Getting Form Conversions – What you need to know!

Brett McKay, Account Coordinator

May 03, 2016

Contact and web forms; businesses love them…users, not so much. Many customers feel they are a required gateway to access what they want, whether it be an e-book that interests them, an entry to win that grand cruise they’ve always dreamed of, or they want to contact your business. That gateway can be an easy one or two minutes of their life, or it can be a burden they do not want to accept. So how does one keep users from shying away from a web form? Here’s some ideas to help you convert visitors to customers by way of an online form.

Speed and simplicity are key

The perceived time it takes to fill out a form has a large impact on whether or not they’ll make a submission. The longer the form is (both in number of fields and visually), the less motivated your visitors will be to complete it.

In 2015, Formstack – an online form creation software – completed an analysis of conversion rates on online forms finding longer forms on one web page returned fewer submissions; users could see in advance the volume of information they would need to disclose and were likely dissuaded by the amount of time and effort it would take to complete the submission. On the other hand, tactics such as multi-page forms or “smart-forms” can make a web form seem less daunting for the user (more information about these in the tips and tricks section).

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How many is too many?
If the old adage is true, two is company and three is a crowd. While you don’t need to be restricted to a two entry fields, it’s important to keep things short and straight to the point. Meanwhile, balance this simplicity to ensure you are receiving all required information from the submissions.

If this form is the user’s first interaction with your brand, consider keeping the form at four to seven fields at a maximum to get a quick conversation. For a user, dipping their toe in is much less intimidating than jumping in headfirst with all their personal information. Once you have established the relationship, then you can solicit more information should it be required.

This same logic can be applied to contesting and newsletters. Common fields include first name, last name, email address, phone number, address, province/state and country. But having a contest entry form that requires the user’s full address can be that hurdle they don’t want to go over. You can make simple cuts to your form by only gathering this information from winners as they are selected. Plus, users are much more willing to provide this information in the excitement of a win.

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Tips and tricks to boost conversions:
  1. Take a multi-page approach. If your form requires many fields (more than 8), break up the content thematically to make the process less intimidating to the user. Formstack found that multi-page forms, versus the same number of fields on one page, resulted in a 9% increase in conversions.
  2. Map out the journey. You’re opting for a multi-page form, provide a progress bar to indicate the percentage the user has already completed. Once started, users are encouraged to complete the progress bar due to a base level satisfaction being fulfilled after completing a goal (no matter how minor that goal may be).
  3. Lend a helping hand. With over 50% of web traffic coming from mobile devices, cut down on long, open-ended fields that are less friendly to complete from a smaller screen. Once optimized, even consider creating a “smart” form that adds or removed fields based on the information the user has already provided. This can condense the form at the offset, giving the perception that a submission will be a quick process. Alternatively, auto-completing form fields can pull information from the user’s social profiles, including Facebook and Twitter, cutting down on the time it takes to populate each of the fields. Giving your user’s this assistance can increase your form conversion rate by 189%.
  4. Give an incentive. Using strong headings that entice customers – words like “free” or “win” – can push for completion.
  5. Bring your form to your users. Embed your form where possible! If your form is related to social media (contest, survey or event registration), place your form on a Facebook app page. Your conversion rates can double due to the ease of access.

If you need any assistance with the creating or setting up a web or contact forms using best practises, contact KIK for more information!

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