Have you ever been reading an intriguing article and, just as it gets good, an annoying form appears asking so many questions that it feels like an interrogation? I understand you want to qualify me, but please let’s make this quick. I want to get back to my article!
Too often as a marketer, I see forms on company websites that are too long, too busy, or unclear on the reward you will receive for submitting your information. In today’s fast paced world, we want instant gratification, and we don’t have time to fill out long forms that appear to be irrelevant. Forms, however, are an essential way for many companies to get quality leads into their marketing system. It is an important aspect of any successful online presence. Unfortunately, companies often overlook the importance of optimizing their forms in order to attain maximum conversion. In this blog, I will detail key steps to make your forms more attractive to prospects and still give you the data you need to qualify your leads.
First, I want to define conversion rate. It is simply a ratio based on the portion of your website visitors that converts on an offer given. In other words, out of all the visitors that landed on your website or landing page, how many actually filled out the form and submitted it. This number is important because it allows marketers to understand what percentage of users are converting and, therefore, can help gauge the good and bad of your forms.
Here we will focus on key areas of improvement, which lay in the details of the form. Some areas are as simple as the color of your call to action (CTA) button or even the text within these buttons. Follow me as I outline my top 3 tips to really make an impact to getting your forms completed.
Tip #1: Use the right layout
Designing your form with your prospect in mind is key. More and more people are using their mobile devices to view websites and submit forms. Make sure your form is mobile friendly meaning the user can clearly see the form in one column and each field is easy to touch and fill out. For the desktop users, make sure the bottom of your form is above the fold. This means anything that is not visible when landing on the page, and requires scrolling, needs to be moved up. Users want to clearly see the whole form before committing to filling it out.
Tip #2: Use only the right number of fields
The last thing a prospect wants to fill out is a long form just to download a simple whitepaper. Generally, testing has shown that fewer fields leads to higher conversion rates. This is only a general rule as sometimes you need many fields in order to capture enough data or allow sales to follow up properly. You should consider eliminating any unnecessary form fields. Go through each of your fields and determine if it truly is essential to capture this data. If you can eliminate just one, chances are your conversion rates will go up. Just be sure it’s not a field the sales team needs for qualifying a lead.
Tip #3: Use Progressive Profiling
To help with tip #2 in trying to cut down on the number of fields, I strongly recommend considering progressive profiling. Progressive profiling is a functionality on forms that allows you to present a prospect a specific set of form fields on their first visit. When they return, they are asked a second set of form fields. An example would be when a prospect first visits the site, they are asked to fill out their Name, Email, and Country. On the next visit they are presented a new set of fields like Role, Product Interest, and Phone Number. Essentially, it allows you to break up the number of form fields into 2 or more visits all without being invasive. Instead of asking 6 questions all at once, you only ask 3 questions at a time. Chances are good that it will lead to higher conversion rates. I will take that chance!
All of my tips from above are geared towards reducing friction for the end user. The more you can reduce friction from the user experience, the higher you will be able to push conversion rates. These key tips will all help to impact how prospects fill out your form. Ultimately, I believe it will lead to higher conversion rates. Need more help? Contact Us!