Member Login

How to customize your signup form

In this article, we'll explain what the default signup form does and how to customize it so your contacts can update their personal details or change their subscription settings.

All Emma accounts include a default signup form for users to subscribe to your mailings. It is a static form that you can add to a website, and a link to this signup form is automatically included in the footer of all of your email templates.

The 'Manage your preferences' option in the footer is where the default signup form is hyperlinked to, which looks like this:  


The signup form can be embedded on a website and shared via a hyperlink. When editing your default signup form, you'll find a number of touchpoints in the signup process that can be customized to suit your brand, which will be covered here. In addition to this, we also offer the lightbox form which is a dynamic pop up form that is only available to embed on a website and includes advanced time delay and more customizable options.

How to customize your signup form

If you're just getting started, the form will be called, "Your Default Signup Form" in your Emma account until you name it otherwise.

Follow the steps below to customize your default signup form.

1. After signing into your account, click on the Audience tab in the main navigation menu, then click Forms on the left.
2. Select the Signup tab from the form options, and then click on the name of the signup form you want to edit.

3. In the “About this signup form” section at the top of the page, you'll see the options to change the Signup form name, adjust the Notification settings, and Enable reCAPTCHA.
The notification settings allow you to be notified (via email) when someone joins your list using the signup form and also gives you the option of adding up to three additional emails that would also receive the notification. Whereas, reCAPTCHA protects your signup form from spam and abuse.

4. Make the changes you prefer to those fields and then click Save.

Please note: We always recommend enabling reCAPTCHA because it adds an extra layer of security that helps to protect your account from spam signups.
5. Move onto the next section below titled Signup Stages and select the Signup form tab to begin customizing your form. (It is usually already selected from the start.) 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. First, we'll go over adding a logo.

Add a logo and description

You can upload an image, such as your company logo, and set the display size for it. (This is optional.) Below the image placeholder is a default description for the signup form. To edit this copy, just click inside the text field. Make the changes you prefer and then click Save.

6. Move just below the description to edit the contact fields. If you've previously set up your contact fields to store information about your audience members, they will be listed below these 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.


Here are what each of the customization options across the top of the contact fields means:

Order — These numbers represent the order in which the fields are featured on your form. Simply change the display order for your fields by editing the numbers assigned to each field. * Changing the field order here will overwrite any changes previously made on the "Manage contact fields" page.
Display name — This pulls in the names of the 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, but for the signup form, you'd prefer to display as "Date of birth" so you would write that into the field in place of D.O.B. 
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 the checkbox for fields you do not want to be included on the form.

7. Choose your audience groups. To the right of the contact field customization options is a section titled "Add subscribers to". Click add or remove groups to choose which group, or groups, your new signups will be added to. After you make the changes you prefer, click Save.

Please note: 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, which is why it's important to choose the recipients for each mailing. Or, you can also display groups on your signup form and allow your contacts to choose which mailings they want to receive.

8. Optional: Edit the thank you message. Move to the next tab of the Signup Stages section and click on Thank you message to edit it.  

When a new subscriber submits the signup form, they will see a 'thank you' page in their web browser. You can add an image to this message, and edit the text by clicking inside the text area. If you already added a logo image when customizing the signup form, it will be featured here as well. * However, uploading a new image will overwrite the first one you uploaded.

Alternatively, you can redirect subscribers to your own custom web page by checking the box next to "or redirect signups to another URL" and entering a URL for that custom page. After you make the changes you prefer, click Save.

9. Optional: Edit the confirmation email. Move to the next tab of the Signup Stages section and click on Confirmation email to edit it. After signing up for your mailings, new subscribers are sent a plain-text confirmation email to confirm the details of their subscription. The default text (which you can edit) includes a couple of tags that are replaced with text, or a link, when the email is sent, here's what each of those tags does: 

[rsvp_name] — Displays the sender name set up for your account.
[optin_confirm_url] — This is the verification link that confirms the contact's email address and their intent to subscribe.
[rsvp_email] — This displays the sender email set up for your account.
[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.

After you make the changes you prefer, click Save.

Please note: 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.
However, if you do this, you'll need to turn off the plain-text email, or both emails will be sent. From the Confirmation email tab, you'd need to deselect the "Send confirmation" checkbox.
10. Optional: Connect your Google Analytics. Move to the next tab of the Signup Stages section and click on Tracking to add it. 

If you use Google Analytics, you'll want to set up tracking for new signups and to do this, you will need your Google Analytics ID. Simply add your ID to the field on the page and then click Save.

11. Optional: Edit the manage preferences email. Move to the next tab of the Signup Stages section and click on Manage preferences email to edit it. 

You can also 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. Simply edit the message as you'd like and decide which ones to include, then click Save.

Or, if you would like to turn this email off, deselect the "Send manage preferences confirmation" checkbox, then click Save.

12. When you're done customizing the form as you see fit, navigate back to the Signup form tab of the Signup Stages section where you can choose to Preview the form or Save it by clicking on either option. Then finally, you would just need to click Publish this signup form on the right to see your options for sharing the form. A popup window will display your publishing options, just follow the prompts as you desire.
Please note: You can view a preview of the form anytime while you're editing it by clicking on Preview in the upper right corner of the section, just be sure to also click Save next to it, so you don't lose your changes.

Additional tips about customizing your signup form

  • 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.”


  • 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.


  • 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. 


  • For iFrames, setting the width attribute of your iframe tag to 100% can help with mobile optimization and the 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 a new code on your website.