Newsletter Crew October 14, 2020

Quick tip to increase newsletter signups in minutes, for free

Louis Nicholls @louisswiss

Here's a surprisingly powerful tip to turn a lot more of your website visitors into newsletter subscribers, courtesy of @petecodes from the No CS Degree newsletter…


Guide your website visitors’ attention to your newsletter signup form, by setting the email input field on the signup form to autofocus when the page loads.

That way, when a visitor shows up on your page, the signup form is already highlighted and the cursor is blinking. Ready for them to enter their email.


What do the following things have in common…?

  • … your latest article

  • … TikTok

  • … Twitter

  • … a cute dog playing in front of your office window

The answer?

… they’re all competing with your newsletter signup form for your website visitors’ attention!

Autofocusing that signup form on page load is an effective way of grabbing the visitor’s attention and directing it to your signup form. So they don’t get distracted.

And fewer distractions means a higher conversion rate. Which means more subscribers.

But how many more subscribers?

Well, when Pete from No CS Degree switched his main signup form to autofocus on page load, he saw a 4x increase in conversion rates after a week!

See it in action here.


I don’t expect anyone to be able to replicate Pete’s 400% increase in conversion rates. That seems very, very high to me.

But I’ve since put this trick into action with two of my consulting clients’ newsletter signup pages…

And they saw conversion rates increase by 6% and 23% respectively!

Not bad for a tweak that only takes ~5min and costs nothing 🎁


You probably only want to do this on your ‘main’ signup page. With your ‘main’ signup CTA.

If you have access to edit the form code itself, adding the autofocus tweak is quick and easy thanks to HTML5.

In your form code, find the email input field and add the autofocus attribute directly after the word input.

For example, if your form originally looks like this…

     <input type="email">   
     <input type="submit"> 

Then you’d add the autofocus attribute to the email input field (only!) like this…

     <input autofocus type="email">   
     <input type="submit"> 

That’s it!

What if I don’t have access to tweak my signup form’s code directly?

In that case, it’s a bit more complicated.

The best bet is to ask a developer friend to help you (shouldn’t take them more than 10-15 minutes).

Otherwise, you can add the following script to the page your main signup form appears on…

  window.onload = function() {

⚠️ Warning: This will only work if your email input field has an ID, and you swap out both instances of changeMe in the code snippet above with that ID.


There you have it… an easy way to significantly increase signups, for free, in just a few minutes!

Thanks again to Pete for discovering and sharing this trick.

For a free, actionable newsletter growth tip each week, sign up here.

  1. 3

    Very nice - simple idea that I hadn't thought of - gonna put it in action :)

  2. 2

    I don't want to dampen anyone's enthusiasm here, but if you're serious about building accessible websites, then this is generally a pretty bad practice... ( &

    As with everything, it all depends on your use-case, but this is something which should definately be carefully considered before just doing.

  3. 2

    Very cool idea, thanks for sharing.

  4. 2

    yep, this works a charm! More tips in my newsletter course :)

  5. 2

    just deploying after reading the post with the feature. Let's see if this works.

    live at: -

    Thank you for the tip, really appreciate.

  6. 1

    The first link is dead

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