Much like designing your website, creating a well-converting form is an art in itself. Business revenue correlates very strongly with the successful conversion of visitors into leads through optimal use of forms. Therefore, there is nothing worse than having a top company, with top products or services, a top website with a lot of traffic, while using suboptimal forms that hardly generate leads for sales.
This article will present 5 tips you can implement today to be able to improve the conversion rate of your forms. Even a 0.5% improvement in conversion rate with monthly traffic of 10,000 visitors will yield 50 new leads for your business. These tips are manifested with some studies and your own practical experience.
However, this does not immediately mean that each of these tips will provide an increase in the Conversion Rate. Depending on the industry, product, or even the design of the landing page (or sales page), there are of course differences in the numbers.
Tip #1: Run A/B tests and log every single change.
Imagine the following situation: You change the background color of your email, the address, and the alignment of the call-to-action button, introduce an additional field and change the alignment of the form. After some time, you notice that the conversion rate of your forms has increased by 0.5%.
But what you don’t know is that 4 out of 5 changes can harm your conversion rate (with -0.1% each), and only the change in targeting was responsible for the 0.9% increase in conversion rate. So you lose a conversion of 0.4% because you made suboptimal changes.
Similar to science, changes to your forms need to be carefully planned and recorded. Therefore, it is advisable to conduct a long-term A/B test to be able to trace the individual manipulations of the forms back to the changes in the conversion rate. To do this, create precise hypotheses, such as:
“Changing the background color of forms leads to improved conversion rates because the form is more recognizable and attracts visitors’ attention”
“Using multi-step forms increases the conversion rate”.
Then, these hypotheses must be tested over the long term before any further optimization can be done on the forms. Only after you have documented each change and its consequences, you can conclude the success or failure of the manipulation.
Tip #2: More conversions through dynamic forms
The static forms are widely used on the Internet and are also the most used. Static forms are fixed fields, which can be seen directly.
Static forms are always “fixed” and can be viewed directly. Thus, visitors see all form fields (or the whole form) on one screen. However, the HeyForm study from 2020 makes static forms look bad. By using dynamic forms, a 3 times higher conversion rate was achieved than with the static forms.
In dynamic forms, the individual fields are not directly visible and are queried step by step.
This type of form presents a smaller hurdle for visitors and ensures that visitors are not immediately put off by the amount of information requested. Supplemented with progress bars and information on the number of steps, visitors know how far they are in the process and can estimate the effort required. The individual steps of the dynamic forms can also be optimized in an A/B test.
Tip #3: Only ask for the information you need!
Many forms are often compared to a health questionnaire. Both forms and health questionnaires sometimes simply ask for too much and or too sensitive data. Especially if the customer is requesting an information package, or wants to try a free trial, many form fields can scare visitors away.
A University of Wisconsin-Extension study found that asking for a phone number can lower a form’s conversion rate by 52%. This information is still very sensitive and contacts try to avoid a “sales phone call”.
However, in some industries, phone and direct contact are unavoidable. This begs the question, “How can the phone number be retrieved without impacting the conversion rate?”.
There are two possible solutions for this:
1. Use smart forms and lead nurturing.
Some tools offer the “smart forms” feature. Here, the software matches the information already available about the contact in the CRM and displays only the form fields where no information is yet available.
A visitor signs up for your newsletter. In the newsletter form, you only ask for the name and email address. After some time, you make this visitor aware of your free trial offers (software trial access/info package/webinar, etc.). The contact is interested and is redirected to a landing page with smart forms via the link.
To secure a free trial offer, the contact does not have to re-enter their email address and name but is only asked for their phone number, for example (or other information).
This way, you get the necessary information during the customer lifecycle without affecting the conversion rate of the form by directly asking for the phone number. At the same time, you benefit from information such as the interest or quality of the lead.
2. Leave the choice to the customer
Some of your visitors may not have a problem with a phone call at all, or may even be very interested in it. In order not to have to go the long way as from tip 1, some fields can be set to optional. This way, the visitor can decide whether or not to enter the phone number, for example.
It is important to mark and distinguish between the mandatory fields and the optional fields.
The mandatory fields are usually marked with a red asterisk (as in the email in the example). You can highlight the optional fields with an additional input mask (first and last name).
This way you can target both groups of people and collect the data without (possibly) affecting the conversion rate of your forms.
Tip #4: Optimize the Call-To-Action button.
In addition to the design elements, the content of the CTA should be chosen correctly (remember to prove all changes with A/B tests). The headline, description, and CTA test should be built as similar as possible.
Tip #5: Clarify all open questions in your forms!
Imagine the following situation: You are at the doctor and you get a very long health questionnaire that you have to fill out. You fill out the questionnaire completely within 20 minutes, give it to the doctor, he takes a quick look at it and says: “Well, you filled out 15 fields incorrectly and I don’t accept your name, you’d better fill out the questionnaire again!
Annoying isn’t it? It’s a similar story with some forms on the Internet.
In this example, everything seems to be fine. But when clicking on the CTA, the username is not accepted and the password does not fit either. This is very annoying because especially with many form fields (for example registration for a seminar) the filling of the form takes a lot of time. If users do not know what is allowed and what is not, this ensures a worse conversion rate.
Several studies have investigated the impact of providing help when filling out forms. The result is clear: additional information can improve the conversion rate of the forms.
When filling out the form, it is best to provide the visitor with the following information:
- What data you need from the visitor.
- In what form you need this data.
- And why exactly you need this data.
Making the indication of the correctness of the data communicated by any color checkmarks can help the visitors know if the data is ok or needs to be revised. Furthermore, explanations should be provided in case of errors.
Optimizing a form and all other online marketing efforts differ from company to company. Each industry or product category attracts different buyers, who also react differently to the changes and optimizations. Many of the points mentioned may or may not work for you. Use HeyForm to create your survey forms or any kind of forms with 100+ form templates you can easily choose one of them according to your interest and customize them to your needs.