Getting users to fill out your forms can be tricky. Truth be told, no one really enjoys filling out forms, but they are a nearly essential part of interactions on the web, and everyone has to fill one out sooner or later.
But the real question is whether or not website visitors will fill out your form.
There are many different factors that go into someone’s decision to submit personal information to your site, so if you want submissions, you need to get your forms right. Design, copy and even length can all influence whether or not someone fills it out.
Here are a few things you should include if you want better form conversion rates.
Factors That Influence Conversions
The three aspects of conversion are design, copy and functionality. Users want forms that are clear and easy to use and that entice them with value.
Design and Structure
Form design is about more than the outward aesthetic of your images and color choices, it is also about structure. Studies show that multi-page forms have a higher conversion rate on average (around 13.85%) over single page forms (4.3%).
Forms with radio buttons and checkboxes reduce cognitive load for users, giving them more incentive to complete forms and lowering abandonment rates. Forms that use clickable images as a question type are also shown to have better conversions.
On the other hand, color is less important when it comes to the design of the form overall, but more important when it comes to the color of your CTA button.
The text that appears on and around your form can also impact conversions. This insurance quote request form from Oscar uses natural language fields instead of traditional copy to improve conversions.
But one of the most important pieces of copy is your CTA button, however. As Neil Patel puts it, “The call-to-action is the tipping point between conversions and bounce.”
Strong CTA copy will get clicks, while weaker CTA copy will have much lower conversion rates. Content Verve, for example, added a CTA button that said “Get Started” to their payment page and increased conversion rates by 31.03 percent.
Words like “Next” convert at almost twice the rate of “Continue” (43.6% vs. 24.6%), while “Submit Registration” has a slightly higher rate than “Register Now” (15.6% vs. 13.3%). “Click Here” and “Go” tend to be the most popular CTA copy and generate the most conversions.
This form combines features from both a single-field interface and a natural language interface to create a fun and engaging user experience. It starts out asking for a zip code, but adds fill-in-the-blank sentences as you progress, which creates a multi-stage interactive element that keeps you on the page.
Finally, your forms need to be fast and easy to use. Form length plays a major role in functionality, with shorter forms converting better than longer forms (though this has less effect when using a multi-page form). One company increased conversions by 120% by reducing their form from 11 fields down to 4.
Other elements of functionality, like progress bars, sliders or interactive elements can also enhance the user experience, leading to more submissions. Wopata, for example, uses a unique feature in their quote request form by adding animated sliders to help users address urgent needs.
Forms that use autofill features and otherwise help users by filling in information faster, like those optimized for mobile that allow swiping, tapping or GPS autofill information, also have higher conversion rates than standard forms.
Tips for Improving Conversion Rates
If you’re looking to build a high-converting form, you want to ensure that the elements of your form are well designed, clear and functional. Here are a few components you can add to ensure that your forms are fully optimized.
Personalize form flow with conditional logic. Not all questions on your form will apply to everyone, and while you can mark questions as optional, having additional (somewhat useless) fields on your form can add to the clutter. You can instead use conditional logic to ask and hide questions as necessary.
Include a value proposition. While field labels are important on the form itself, having surrounding text that gives a clear value proposition – that says, here’s what’s in it for you – can also improve conversions. Users should know what they can expect to get on the other end of submission.
Clearly explain why you’re asking for sensitive information. People are increasingly concerned over privacy and information security. If you must ask for sensitive information, make sure you explain why it is needed using support text below the field.
Don’t rely on it to communicate important messages. Color can definitely impact conversions, but it shouldn’t be relied on for communication. Studies show that 1 in 12 people have some degree of color blindness to red and green, so relying on those colors for CTAs or error messages. Using icons or larger text along with bold colors can make your message clearer.
Ensure that your form can be navigated using the tab key. While many people use the tab key to navigate through forms, this is particularly important for disabled users who may be relying on software that uses the tab function to move from one question to the next.
If questions are unclear, provide explanatory text. If your form requires more complicated questions than just a name and an email address, be sure there is help available for users that don’t understand the question, either via popup or additional copy on the form.
Make sure forms are mobile friendly. Forms should convert to mobile relatively easily, and if not, consider building a separate form that is optimized for mobile use, especially if your form requires payments.
Limit animations. While creative, animated forms can convert just as well as traditional forms, you don’t want to go overboard with blinking lights, flashing progress bars or otherwise annoying animations, as it can stop users from completing forms.
You will typically have several types of forms on your site, from contact forms to lead generation forms or even a directory submission form depending on your site. While each one has a distinct purpose, all can (and should) be optimized for design, copy and functionality.
When it doubt, keep things simple and remove any unnecessary questions and design elements that may clutter your form. If you need to ask more questions and you’re worried about length, consider opting for a multi-page form with a progress bar.
Be sure to use explanations on complicated questions and don’t forget to include field labels (or inline labels) so users know what answers to give. And above all, make sure your CTA is worded correctly and entices users to submit it.