If your organization collects applications or customer feedback, online forms can be a real lifesaver. But how can you make sure people stick around and actually finish said forms?
The good news is that it’s easy. Ridiculously easy.
If you want to avoid form abandonment, check out this list of ways you can improve your form conversions:
1. Less is more
While it’s easy to get carried away adding many fields when building your form, studies show that the fewer fields, the better.
Expedia is a great example of this—they got rid of one field (Company Name), and removing this one field was so effective that it brought them in a whopping $12 million per year.
Imagescape reduced the number of fields on their form from 11 to 4, resulting in a 120% increase in conversions.
The fewer fields your form has, the more seamless the overall experience will be for your users. Too many fields can cause confusion.
OK, so if all these extra fields make such a difference, why not just mark them as “optional” and call it a day? Well, according to an eyetracking study by cxpartners, it turns out that people don’t always make note of field type.
Many do not immediately know which fields are “required” and which are “optional.” Instead, the majority will skim over a form and simply assume that all fields are required. So, the more options they see, the more likely they are to become overwhelmed and exit the page.
2. Consider above the fold
Visitors tend to pay a lot of attention to content above the fold. If someone has to scroll down in order to fill out your form, then you might be missing out on a sale.
Of course, results will vary depending on your company, market and industry. It should also be noted that there have been plenty of studies on the subject—and some people have found that placement above the fold isn’t as effective.
Since every business is different, it’s important to A/B test and find what works best for you.
Check out this example of a great above-the-fold consultation application form by CaliforniaClosets.com:
There are a couple of reasons why this form rocks:
- The consultation form is above the fold and easy to spot.
- The call to action button, “Get a free consultation,” is a bold, striking color.
- The form header makes it immediately clear what the visitor is signing up for. In this case, it’s a free consultation.
Check out how Evolutiontrainers.com implemented this on their homepage:
This is yet another great example. A few takeaways:
- The consultation request form is above the fold and visible.
- A demo video is strategically next to the form.
- The call to action button is very noticeable.
3. Beautiful design is key
It’s no secret that people trust great design. The same can absolutely be said of forms—design is not an area to skimp out. Impress your visitors with great design and provide them with a smooth, painless experience. And don’t forget to make sure your form is responsive and compatible with mobile devices.
By the way, with FormAssembly you can easily choose a mobile-friendly, top-notch design in seconds with the form builder.
4. Provide a demo
Give the visitor a sneak peek of your service by providing an amazing demo. This is particularly great for organizations that offer forms for those interested in free consultations. For maximum effect, place your demo near the form.
This way, anyone who is uncertain can easily preview your services by playing the demo. After that, the form is right there waiting for them!
5. Too many navigation links will distract visitors
Studies show that when a landing page has too many navigation links, people will often feel distracted and choose to abandon ship.
For example, Basecamp only offers 3 links on the top navigation of their homepage: “See prices,” “Check out an example project,” and “Support.” They do have other navigation links, of course, but those are displayed at the footer of the page. So if visitors want more information on the company, they simply scroll down.
6. Ditch the phone number field
Forms with phone number fields tend to reduce conversions by 5%. To avoid form abandonment, it’s best to steer clear of this field unless absolutely necessary.
7. Choose the right button color
There have been countless studies surrounding button colors, and the results tend to vary. While there is no magical color, one thing’s for sure: a bold color that contrasts with the rest of a page is going to stand out in a good way.
Lately, orange and red buttons have been all the buzz—and for good reason, too. Many companies swear by buttons of this shade. For example, CareLogger switched their button from green to red, improving their conversions by 34%.
8. Choose an action-specific button
Would you be more likely to choose a very specific, interactive phrase like “Download the e-book,” or a vague statement like “Sign up”? The “Sign up” button lacks detail—whereas the “Download the e-book” button is much more straightforward.
By creating a button that emphasizes a particular action, you’re eliminating any confusion. People don’t like to guess; they want to know exactly what they’re signing up for.
In the end, it all comes down to what works best for your organization. Since every industry varies, discover what works in your own industry by A/B testing different variations.