Optimize forms to increase conversions

Contributors

@paul-boag


Business Benefits

Increase the performance of marketing channels and campaigns.


Use visually simple multi-step forms to ask one question at a time and place sensitive questions like email and phone, at the end of the form.

For example, Advanced Grass, an astroturf company, instead of using a single 3-question form to ask for name, email, and phone, tested asking seven questions across two steps. The first step focused on what the user wanted and only later asked the sensitive information. Despite being longer, the new form helped the company increase conversions by a whopping 214%.

Get rid of captchas as they reduce submission by up to 30%.

If you are using WordPress consider using Aksimet to deal with Spam. For other sites create a honeypot that blocks spam by displaying an invisible field that only bots will fill out, giving them away and blocking them.

In an example from business practice, when Animoto removed captchas from their sign-up form, their conversion rate jumped to 64% from 48%.

Set mobile form fields to be at least 48px for an easy selection, set fonts above 16px, and use mobile input types to display the correct mobile keypad to improve the mobile form experience.

Use handy resources such as MobileInputTypes.com that lists how to implement all the mobile input types that you can use to display different keypads.

Use images, icons and other visual elements on your forms like large clickable image buttons, to make a more engaging form.

For example, use image button solutions to reduce the number of clicks required to answer a question. Instead of a dropdown box that needs to be clicked a couple of times to answer, portions of clickable images would require a single click to answer.

Another example, Toptal, a talent finder platform, asks companies to choose what they’re looking to hire, a developer, a designer, or both, by using icons. The form is then understandable without reading the question text.

Choose question field types that require less mental effort, like a slider or numeric input box instead of a dropdown list.

For example, if you’re asking someone to enter the number of employees in their company, a slider or numeric input box or even clickable icons with number ranges may work better, instead of a dropdown list where the user is required to read; motor action vs mental effort.

Use smart defaults answer settings on question fields, like country and phone number country code, based on the most probable response to minimize answering effort.

For example, instead of forcing everyone to enter their country or search for it in a long dropdown list, suggest the country they’re visiting the website from based on their IP address. In the vast majority of instances, this default value will be correct. When it’s not, users can still search for their country from the list. For phone number fields, apply to suggest the country code.

Personalize your form flow by hiding questions for people that don’t need to answer them instead of listing them as optional questions.

For example, the form on BrokerNotes, where users can browse brokers online, uses conditional logic only to ask the question “What are you looking for in a broker?” if a person answers that they’re an experienced trader. This question is hidden to beginner traders who might be confused by the possible answers to this question, which uses jargon that experienced traders typically only understand.

Tweak the form to change the outcome and motivate people to fill in the form. For example, opt for “Request a free proposal” instead of “Inquire about our services” as it’s more tangible.

Alternatively, opt for “Get an instantly generated audit” instead of “Request an audit” as it promises instant action. Or, opt for “Get a personalized report” instead of “Get our latest report” as it’s not so generic.

In addition, outcomes that provoke strong emotions such as fear and hope, tend to be more motivating than those that don’t evoke any strong emotion.