One thing I have noticed on nearly all of the web sites I develop for clients where a mailing list is being populated via a sign up page (that describes most of my clients), the mailing list doesn’t build up very fast, even on sites getting tons of traffic. I figured the problem could be that people weren’t interested, they were put off by the amount of info they would have to enter, or they just missed the link to the mailing list sign up page all together. The latter two I had the power to solve. I built a very simple mailing list sign up widget that only required an email address, and placed it on the home page of some clients’ sites (http://rwoodstudio.com, http://soupstudios.com, http://hawthornehouseinc.com). Using some fancy Ajax technology the user could sign up without the page refreshing, making the process fast, and unobtrusive to the browsing experience. Once the sign up form was more prevalent and less daunting our sign up rate tripled across the board.
Here’s an article that will walk you through my solution for the problem:
Thanks for the tip, Aarron!