Online forms are practically mandatory for any company that does business online. The problem is, most people don’t like filling out forms. If they’re going to spend time completing an online form, they want the payoff to be worth it. But there are many things you can do to engage people and encourage them to fill out your online forms.
Before creating an online form, you need to define your goals for it. For example, do you want more conversions, less of a burden on your phone support, or sign-ups for an event? After you define what you want your online form to accomplish, design it to support that goal.
Length of Online Forms Depends on Your Goals
Conventional wisdom is that people prefer shorter forms and, for the most part, this is true. However, there are scenarios when lengthier forms are better suited to your goals. Suppose you have plenty of leads, but many of them are of low quality. If you want higher quality leads, and are willing to trade off quantity for quality, a longer, more involved form will help weed out visitors who are only passing through. You will reach leads that are “warmer” or further along in their investigative process. Whatever its length, no form should have unnecessary fields, which simply means fields that provide data that your company will not use.
Assure Visitors of Their Data Privacy
Some people won’t complete a form if it’s unaccompanied by a statement assuring them their data won’t be shared or sold. Make sure such a statement is easy to find on any web page where you ask visitors to fill out forms. It should not be written in terms only a lawyer would understand. A brief statement that simply says something like, “We never share or sell your personal information,” is often sufficient. It’s better to have this at the top of the page than “below the fold.” Neither should it be a part of the fine print. If you are going to make a bold statement, make it a bold statement.
Branding and Placement of Online Forms Make a Difference
Your online forms should harmonize with your brand in terms of colors, graphics, logos, and fonts. People may wonder if they’ve been sent to another site altogether if they encounter a generic form that gives no indication that your company created it. Where you place the form is important too. Make it easy to find, preferably at or near the top of the page. Don’t ask visitors to fill out a form, then require them to scroll all the way down the page to find it. Many won’t stay engaged long enough to follow through.
Your Call to Action Should Say Something Other Than “Submit”
Your call to action button should ideally give visitors an indication of what will happen once they click. A button that simply says “Submit” or “Click Here” doesn’t do this, but one that says, “Download my free eBook” does. If your call to action button doesn’t indicate what the user gets for his or her information, they’re typically more skeptical about clicking. Some form designers choose to use their form’s headline as a call to action, and then use a simple, yet dynamic, call to action button that says something like, “Go!” (Using “Submit” indicates a lack of imagination.)
Test and Measure Results to Improve Engagement with Online Forms
The great thing about online forms is that you can modify them easily when you discover something that helps or hinders user engagement. In fact, many companies elect to A/B test forms, where one aspect of a form is varied at a time to determine which combination of headline, form fields, and call to action button gets the best results. Sometimes hunches about these things are wrong, so it’s important to actually test variations on your forms to know for sure what works best.
Creating online forms is easy for the non-technical user with PerfectApps. With built-in web form integration, it’s no problem to create awesome, custom online forms that entice readers to complete and submit. All you have to do is drag and drop form elements into place on a virtual canvas, and it’s easy to add whatever branding, color, font, or logo choices you want so your forms echo your branding. PerfectApps is flexible enough to create any type of online form and easy enough that you don’t have to understand programming to use it effectively. We invite you to watch our demo and see how easy it can be to create pixel-perfect online forms with PerfectApps.