Measuring the performance of your signup forms

In the previous lesson, we covered how to track the conversion rate for your site, now it’s time to look at each individual form.

We’ll talk about the goal, the metric to watch, the poor job by the ESP and how Aweber aaaalmost puts a smile on my face, and of course, what’s the solution.

The goal?

The goal is to look at signup forms independently with the purpose to optimize them and increase their conversion rate.

Very important: We’re not necessarily comparing forms against each other, because we all know it would be unfair to compare the footer forms against a popup.

This is not A/B testing.

The metric

Notice I said “the metric” as in “one.” While you might want to look at number of impressions and number of conversions, the key metric is one: Conversion Rate.

Conversion rate by signup form

ESP limitations

Like I said before, most ESPs (including Mailchimp) provide you with a unique piece of code that you can use on different sections of your site, while this might sound convenient, the downside is that they’re not independent, and for that reason you can’t track them individually.

You will not even find a report on this because it simply falls into “List growth.”

In other words, most ESPs don’t measure conversion.


Aweber did a good job, partially…

Rather than giving you one universal code, you are presented with the option to create multiple forms and generate the HTML code for each one of them to use wherever you want.

Aweber multiple forms

This way, you can at least see which forms are generating more signups.

Aweber chart by form

In the image above, you can see that the chart is based simply on number of signups.

This is where it all falls apart. The percentage you see on the right column is nothing but the distribution, it’s not a conversion rate.

There is also a report with the different forms in a list that tracks displays (impressions) and submissions (signups) and the conversion rate.

Aweber conversion report

On the first image displays are not counted, submissions do but the result is a 0% rate across the board.

On the second one, it seems like some displays are counted but the submission count is a lot higher so the rate ends up being higher than 100%.

Aweber conversion report

Looks like Aweber had the intention, anyways…

So, how do you track form conversions?

Yup, as you can see, it’s not that simple. But there are a couple of way to go around this:


Plugins that offer opt-in services are usually able to track the number of impressions and signups for each form. Something the ESP should be able to do, if you ask me…

Conversion tracking on ThriveLeads

tracking conversion by form

The premium plugins I’ve mentioned before in the course, like OptinMonster, ThiveLeads or Bloom do this.

3rd-party services

The other option is to use a 3rd-party form service like Formstack or Wufoo.

Formstack conversion rate


Looks like the ESP falls short in this matter. In fact, maybe you should start looking at the ESP only as an email list and campaign management, but not really for the acquisition part of the equation.

Think of adding a layer for that part and use plugins or 3rd-party services that do a much better job.

Like I said before, the purpose here is to be able to measure the performance of your sidebar form and also your popup, independently, so you can optimize them.


Track your forms:

  1. Go to your ESP and see if a) Independent forms are supported, and b) what kind of tracking is offered
  2. Look for the tool that makes sense for your business, if you are on WordPress a plugin like Bloom will be perfect, if you run a conventional site, a form service like Formstack will do
  3. Implement, create your forms
  4. Track conversion rate by form

Once you have that in place, you can optimize individually, and you can even run A/B testing.