups

If you don't select any groups, new signups will be added to your audience, but they'll be "in limbo". This means they could miss out on being sent your emails because, when choosing recipients for a mailing, it's commonly groups or segments that are selected.

Signup form settings to add and/or display contact fields

You can optionally display groups on your form, to allow contacts to choose which mailings they want to receive.

Customize signup stages

When editing your default signup form, you'll find a number of touch points in the signup process that can be customized to suit your brand. There's also the option to set up Google Analytics tracking for signups, and you can edit, or turn off, the confirmation email sent to people after they manage preferences.

Thank you message

After submitting the signup form, new subscribers will see a 'thank you' page in their web browser. You can add an image and edit the text, by clicking inside the text area. If you already added an image when customizing the signup form, it will be used here as well. Uploading a new image will overwrite the first one you uploaded.

Alternatively, you can redirect subscribers to your own custom web page by ticking the "redirect signups" checkbox, and entering a URL for your custom page.

Signup stages: Signup form, Thank you message, Confirmation email

Confirmation email

After signing up, new subscribers are sent a plain-text confirmation email to confirm the details of their subscription. The default text includes a couple of tags that are replaced with text, or a link, when the email is sent:

  • [rsvp_name] — Displays the sender name set up for your account.
  • [optin_confirm_url] — This is the verification link, to confirm the contact's email address and their intent to subscribe.
  • [manage_prefs] — Converts to a link for the manage preferences form.
  • [opt_out] — Converts to an opt-out link so the recipient can unsubscribe immediately.

If you want to send an HTML mailing to new subscribers, instead of the plain-text confirmation email, you can use an automated workflow to send on signup.

If you do this, you'll need to turn off the plain-text email, otherwise both will be sent. From the Confirmation email tab, deselect the "Send confirmation" checkbox.

Track signups with Google Analytics

You can also add Google Analytics tracking to your form if you're interested in information like browser usage, or tracking site traffic before or after signup. To set this up, follow the on-screen instructions in the Tracking tab.

Manage preferences email

You can optionally send a confirmation email to contacts after they update their information via the manage preferences form. It's a plain-text email, which you can edit. Like the confirmation email, the default copy includes tags (excluding the [optin_confirm_url] tag) that are replaced with text, or a link, when the email is sent. You can decide which ones to include.

To turn this email off, deselect the "Send manage preferences confirmation" checkbox, then click Save on the left.

Options for sharing your signup form

A link to your signup form is automatically included in the footer of Emma email templates, but there are also a number of ways you can add the form to your website. In the signup stages section, click Publish this signup form (on the right). A popup window will display that lists the publishing options.

If reCAPTCHA is enabled for your form, the option to "Use a Javascript object" will not be available. To use Javascript, deselect the "Enable reCAPTCHA" checkbox in the "About this signup form" section at the top of the form customization page.

Below are a few things that may be helpful to know about these options:

  • For iFrame's, setting the width attribute of your iframe tag to 100% can help with mobile optimization and centering of the form on desktop.
  • iFrames and JavaScript cannot be implemented within a mailing. Instead, you can link to the form from your mailing.
  • Changes made to your signup form are pushed to it automatically. There's no need to generate a new link to share, or re-embed new code on your website.
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