In your business Are you selling a product or are you selling a service?
Depending on what your case is, your online target changes.
In the first case, your online target, said (macro) conversion in technical terms of web marketing, will obviously be the sale of your product, which will take place directly on your site. For example, you might have a site ecommerce, or simply sell a single product on a sales page as a landing page.
E in the second case? What is the goal of a site that sells a service?
Let's take an example. Let's assume you sell web marketing services.
Your goal will be collect contacts of potential customers, an activity known as Lead Generationto achieve your goal, you will need a contact form or form.
Well, you may not know as your contact form or form can help youif optimized, to get more contacts of potential customers or how much can literally hold you back in your intent and literally send out of the page the visitors (often, as we'll see, for problems related to the User Experience) that you have laboriously made enterwith 3 economic damage consequent:
- a direct economic loss, because you lose the possibility of a conversion, which in this case is the contact of one of your potential customers;
- indirect economic damage, because it will be The expense of bringing the visitor to your site is wasted;
- an economic loss due to the fact that that visitor will never return to your siteunless you don't establish a connection.
In this article we look at 12 strategies, accompanied by statistics and case studies, for create a contact form or form optimized for conversions, that is, a contact form that incentivizes (or at least doesn't hinder) your potential customer from filling it out.
The first step in creating contact forms that users will fill out is to simplify it, e.g. by reducing its fields.
#1 Reduce the fields to be filled in (to 1 or 2)
As much as there are statistics that show that sometimes the more steps I make the site visitor take, the harder it is for them to get to conversion, the statistics seem to confirm that, on average, fewer fields generate more entries. But How many fields?
According to research carried out by Unbounce:
- Keeping only one or two fields to fill in the contact form generates a higher conversion rate of 17% and 15,11% respectively, which drops to 11.61% in the presence of a 3rd field;
- from 4 to 7 fields we have a drop in conversion rate;
- from 8 to 10 fields we see a rise in the conversion rate, probably due to the fact that those who ask for so many fields have something equivalent to offer in exchange, such as to motivate the compilation: in this regard I'll talk about the rule of the scale below.
According to an infographic on Quicksprout, Imagescape increased the conversion rate of the 120% by reducing the fields from 11 to 4:
Okay, so let's say you wanted to collect user data for a newsletters.
If we need to keep a maximum of 2 fields to get the maximum fill rate of a form, do we just keep the email or do we ask for the name as well?
#2 Do I ask for name and email or just email?
When you do list buildingor to put it simply, you're trying to... build an email databasee.g. by granting in exchange a lead magnet, a guide, an ebook, or access to special content, you can choose to request just the email or the name and email.
Both approaches are widely used: in the former, when you only request the email, your chances of conversion are higher, according to statistics by just over 2%.
That is: if a person has to choose to fill out a form to get access to your content, they are more likely to enter just their email, rather than their name and email.
The reason is easy enough to guess: as a general rule, when we need to get a user to perform an action, the fewer steps the user has to take the more likely they are to get to the end.
If asking only for the email raises the conversion rate, on the other hand since you don't have the name of your recipient, you can't use the strategy of including it in the subject line of the email and in the body of the message itself, reducing the possibility of personalizing the email and therefore the open rate.
What to choose? The choice is yours: On the one hand, by asking only for the email, you have a better chance of conversion, on the other hand you have a better chance of opening the message. What's it gonna be?
#3 Need to reduce the fields you need to fill out? 2 strategies to shorten them
Here are some tips for reducing the fields you need to fill out by merging them:
- you need to ask the first and last name? You can merge them into one field.
- If you need to ask for additional information, why don't you merge it into the contact form?
For example, if you want to get more information without adding fields (and thus potentially undermining the enrollment rate) you can take a cue from Zalando with your newsletter subscription (note the lead magnet from 5 euros), or by replacing the "send" button with two buttons "I am private" "I operate in the sector", which in addition to reducing the fields allows a segmentation feature of those registered in 2 lists, women and men, who should obviously receive a targeted message, thus potentially increasing open rates and conversion rates.
#4 Apply the Rule of Scales
I designed a rule to figure out how many fields to keep in your contact form: I called it the Rule of Libra, which I also discuss at length in my book Lead Generation.
How does a scale work? Two objects are held on the same level if they weigh the same, otherwise one of the two arms of the scale hangs down.
All right, let's assume that on either side of the scale are:
- what you offer
- what you ask for
If what you're offering (your lead magnet for short) is more than what you're asking for, the scales are tipped in the right direction. Otherwise, there's a problem.
A correct application of the balance rule allowed me to acquire 427 targeted user contacts in just 30 days. All you had to do was ask to put them on the two scales:
- on the one hand, a huge discount on trade show admission;
- on the other hand, the request for the full name, email and telephone number of the potential customer.
To properly apply the balance rule in your contact form, ask yourself: is what I'm offering superior or equivalent to what I'm requesting?
If you offer a brochure of your products, which often others pull back to the customers, and in return you want to know life death and miracles of your client, this may be a misapplication of the balance rule.
