Without having conversion forms, it's going to be really hard to capture high-quality leads from your website. And as you know from understanding the elements of a well-optimized conversion path, a form works best when placed on a landing page touting an offer visitors simply can't resist.

But what happens when your conversion rate is still suffering? What if you optimize the heck out of your website calls-to-action and landing page headlines, but visitors still aren't converting?

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Have you forgotten to give your conversion forms some love?

Sometimes the most obvious places for optimization are overlooked. Your form is the epicenter of your lead conversion efforts on your website. Without forms, lead generation doesn't happen. So let's make sure you're doing everything you can to optimize your conversion forms.

1) Move your form above the fold.

Your form should be above the fold on your landing page -- meaning, the visitor should not have to scroll down on the page in order to see the form. Otherwise, the visitor may look at your website page and be unsure what the next step is, or how to obtain the promoted offer.


2) Make your form headline a call-to-action.

Encourage visitors to take the final step and complete that form by including a call-to-action directly above the form. In the screenshot above, you'll see that the call-to-action on our Free Trial landing page is "Start Your Free Trial Now."

If you're unsure what to say in this space, here are some examples:

  • Get your free [OFFER]
  • Sign up for [OFFER]
  • Register for [WEBINAR/EVENT] now!
  • Yes, I want this [OFFER]
  • Download the [OFFER]
  • Claim your [OFFER] now!
  • Save your seat at [WEBINAR/EVENT]

3) Include the right number of fields.

The go-to advice on form length is often: "Keep your form short to get more conversions!" This is only sometimes true. Yes, if your form is too long, you'll dissuade people from taking the time to fill it out. But a shorter form might decrease the perceived value of the offer. Also, you might not want a high number of leads if your sales team is getting too many low-quality leads to sift through.

The length of your form will depend on a couple things:

  • The offer's stage in your buying cycle - For example, if you're giving away a free checklist or infographic, you might only want to collect first name, last name, and email. But if you're giving away something more substantial like an ebook or whitepaper, indicating that people are further along the research process, you may want to ask for more detailed information.
  • How many leads you generate - If your sales team has too many leads to sift through every one, add more fields to your forms so your reps can better qualify each lead, and know which ones are worth calling. And yes, this is an awesome problem to have.

4) Make it easy to see which form fields are required.

If you're still wary about how long your form is, determine which information is must-have vs. nice-to-have. For example, on our first-time conversion forms, we ask "What is your biggest marketing challenge?" as a text box form field.

This information is very helpful for our sales reps, but is not required for proper lead rotation or to automatically determine lead quality. Because it is not required information in the back-end, and because text box fields take more effort to complete, it is not a required field.

Required fields are typically denoted with an asterisk (*). Optional fields will not have an asterisk. So make sure that on your forms, you clearly denote which fields are required and which are optional.

5) Hide previously-completed fields.

For first-time visitors, HubSpot's conversion forms are long. We get a lot of leads, so we need those extra fields to determine lead quality and correctly rotate the leads to the right reps. But we only show these extra fields the first time a visitor completes the form. 


By enabling smart form fields, we get the information we need from the contact the first time she signs up to receive an offer, but we create a better user experience for her the next time she returns, increasing her chances of reconverting on a second offer.

6) Make your submit button say something other than "submit."

Your submit button is more than just a button -- it's a final opportunity to convince your visitors that they should fill out those last few fields. Leaving "submit" as the submit button text on your form is a missed opportunity. You should customize this copy based on whatever the offer is.

Here are some examples:

  • Download this ebook
  • Sign me up for a demo
  • Show me this presentation
  • Claim your coupon
  • Save your seat

Those are all much more enticing calls-to-action than "submit."

7) Ensure your visitors' privacy.

Link to your privacy policy either next to your email field label or at the bottom of your form below the submit button. This will help assure visitors hesitant about giving you their personal information that you will not share that information with any third parties. It will also make you seem trustworthy and credible, and will increase your conversions.


If you need help determining what should go on your privacy page, here's a link directly to HubSpot's privacy policy -- just so you can get some ideas. This is actually one of the most highly-visited pages on our website -- people always want to know how you'll be using their contact information.

Want to share this post? Here are some ready-made tweets:

Click to tweet: 7 Ways to Optimize Your Conversion Forms to Get Better Leads - http://hub.am/1nZwmZz by @DianaUrban at @HubSpot #marketingtip

Click to tweet: Squeeze more conversions out of your website by optimizing your conversion forms. Here's how: http://hub.am/1nZwmZz #marketingtip

Click to tweet: Do the conversion forms on your website need some love? Here's how to optimize them - http://hub.am/1nZwmZz #leadgeneration 



Originally published May 21, 2014 10:30:00 AM, updated June 11 2021


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