Forms are the vital part of digital lead generation. However, there is more to the forms than might meet the eye. From what you are asking to the look and feel of the form, it all has to be carefully looked at and analysed to get that golden conversion rate. Let’s take a look at a few of these:
Striking a Balance
There is a positive correlation between, number of fields and drop off rate. The more fields you have, the more likely a person is going to not bother.
With some verticals like loans, you need to capture a lot of data. Generally, if you have 10 or more fields, split it up to a few pages. You will be unsurprised to hear that there is also a positive correlation between the number of pages and form drop off rates. Split the form down in even chunks, don’t have two fields on the first pages and then the remaining on the next page. It is daunting when you answer two fields only to be confronted by 8 more!
If your form is split between pages, give them a clear sense of where they are and how they are progressing. A timeline or progression bar is perfect for this!
Ask the right questions
As I have talked about in previous posts, asking the right questions is vital. Don’t ask things you will find out later, if your leads are going through to a call centre, ask for their number and then when they are on the phone, you can start to pad out your data with other questions once trust is established. A person is much less likely to put the phone down on someone asking a question compared to an online form where they can just click away.
Having breadth and depth to your data is great but not when it compromises getting the data itself. As a rule of thumb, remove all optional data entries and you will be getting somewhere.
Try and keep your questions closed. It is easier for a user to click a tick box or a drop down menu instead of answering an open question where there is no real guidance. Instead of asking, “what sex are you?”, just have a male and female box with optional ticks. It takes away another thought process from the user and makes it easier to answer.
The look and feel of a form is obviously a very important aspect and again it is all about striking a balance. Overall, make sure that form feels at home on the page, not sticking out like a sore thumb.
Clutter is your worst nightmare with form optimisation. Create a nice obvious title at the top with the benefits of filling out the form. Keep all explanatory text and labels to a minimum and group cells into a logical order. The less thinking a user has to do, the better!
With the rise of media coverage on privacy and everyone holding their data close to their hearts, your form has to feel trusted. Making it secure is a big bonus and showing that their data is safe in your hands is key.
Creating forms that will look great on different devices is great! However, it is just the basics. You also have to think about what situations people use different devices in:
A phone – On the go, don’t have much time, easily distracted – Shorter form with drop down menus as can be hard to type. Form should take up the entire screen so it is easy to see and understand. A shorter form on a mobile or tablet will generate the same quality of lead as a desktop, maybe ever better.
A tablet – On the go but have more time – One or two cells with typing inputs but not too many, some content can be shown next to the form.
A desktop – Not moving, more time, more concentration – More typing cells allowed and more information can be shown as larger screen.
A shorter form on a mobile will generate the same quality of lead as a desktop, maybe ever better.
With smaller devices like tablets and phones, you can go a step further! Different operating systems can be taken into account. If you make the form seem native to their operating system, the user will feel more at home and will find navigation easier. With smaller devices, larger buttons are required, no one wants to start filling in a form, click the wrong submit button and end up having to do it again. My fat thumbs are forever doing this!
Once you have your landing page up and form up and running, get as much data from your traffic as possible and use it to improve. Google analytics and heat mapping tools help you visualise how users are interacting with your form and page. Take that and move your page around, edit and revise. It’s a long process but well worth your time and money.