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by Michael P. Hill December 06, 2016

Along with blazing fast speed, the new Turbo Shopify theme introduces key new features that let you easily integrate email newsletter signup forms in eye-catching ways to expand your marketing efforts.

Prebuilt MailChimp integration

Turbo, as well as all other Out of the Sandbox Shopify themes, comes with prebuilt integration with popular email marketing provider, MailChimp.

Integration is as easy as copying and pasting the MailChimp form action URL under Sales Channels > Online Store > Themes > Customize theme (blue button) > Newsletter.

Additional fields

Shopify theme email newsletter form

In addition to collecting email addresses, Turbo, Responsive and Mobilia also allow store owners to optionally collection first or last names of subscribers (or both).

Using these options are a great way to enhance your email list with more user information and pave the way for sending personalized email marketing.

Footer form

Like other Out of the Sandbox Shopify themes, Turbo allows you to feature a newsletter sign up form at the bottom of every page in your shop.

Unlike other themes that contain this form in the footer alongside other menu links, Turbo has a dedicated newsletter section right above the footer with additional styling options Placing the form here is an ideal way to unobtrusively collect email addresses.

Since it’s placed near the bottom of the page, users who see the form are likely already engaged in your site’s content and interested in finding out more.

The Turbo Shopify theme adds the ability to use a custom background image behind your email sign up form to enhance the appearance and draw more attention to it (but you can skip the image and just make the newsletter section background a solid color instead, if you prefer).

Like with homepage sliders and full width banners, keep in mind that the background image for the newsletter section may be cropped or covered depending on the screen size, so be sure to follow the same tips for selecting imagery for sliders and full-width banners.

It’s also possible to control the alignment of the newsletter form to be left, center or right aligned, which, when used strategically in conjunction with your background image design, can help ensure optimal visual appeal.

Keep in mind, however, that on smaller devices, the email signup form loses its positioning and more of the background image is covered (image).

All Out of the Sandbox themes also include the ability to change the text above the email form under language settings. The text for the newsletter form is controlled under the “Newsletter form” section of the “General” tab.

Popup

Shopify theme newsletter signup popup

Another popular way to collect email addresses is via a popup modal window, and Turbo and other Out of the Sandbox Shopify themes come with a flexible built in popup window option.

Turbo also adds the option to easily add an image and text in the popup itself, either in addition to or instead of the email form, without needing to create a page to store the content in.

Other options include the ability to add a heading to the popup window, change the alignment and toggle the border treatment on or off.

Like with all Out of the Sandbox Shopify themes, you can also control how long your store waits until the window is shown and set the number of days until the same users sees the popup again.

While experimenting with your popup modal, set the time to “0 seconds” and the days to “Test Mode” so that you can see how it looks quickly and make any necessary changes. Just make sure to take it off Test Mode before you save and publish!

Since the popup and email signup forms can be turned on or off independently of each other, the popup can also be used as a special promotion or announcement tool if you prefer not to use it to gather email addresses.

Shopify theme promo popup

For example, you can upload an eye-catching image announcing a special sale or new products accompanied with some informational text below it.

Shopify theme promo popup

One advanced tip: The newsletter text field in Turbo accepts a limited amount of HTML, so if you’re familiar with writing HTML, you can add some advanced formatting and links.

Here’s some example code to get you started:

  • <a href=”/url/”>Link text</a> to create a text link.
  • Use <img src=”/path-to-image.png”> to insert another image.
  • <strong>Your text</strong> boldfaces text
  • <em>Your text</em> italicizes text
  • You can also use heading tags, such as <h3>Your subheadline</h3&gt; to create headings Using <h3>, <h4>, <h5> or <h6> is recommended to avoid SEO conflicts.
  • <br> will create a new line. Use two tags, <br><br> to skip a line.

Using your email signup forms effectively

While Out of the Sandbox themes and, in particular, email newsletter signup forms, are built with best practices in mind, there are additional measures you can take to make gathering email addresses more effective:

  • Consider offering an incentive for joining your email list, such as a discount code for a percent off a purchase. Most email marketing systems will allow you to automatically send out an email with code to users who sign up.
  • Rather than worry about displaying the coupon code on screen after a successful signup, consider using the aforementioned email message to distribute codes. This can help ensure you’re gathering valid email addresses.
  • Use creative text that refers to your product line or matches your brand’s tone to encourage signups. For example, an online pet store might say something like “Join our pack.” Or, a shoe store could say “Feed your sole.”
  • Assure users their personal information won’t be shared with any third parties to build confidence that they won’t be spammed after signing up.
  • Although it can be helpful to collect first or last names, adding additional fields to your signup form can decrease the number of signups you get. In general, it’s a good idea to start by only asking for an email address or, at the most, a first name. You may also want to change how many fields you show and compare how sign ups are affected relative to your traffic.
  • Don’t be overly aggressive. Your goal shouldn’t be to just blindly gather email addresses — but rather get contact details from relevant and engaged users.

On that note, using a popup can sometimes be a bit of a turnoff to users and they may just instinctively close it — especially if they are new visitors to your site. Again, it may be worth experimenting to see if using a popup increases or decreases signups as well as the quality of the registrations.

Michael P. Hill
Michael P. Hill

Michael P. Hill is a Shopify, Shopify theme, content marketing, digital marketing and product management expert based in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelphill or connect on LinkedIn.

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