Contact forms are a crucial component in growing your database and gathering key information from visitors—however, sometimes forms don’t convert the way you hope. Your marketing wheels start spinning: Is it the form length? Is the form asking the right questions? Are the right visitors seeing it? Not to worry, improving your forms doesn’t have to be such a daunting task!
Over the years, we’ve come across our fair share of high-converting, successful forms, and some not-so-successful forms. It happens. Here are a few reasons your forms may be performing poorly and optimization tips on how to increase conversion:
1. Give clear instructions
This one is fairly straightforward, but can often be overlooked. Forms should be clear in what the visitor needs to do in order to receive what the form is offering. This helps set expectations and reassures the visitor that they are receiving something of value in exchange for their contact information. Sometimes all it takes is unclear instructions for a visitor to abandon the page and not convert on your contact form.
Brainrider’s Ideal Customer Profile Template content offering has clear instructions set out for what the visitor will receive (a free ideal customer profile template) and how to receive it (filling out the form).
2. Less is more
Contact form length can be a big detractor to getting conversions. Not only do longer forms contribute to higher drop-off rates, they can also impact the quality of the data submitted. Visitors may become distracted or even bored trying to rush through a lengthy form. To help with this, only ask for the information you need upfront. Then make use of progressive profiling and dependent fields to gather additional information about your prospects for more targeted communications.
3. Ask the Right Questions
In order to drive your business goals, it’s vital to understand what information you need from your visitors. This is where defining your target buyer comes in to play. If you haven’t built your ideal customer profile yet, don’t skip this step! Be cognizant of where the visitor is in the buyer’s journey and cater your form accordingly. For example, asking for someone’s phone number when they are not sales-ready can end with the visitor leaving your form — especially if they don’t feel your offer is a worthwhile exchange for their number. Which leads us to…
4. Make sure the ask is worth the offer
If you’re asking the visitor to subscribe to your newsletter, it’s not best practice to include 10 fields in your form. Keep the ask small and include mandatory fields, such as ‘email’, ‘first name’, ‘last name’, and ‘company’. On the other hand, if you’re providing the user with high-value, well-researched content that they’ve shown interest in, having more form fields can still yield good conversion results. While it’s best practice to keep your contact form length short, the visitor will be willing to answer a few more questions if it means access to a valuable offering.
Here are some examples from our friends over at Uberflip.
In this first example, Uberflip is only asking for the visitor’s email. There is a lot of competition to get into people’s inboxes, so they’re reducing conversion friction by only asking one question.
Here, the ask is bigger because the report Uberflip is offering is timely, specifically targeted to B2B marketers, and includes a lot of research the visitor can’t easily obtain. Uberflip knows visitors are more likely to provide more information in order to gain access to it.
5. Optimize for different-sized screens
We’re living in a digital world where our visitors are accessing our content through various devices. Below, we’ve included an example of a responsive form. These types of forms are designed to be optimized regardless of the size of the screen. When creating forms, it’s important to take into account how your form will look to all viewers.
6. Build trust
In this example, HubSpot has gone above and beyond to ensure the visitor knows why HubSpot is asking for this information, how it will be used, and what they will get in return.
7. Don’t forget the design
When you’ve done all the above to optimize your contact forms, it’s time to make your forms look good. To provide the best digital experience for your visitors, you’ll want your forms to reflect your brand and follow the same styling as your other marketing assets, not to mention having an easily readable and distinctive submission button. These qualities will encourage your visitor to click the “submit” button.
– Minimize form length by utilizing progressive profiling and dependent fields using marketing automation tools (like Pardot)
– Optimize forms for various sized screens
– Provide clear instructions on what the visitor should expect once the form is completed
– Take into consideration the value of what you are offering to the visitor when designing your form
– Place CTAs and eye catching buttons strategically to capture the attention of visitors
– Flesh out your ideal customer profile to understand the types of questions and fields you should be including on your form
Now that you know how to create great contact forms and grow your database, what’s next? How do you move your newly acquired visitors along the purchasing funnel towards a deal?
Auto responders and email triggers
Once a visitor has filled out a form, your engagement with them shouldn’t end there! It’s important to set clear next steps for them. Autoresponders, whether they are confirmation emails or emails with further content, are a great way to direct visitors and continue nurturing them towards a sale. Tools like Pardot can help automate this process so that these emails are triggered by certain actions (in this case the completion of a form) and customized based on visitor data.
If you’re stuck on ideas on how to create autoresponder emails, this article explores three useful tips on how to create a winning automated welcome email!