If you’re like most brands, you’re working hard to improve your online visibility, reach the right audience and drive traffic to your website.
However getting the prospect to your website is not enough. Once the prospect arrives at your website, what can make or break your conversion rate is how effective your website is at persuading the person to enquire.
Sometimes an enquiry is a phone call, but more often than not, a prospect looking to take the next step in your sales process will have to fill out a form on the website.
Here’s where the opportunity lies.
Whichever way you look at it, whether it’s an opt in form to access a download, a lead capture form or a contact page form… the task of filling out the form is a barrier to a person looking to make contact with your business.
Today I’m going to go through 4 ways to improve the conversion rate of your contact forms.
1. The more fields you have in your form, the less people will fill it out
As a general rule, only include fields for what you really need.
I stress ‘need’ because ‘needing’ a piece of data for marketing isn’t really a need. You can acquire that at a later stage.
By asking for more data at this stage, it usually means less people are going to fill out the form so fewer leads in your business.
The trade off with this is usually quality vs quantity.
If you have certain qualifying criteria and you are finding that you have a high number of marketing qualified leads but a low number of sales qualified leads, you might want to test adding some fields to the form with the objective of improving the number of sales qualified leads.
2. Order the form logically
Start with easier fields like name, email, contact details and leave higher friction items like payment details to the end.
The psychology behind this is that once people start something and the further along they are in doing so, the more likely they are to finish the task.
Therefore if you start with the easier, lower friction items, more people are going to start filling out the form and because they have started filling it out, they are more likely to complete the higher friction fields later rather than drop off.
3. On longer forms, group similar types of fields together
This makes the form less intimidating and will entice more people to fill it out.
Visitor behaviour usually involves the person first scanning the form for expectation setting.
They scan it to get a feel for what information they need to provide, whether they will have all the information to hand and how long or how much effort they estimate is required to complete the form.
If they scan the form and see a long list of fields, it appears more intimidating and time intensive compared to a form of the same length, but with similar fields grouped together in sections.
4. Don’t put the name of the field in the data entry box
Why? Because people have short term memory issues when filling out these forms and start second guessing themselves.
If the name of the field is in the data entry box, as soon as they start typing, it disappears. You’ll find that many people then forget what the field name was and question whether they are filling it in right. In order to check this, they have to delete what they entered to once again see the name of the field.
This is worse on mobile when it takes them longer to enter the data.
An increase in friction usually means a decrease in people completing the action.
Caveat: As always there are exceptions to the rule so a test might prove you’re it and that the field name in the field performs better.
Bonus Point: Which is better – single form, multi step form or accordion form?
Sorry… it really does depend and there isn’t a definitive answer. You need to test the form design with your audience to see which design works.
A couple points though:
- If you use a multi-step form vs one longer form and start with their email address and perhaps one or two low friction personal details like name… even if they stop after step 1 or 2, you have their email address and maybe basic personal details to follow up with them.
- If you have quite a long form, it is likely that a multi step will be better than a huge single form but you might still want to test.
- Give them the option to save it and complete later if you have a large form
So that wraps up today’s video. If you’re looking to improve the number of of enquiries in your business, instead of pushing for more traffic, it might be worth running some tests on your contact forms.
A winning test will result in you increasing the number of enquiries with your current traffic levels meaning your investment in driving more traffic, should result in a higher return.