Editor’s Note: This marketing infographic is part of our 25 part series.
Subscribe to our blog and enjoy more creative posts like this one.
This post has also been updated with new links and content.
Original Publication Date: December 10, 2016
Oh, the dreaded online form…
How are you gonna get your visitors to complete the whole thing? Are they gonna ditch out your form this time? How do you know if you’re even asking the right questions?
Building out your online forms doesn’t always have to be this agonizing.
With these simple tricks, you can try out a variety of ways to improve your online forms to increase your conversion rates.
We’ve teamed up with Formstack to bring you these six quick wins that you can try for yourself.
Curb Appeal – Focus on Form Appearance
Having aesthetic appeal is more than just being easy on the eyes. There can be advantages to creating your online forms by using strategic design principles.
When designing your online forms, choosing the right colors for the right places can play an important role in convincing your visitors to complete and convert.
Making your call-to-action (CTA) button stand out with a color that pops out from the rest of the page can make a significant difference. Here’s an example of a button color test that compared four colors:
The button color in Version D lifted conversions by 17% in comparison to the control Version A.
When deciding on how to structure your form fields, you can choose from smart forms, radio buttons and multiple-choice fields.
Here’s an example of how HubSpot uses a smart form that autofills the online form with my contact info:
Where you place your form on your landing page can also impact your conversion rate success.
According to Confluent Forms, various studies have supported mixed conclusions about whether or not to include your most important content above or below the fold:
- Content soon after the fold can sometimes have a higher view and click rate than content placed at the very top of the page
- Users spend the vast majority of their time on-page above the fold
- A large majority of web users scroll on a given page
- A significant percentage of web users begin scrolling before a web page has even finished loading
- Content on any part of the page can have a high click rate. An engaging user experience keeps the visitor scrolling beyond the fold, and the calls to action can be more a determination of visibility than the position above/below the fold
Leadsquared also has a few more online form ideas. Testing out different form placement scenarios, and also across devices, can help you to find that sweet spot.
Solid Foundation – Consider Form Fields & Order
Using a multi step form can seem counterintuitive. Why would you make your visitors complete more steps?
The reason: Personal information and having a non-intrusive first impression is more important to your visitors than form length. So put the easy-to-answer questions first, and the person contact info last.
Use the micro-conversion concept to get your visitors to answer easy questions in initial steps.
Increase the threat level as your visitors move through your form, saving the most intrusive fields, like name, phone and email, for the final step. Here’s an example:
By engaging your visitors first with a micro conversion (even if the initial form fields aren’t super necessary to qualify your visitors), you can get your visitors to start the engagement with a baby step and then build up to a more likely conversion.
Here’s an example from Advanced Grass, where they went from a one-step form to a two-stepper:
Even though Advanced Grass used the same number of form fields as in their original form, by increasing the number of form steps they saw a 214% increase in conversion rate with the multi-step form.
Visitor Experience – Use Conditional Logic
Tailoring information and experiences to your visitors is ultimately the thing that’ll win over their conversions.
With conditional logic, you can ask context-specific questions that are based on your visitor’s preceding answers. It’s an effective way to make your online form experience relevant to your visitor.
Here’s what Formstack’s conditional logic sample looks like:
Why ask a question that’s irrelevant when you can ask one that makes your visitor feel special and like you’re actually listening to them?
Conditional logic forms can also help you get to the answers you want and capture the information you need, by categorizing your visitors into different segments depending on their submitted answers.
You can further tailor your next messages to those answers that they provide, making your campaign copy even more relevant.
Interaction – Create an Effective CTA
Because your visitors come from varying places on the internet to arrive at your landing page, it’s important to address their different needs and test out different CTAs.
Not all CTAs should be treated equal.
Not only do your visitors originate from different URLs and searches but they also fall into different categories in the decision-making cycle, so test out various CTA offers and copy that speak to these different stages and conversion intent levels.
Try to match the conversion intent level with the conversion threat temperature:
Bonus tip: Visitors that come from display have colder temperatures and will likely convert with colder CTA temperatures. Visitors that come from search have higher intent levels and will react better to warmer CTA threat levels.
Here are some CTA ideas varied by their PPC origin and channel temperature:
Matching the right CTA threat level to your visitor’s conversion intent level can help ease your visitors into completing forms all the way through to conversion clicks.
Inspection – Conduct Form A/B Tests
The best way to optimize your forms is to test out each and every part.
Test out headlines, copy, length, colors, steps, and fields to see which ones will get you the most conversions.
Here’s an example pulled from Behave of an A/B form test with various elements reworked in the variant vs. the original. The original version looks like this:
The reworked version has a different headline, CTA button and form fields:
The result? The second version with the benefit-driven headline and CTA had 368.5% more completed forms.
Here’s another example from Behave’s test samples, where the security badge was A/B tested:
Surprisingly, the form without the trust badge outperformed the other with 12.6% more completed forms.
As results can sometimes surprise us, A/B testing is an effective way to objectively test out one variant at time allowing us to choose the improved form version each time.
Vacancy Insights – Use Partial Submissions & Bottlenecks
So you didn’t get that full conversion because your visitor only filled out part of your form…
This doesn’t mean your shot at a conversion with this visitor is over.
Turn this negative into a positive by capturing the information your visitor did leave and use that information to make it easier for their next try at completing.
With Formstack’s multi-step forms, you can create forms that allow users to save and resume. The is what a setup looks like in their dashboard:
If your visitor revisits your form, their captured and saved info will already be there making the form completion that much easier.
You can also gather data on where your forms are abandoned and find out where bottlenecks and friction points are in your form completion process.
Identify and fix those tricky spots on your partially completed forms and test out various elements that could improve your completion rates.
Creating a online form that’s juuust right doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience.
These five quick and easy tips can help you to optimize your online forms throughout the design process.
To see which forms perform best with the most completions, test out various elements and versions of each form.
As always, consider where your audiences comes from so you can tailor your experience to theirs. The more the two align, the more likely you’ll gain a new form completion and conversion (and potentially a new customer for life).