If on the other hand you offer a lot and ask for as little as possible, that's when your contact form works properly and you can acquire more leads.
#5 Ask only what is strictly important
When you ask people to leave their contact information, ask yourself what data you really need.
It could be just the name and email, or just the email: either way, if your goal is to start a business of lead nurturing and then send informational emails to your subscribers, what's the point of asking for address, phone number...?
The more data I have, the more I know! You'll say. But the problem is the more data you ask for, the fewer people fill out the form.
Limit yourself to asking only what is strictly necessary for your goal: according to an infographic by Quicksproutfor example, ask:
- age reduces the conversion rate of 3%;
- the phone number reduces the conversion rate of the 5%: if you must ask for it, explain why you are asking.
#6 Split your contact form into 2 parts
What if you have to have a lot of fields filled in? You can do this by leveraging an application from R. Cialdini's Rule of Commitment and Consistency.
Engagement and consistency can also be used to capture more of a user's contact data in a context of lead generation.
Let's assume we want to collect a set of data from a user, such as first name, last name, email address, phone number.....instead of asking for them all at once, creating a contact form that is too long, you can:
- ask for only one or two fields, such as name and email address;
- On a subsequent screen, ask for more fields.
Essentially it is about Split the contact form in 2, asking for a part of the data in the first screen and the other part in a second, with 2 obvious advantages:
- by seeing few fields to fill out, the user will have more incentive to do so, thus increasing the conversion rate;
- once Once the initial screen is filled in, the user, based on engagement and consistency, will be more likely to continue entering missing data, because he started, he committed to a process;
- even if you don't fill in the second screen, we'll still have the user's details (name and email address for example) sufficient to contact him later.
According to Formstack's 2015 Form Conversion Report. a "split" contact form, i.e. divided into 2 parts, can increase the conversion rate from 4.53% to 13.85%:
#7 Use a completion bar
Again: if you have a lot of fields to fill in, why not Communicate to the user how much time is left?
This simple trick can allow you to prevent the abandonment of those who, for example, are wondering "but how long until this blessed form is finished?"
Here are 2 examples of applications of this method:
#8 Avoid recaptcha
The Recaptcha is an effective way of not having your inbox full of spam.
Too bad it's also an effective way of limiting your contact form completions: the Animoto APP has seen increase your conversion rate (and therefore the completion of your form) from 48% to 64% simply by removing the recaptcha:
It doesn't get any better with Google's "I'm not a robot," which involved 73% decrease in the conversion rateor filling in the contact form:
The reason why recaptcha kills a form's conversion rate? Here are 2:
- the 30% of people can't fill it out;
- in one study on CAPTCHA and the user experience, the 23% failed to complete it the first time and the 15% failed to complete it;
#9 Place the labels inside
When you have forms to have filled out, under each form there are fields to fill out with labels, like "name" and "email" right?
Well, according to the most up-to-date study on the subject, Why Infield Top Aligned Form Labels are Quickest to Scan of 2015, you should insert the labels inside the form as in this case:
In other places, such as aligned to the left or right or above the field to be filled in, they tend to increase the fixations of the eye, in some cases causing more fields to be perceived than exist. Here are some studies done on the subject that offer conflicting answers:
- Label Placement in Forms (2006)
- Top, Right or Left Aligned Form Labels (2007)
- Web form design guidelines: an eyetracking study (2009)
#10 Avoid drop-down menu (too long)
If you really need to insert a drop-down menu, enter a few fields: according to research by Unbounce, the conversion rate decreases progressively as the number of fields available in the drop-down menu increases, probably because of the paradox of choicethat too many choices risk immobilizing the user:
Instead of a drop-down menu why don't you make the field complete itself? Here's an article on browser-based field completion (and its pitfalls).
#11 Positions the contact module
Where do we put the contact form? Above the fold no?
Apparently not always. Research done by KissMetric shows how the position of the form depends on the complexity of the product or service:
Simply put: the more the product or service you offer requires a considered decision, because it is complex, or expensive, the more it is indicated that the form goes to the bottom. Vice versa, if what you are asking is simple and easy to understand, place the form at the top.
That's how, in a landing page long and complex, placing the form at the bottom of the page increased the conversion rate of 304%:
#12 Move contact form
A simple way of increase the conversion rate of your contact form by 24.6%? Move it from left to right, at least according to the case history published by Quicksprout.
The reason? Probably by reading from left to right we are used to paying more attention to what is on the right:
What is a good form fill rate?
Okay, we said we want to improve our contact form to increase conversions. But what is a good conversion rate?
Formstack has done research which shows that the average conversion rate for a contact form aimed at collecting user data (for lead generation in fact) is 11%:
And of course the conversion rate varies according to the sector considered:
The form or contact form is often the last step before converting into a lead, whether that is a request for a quote or a newsletter subscriber.
The problem is that often the form is not very optimized for the user to fill out: improving its user experience, with the help of the techniques I've suggested in this article and with the related software can help you get more leads for the same amount of money.
Do you have any other techniques to optimize the form? Let's talk about them in the comments.