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Do users sign up to newsletters on homepages?

I have a nasty feeling that this has become one of those conventional UI techniques that business are used to however can't stop feeling that the objective of the user on the homepage is not to sign up to a newsletter - surely?

I guess there are certain requirements to bear in mind when creating a newsletter sign up including making it persuasive and informative for the user such as TopMan example here enter image description here

But my question is primarily around the prominence, or even necessity, of a newsletter sign up on a homepage - let's say for the sake of argument, of an ecommerce website. See the prominance of Ted Baker for example

enter image description here

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I would say the answer depends on the location and copy of the sign up message.

Based on the performance of newsletter sign up on our e-commerce site, we've found that pop up light-box newsletter sign up is most successful compared with having sign up field in the footer and in the right column above the fold.

Of the light-box sign up method, we've found a delayed pop up works better than immediate pop ups when user lands on your site either directly or via search engine.

However, messaging of the sign up is also extremely important as you've noted. If you offer incentives for sign up (10% off on your next purchase), user tend to be more willing compared to just promising useful info in the future.

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    Personally I hate the lightbox method; any website that does that to me make me automatically close the box without even looking or leave the site. Good to hear it works for you. – Mark Bubel Feb 21 '14 at 21:50
  • I agree, it is an somewhat intrusive method. That's why I mentioned a delay on deploying the light-box so the light-box doesn't show immediately when user lands on the site. – Chairman Meow Feb 21 '14 at 21:52
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Yes, many people sign up for newsletters in a variety of ways, including through home pages. Location and copy are important, but the value of the newsletter is most important. If it's really just a way to spam customers it's not going to work very well. If people/customers want to feel informed about something, and don't want to have to go find it, then a newsletter can be valuable to them.

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Depends on the motivation for signup for a newsletter. I always try to think of newsletters as a "subscribe by email" functionality. I think some one like to subscribe to news by email, others by Twitter, Facebook, RSS, etc.

So my answer is if the content delivered by the newsletter is consitent with what is I recieve by other news sources, then yes.

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