Top 5 Tips for Creating Effective Forms

by Pamela Vaughan

Date

October 14, 2011 at 9:00 AM

blog formThis blog article is an excerpt from our newest ebook, 25 Website Must-Haves for Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales. You can grab your free copy of the full ebook here.

Forms are the key to a landing page. Without them, there is nothing for the visitor to do on that page. Forms come in handy when it's time for people to sign up for a free trial, subscribe to your updates, or download an offer.

You might be wondering how much or how little information you should require with a form. There is no magic answer when it comes to how many fields your form should contain, but the best balance should be to collect only the information you really need.

The fewer fields you have in a form, the more likely you will generate more conversions. This is because with each new field you add to a form, it creates friction (more work for the visitor) and fewer conversions. A longer form looks like more work and will sometimes be avoided all together. On the other hand, the more fields you require, the better quality those leads will be (and the more information you'll have to qualify them). The best way to determine what works best for your particular business is to test it.

5 Tips for Creative Effective Forms

1. Only ask for the information you need for you or your sales team. Also, avoid asking for sensitive information that companies or consumers may not want to disclose.

2. Consider the value of the offer. The more valuable an offer may be perceived, the more information you may be able to ask for in return. If it’s a newsletter subscription, only ask for email address (and maybe first name, at most).

3. Reduce anxiety. People are more resistant to give up their information these days, especially because of the increase in spam. Add a privacy message (or link to your privacy policy) that indicates their email will not be shared or sold.

4. Don’t use the word “SUBMIT” on your form buttons! No one wants to submit anything. Instead, try “Download Whitepaper,” “Get Your Free Ebook,” or “Join Our Newsletter.”

5. If advertising a downloadable offer as your CTA, fulfill the request instantly. For example, if your form is for a whitepaper download, include a link to download that whitepaper on the very next page (typically called a “thank-you” page). Another option is to send an auto-responder email containing a link to the offer. Either way, we recommend providing the offer requested immediately following form submission so people don’t have to dig through their email for your content.

What can you do to improve your landing page's lead-capture forms?

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