Note: This is the first post of a special edition holiday blog series from our Expert Services Team that provides information and best practices on how to ensure your email program is ready and optimized for the holiday sending season. Ready to get your email program in top shape in time for the holiday sending season? Over the next few weeks, our Email Delivery and Customer Success Teams will be providing advice and perspective on how you can get past the “email is difficult” barrier. Look for blog posts covering practical advice on how to structure your sends to survive Q4 and the holidays, and how to succeed in 2017 and beyond. Email signup dos and don’ts At SendGrid, we often say “email is difficult.” We do not mean it literally. Sending email is actually quite easy and evident by the fact that, according to a 2017 Return Path report, only 80% of wanted email reached its intended recipient. What we really mean is sending relevant, wanted email and landing in the inbox is difficult. First, let me start with some simple advice that we often cover during delivery consultations. No one comes to your site to sign up for email. No one comes to your site to sign up for email. Unless you have a gated site–and we highly suggest against doing so–you should not have an email signup overlay or popup appear on your website. We see examples of this all over the web including at many of the world’s largest retailers. To make matters worse, these pop-up signup forms appear even if we are visiting the site from an email. These sites should be able to identify us as coming from email. In many examples, they are likely giving money away by offering a discount on page load as well. We get it–email addresses are valuable (worth about $38 for every dollar invested according to the DMA) and you want to collect them, but give your customers some room to breathe. Be patient, be consistent We always suggest that clients wait longer (than the examples which happens on page load) before opening a signup modal. Let your customers browse your site. Determine the typical time-on-site prior to abandoning, and then trigger the sign-up modal. Also, consider running an A/B/C test to see what your sweet spot is for asking for an email signup. We also suggest that you implement a CAPTCHA and double opt-in for this process. We will cover these topics in our blog posts coming up, so stay tuned! In the meantime, check out our 2017 Email Deliverability Guide for more advice on how to ensure your email program is optimized for your recipients and that your emails get delivered into the inbox.