An online form can be a versatile and simple way to collect valuable customer data. From contact forms and surveys to payment forms and event registrations, they can cut paper clutter and give you a more efficient way to learn about your audience.
However, a form is nothing without clear messaging and promotion. As a company that helps customers create online forms, users sometimes report high form viewership, but low completion levels. While, sometimes, we detect a technical issue with a form, oftentimes, the form is confusing or is placed in a strange section of their site.
If you’re hoping to decrease form abandonment on your site, here are some tips to make your form more user-friendly:
1. Keep it concise. Nothing is more intimidating than a long form that asks way too many unnecessary questions. If you’re putting a contact form on your site, there’s no need to ask your customer for any more information than his or her name and email address or phone number. Oftentimes, business owners think that asking a ton of information up front can help their team better identify with their customers. However, it can also lead to lower completion rates because the customer is unsure of why they need to answer so many questions. Ask for the most pertinent information up front and continue the conversation later.
2. Put it in context. Let’s say you are hosting a huge launch party for a new product feature. You build a beautiful online form, but then put it on your site with no other information about the event. No wonder you won’t get many registrations! While this may be an extreme example, you need to put context around every form. If you’re building an event form, include information and a confirmation email about the event. If you’re asking customers to complete a survey, tell them how you will use that data. Online customers can be skeptical of giving away too much about themselves, so give them as much information as possible to make them comfortable with your form.
3. Make sure your placement makes sense. If you want people to fill out your form, don’t bury it at the bottom of your homepage or on a page that doesn’t get much traffic. Likewise, make sure you’re embedding your form on a page that supports its intention. If you’re collecting leads for your sales team, place your contact form on its own page with a link prominently displayed on the homepage. While it may be tempting, putting a form on every page of your site might do more harm than good if it’s in confusing places.
4. Combine your on-site form with a shareable one. Many online form builders, including Formstack, give you the option of both embedding your form on your site and sharing it via a third-party URL. You might not consider a shareable form if you put it on your website, but it can have immense social leverage. Tweak your URL-linked form to match your website’s branding and add social media sharing buttons. Straightforward pages with simply a form and a call-to-action can be the ticket to your campaign going viral.
With these tips in mind, your form will not only be viewed by your customers, but you can begin gathering valuable feedback that will help expand your consumer base even more. Who knew a form could hold such lead generation and marketing potential?