Form Confirmations Can Make or Break the First Impression

Form confirmations are an afterthought for most web sites however used properly they can improve conversions and insure a very positive first experience.

The typical confirmation is the stock, generalized and not particularly friendly message.

A good confirmation at a minimum will:

  • Show appreciation for the sign up.
  • Outline what the customer can expect either in the way of delivery, newsletters, or information.
  • Present an opportunity to contact customer service if needed, or even unsubscribe.

Ideally, particularly for growing companies, someone should be assigned to personally and promptly reply to all signups.

These emails should be personalized if at all possible and the personalization needs to be made clear in the first glance.

How do I personalize the message?

When I was tasked with responding to sign up inquiries, first I would look at the root of the sign up email. I.e. assume that signed up. Go to their URL, in this case and find something positive and appropriate to state about their company, and make clear that the statement was not machine generated.

For example (Italics were added).

Hi Todd,

Thanks for signing up for our newsletter! I noticed on your web site that you work on improving conversion rates. We are always looking to improve our conversion rates. can you contact me about your tools and methods when you get a chance?

The next monthly newsletter goes out February 19 but if you would like to see past issues, please feel free to visit:

We welcome relevant contributions and maybe you have something about conversion rates you would like to share?

If you signed up in error you can easily unsubscribe at any point, or hopefully you would like to tell a friend about us. Many readers ask about reprinting our content and we have a simple and friendly policy outlined at

We don’t intend to pest you with email but we wanted to take this chance to make sure you know we appreciate your interest!

Again, welcome and thanks, we do invite your input anytime.

Bob Roberts
203 203 2033

Many email addresses nowadays do not give any information for personalization so an optional “comments” section or a “how did you find us” question on the sign up form can help. These alone will offer enough to show that you have given a personal response.

The goal of a confirmation letter is to make the customer feel welcome and a part of a “special” community which appreciates them. You want to reduce any anxiety about their joining (hence the unsubscribes) and encourage them to reach out to others. Some people (typically called Connectors) are more inclined to recommend you then others and though they are a small percentage, they are the backbone of viral marketing. Make sure to encourage the Connectors.

If your new customer feels as though we “know them” personally, there is a stronger bond and they are more likely to become more active and involved.

If there is no obvious way to identify them personally, you don’t want to overdue the research so that they feel spied upon, so it is tough to personalize the email. Use your imagination if possible.

A good confirmation will generate some kind of interaction or contact. Finding the right approach may require testing. Don’t hesitate to reach out to signups to ask them about your confirmation to see if they felt uncomfortable about it, if they even saw it, or if it answered all their questions.

If you look at your marketing costs, you will likely realize that each new signup can cost you from $15 to $150 dollars, don’t miss the chance to make the most of it. Taking the time to deliver a good confirmation will set you apart in a world of inattentive and less sophisticated marketers.

If you are simply too large to personalize responses, take the time to differentiate your confirmation message. Make sure you cover the essentials outlined earlier and make sure it is signed by a person with a title, who is in a position to respond to replies.

If you get burdened with your replies, it is fine to send a simple friendly machine response indicating your thanks and that a follow up email will be along shortly.

You may need to justify taking this time down the road so try to set up some metrics to measure how much your personal confirmations increase business. You may be surprised at how significant it is. Look at each customer’s “lifetime value” not the profit on a single necktie for example.

If they have bought something, don’t leave them with a “thanks for buying email”. You have a chance to personalize it and you should take the time to do it; 5 minutes for a new “lifelong” customer is time well spent. Differentiate yourselves!

Create the best first impression, and you will likely find your newsletter signup may become your newest advocate and customer. Good confirmations increase conversions and help you exceed expectations.


 Usability Expert Todd Follansbee

Improve your web site conversions with a User Experience Site Review with Usability Expert Todd Follansbee


This is a great place to start increasing business from your web site! — for $425