3 Tips to Create Forms People Want to Fill Out


Asking people to contact you, sign up, enroll, subscribe, download, or any other action online is a crucial step in collecting data you need to gain actionable insights on how to turn site visitors into paying customers. Ideally, your website’s landing pages feature well-designed forms created intentionally to convert anonymous site visitors into leads. But, getting website visitors to divulge information by filling out an online form can be difficult. Understanding what information to ask for and how to ask for it helps increase conversion rates.

Your forms are a visitor’s doorway to your business. As such, forms need to be inviting and easy to use. By filling out a form, your visitor is taking the first, tentative step in building a real relationship with your business. Let’s make it count.

Keep it Short

Data! You want to know everything about your site visitors. Just imagine all the analyses you could perform if you knew your all their ages, gender, income rates, likes and dislikes! But, of course, you can’t be as demanding as all that. People would skitter away from your site like a bad first date.

Online forms should be simple. People taking one look at a long form asking question after question could experience unpleasant flashbacks to stressful school exams. Or, they may be reminded of the dreadful task of filling out tax forms. Unpleasant connotations, both. No thanks!

Keep your forms short. A study by Unbounce found that using 3-5 fields is optimal. One company more than doubled its conversion rates by cutting the number of fields it used on its form from 11 to four.

The information you request in these fields will depend on where people are in the customer journey. The closer they are to buying, the more committed they are, and the more data they will likely provide.

In the beginning, a name and an email is all you need to begin nurturing your leads. One request you should leave out if possible is asking for their phone number. No matter what reassurances you give them, people still fear providing their highly personal digits will lead to bothersome sales calls.

Too Many Clicks, and You’re Out

Again, when it comes to navigating forms, your main goal is to keep it simple. Forms can be seen as a bit of a hassle, and people don’t want to scroll or click any more than absolutely necessary.

Consider how many times your visitor must click to get through the form. Let that number influence whether you use radio buttons, drop-down lists, or write-in fields on your forms.

Research by Baymard Institute shows that drop-down lists with more than 15 options (such as selecting states or countries) are too confusing for users. Instead, consider using a text field with autocomplete, if possible. Conversely, drop-down lists with fewer than seven options are also not recommended. They require two clicks to: (1) pull down the list, and (2) select the right item.) Using radio buttons allows visitors to choose their selection with one click.

Fill out your forms several times yourself. Look for ways to eliminate clicks or scrolling throughout.

Use a Compelling Call-to-Action

The importance of strong call-to-action buttons is getting serious attention these days, and it’s about time. People have been submitting and entering their information for years now, and, quite frankly, they are numb to it.  “Submit” and “Enter” are not only unclear in their intent, but are quite possibly the most boring calls-to-action ever made.

The call-to-action button is likely the first thing people notice about your form. The words it displays should clearly describe why people are willing to hand over their personal information.

Be thoughtful in the language you choose because the words you use have impact. Think about it. Do you want to “Submit Information” or “Get My Free ebook”? Would you rather “Enter Email Here” or “Learn to Convert Free”?

When designing calls to action, select words that show people they are gaining a benefit. Stay away from words that have a negative connotation such as “buy” or “pay” and choose positive, action words such as “discover” or “earn.” Using pronouns such as “I”, “me” and “my” works well because they speak directly to people.

The online form is one of the first ways you are introduced to your customers in a one-to-one fashion. Implementing these tips help make the most out of the interaction.

To learn more about how to improve your marketing strategies, give us a call or send us a note today at Small Dog Creative 661-702-1310! 

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