Building Better Web Forms

Content Strategy Design Marketing Strategy

As marketers, we want to capture as much information about our customers as possible. However, our customers want their web experiences to be as easy as possible. The longer a web form is, the more likely a customer is to abandon it. The challenge is finding that balance of obtaining useful information without frustrating the end user.

The average contact form has a 1% conversion rate. Compare that with a 35% conversion rate for contest forms and around 19% for surveys. Let’s take a look at a few reasons behind these numbers.

1. Users value their information and time. The more information and time you ask for, the more they expect to receive in return.

Solution: Only ask for what you truly need.

If you can get a user past the initial hurdle of completing a simple contact form, you may be able to ask for more information down the road.

2. Contest forms have a higher completion rate because users place a high value on the chance of winning a prize.

Solution: Provide real value.

If you want customers to sign up for your newsletter and not unsubscribe as soon as they learn they didn’t win the big giveaway, make sure your newsletter is full of interesting (and valuable) information. Consider segmenting your newsletter list into groups such as “sales leads”, “current customers”, and “media contacts”.

3. Users navigate the web via their phones for more than half of their total online time. Filling out fields on a smartphone takes longer. Scrolling down through a long form is difficult and frustrating.

Solution: Assume all your users are on their phones and make it easy to fill out a form.

Allow them to sign in/up via one of their social media accounts that will populate many of the form fields automatically. If you must capture a lot of information, consider breaking it into shorter, more digestible bits, and spreading it out among multiple pages. If you go the multi-page route, consider adding a progress bar so users know how many pages to expect.

Completing a web form is just one of the many ways a customer interacts with your website, so don’t ruin what would otherwise be a pleasant web experience by making your online forms cumbersome. Simple design, plus a high value offer, equals a more seamless the overall experience will be for your users, which translates into higher conversion rates for your business.