User fills out a mobile web form on their smartphone.
User fills out a mobile web form on their smartphone.

Web Form Abandonment Mitigation: 5 Strategies for Higher Conversions

Web forms are a great way to collect information about potential users or customers. But a majority of users — 81%, according to The Manifest — have abandoned at least one web form, with 59% indicating they’ve done so in the past month.

So, how do you mitigate web form abandonment and optimize for conversion?

Here are five tips to follow when designing your next web form.

1. Optimize Form Length & Complexity

Generating as many quality leads as possible, thereby increasing revenue, is the ultimate goal of most conversion-oriented web forms.

As Diana Urban, a former Head of Conversion Marketing at HubSpot, notes in the informative article “10 Form Conversion Optimization Tips to Generate Better Leads”, optimizing a web form’s number of fields, and the resulting form length, is one of the most impactful action items any web form designer can take.

When it comes to form lengths, shorter may be better than longer, as a rule. But Urban cautions form designers against creating forms that are too short. That’s because they may generate inferior quality leads. On the other hand, forms that are too long are likely to increase abandonment rates.

So, think critically about which form fields are necessary and which fields can be eliminated by gathering the associated information by other methods elsewhere in the sales funnel.

2. Implement Progressive Profiling

Online customer experiences should be as frictionless as possible.

While web forms can help you gather required or helpful information about potential users and customers, they also can add friction.

The solution? Progressive Profiling. That’s according to Martin Gontovnikas, former SVP of Marketing and Growth at Auth0 in the article “Progressive Profiling: Vital Info from Happy Customers”.

Progressive profiling relies on the notion that not all data needs to (or should) be collected right away. As Gontovnikas puts it:

“Progressive profiling is a technique for gradually building up a profile of your customers each time they interact with your product. It allows you to keep questionnaires and forms short and to the point, but still build up a fantastic picture of each of your customers over time. Most importantly, it means your users can immediately engage with your product, experiencing it first before you overload them with questions. You might only get a small amount of data at first, but once they start using and moving your app, they will be far more happy to give you more.”

Struggling with shortening a web form with many fields? Consider implementing a progressive profiling approach.

3. Avoid Reset and Clear Buttons

While you might think it is helpful to include a “reset” or “clear” button on your web form, the risks outweigh the benefits, according to the Nielsen/Norman Group.

That’s because the chance of the user resetting the field accidentally and bouncing before the web form submission stage is often higher than the need for the user to start over.

4. Use a Single-Column Layout

Keeping users scrolling through and filling out your web form is the main objective when it comes to reducing abandonment rates. Lenth aside, formatting also plays a key role in keeping users engaged.

When you include multiple columns in your web form, whether you know it or not, it interrupts users’ vertical momentum. Therefore, its preferable to keep users scrolling down your form by formatting it with a single column with separate rows for each field, according to Nielsen/Normal Group.

Note: short and/or logically related fields (e.g. City, State, and Zip Code) can be presented on the same row.

5. Optimize for Mobile

Mobile device web traffic has accounted for around 60% of all web traffic throughout 2022 and Q1 2023, according to Statista.

Therefore, if you’re not optimizing your forms for mobile, you could be alienating a majority of your form users, causing them to bounce early and often.

Not only that, you could be unwittingly creating unhappy and frustrated customers.

Create High-Conversion Web Forms With No Code

Aside from ways to optimize your actual web form, you should work to improve your overall website’s security and reassure users that your web forms are secure! This is because, according to the Manifest, security concerns are the top reason for web form abandonment.

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