Quick contact forms come in a variety of formats, depending on the industry and the goal. For that reason, there’s no strict set of rules for creating effective forms. Instead, we’ve put together a list of best practices to keep in mind when adding forms to your website. If you’re considering adding forms to your website and not sure whether to take the leap, check out our previous blog post.
1. Make Your Forms Stand Out
Whatever color, size, or shape that you chose, your forms should be conspicuous on your landing pages. Your forms act as a call-to-action, persuading visitors to take the next step. They’re an incredible tool for increasing conversions, so you want to make sure users see them. One method commonly used to make forms stand out is creating color contrast. Having your forms be a separate color than the rest of your website is an effective way to draw attention to them. Of course, make sure the colors compliment each other well and that your forms looks clean.
2. Make Your Forms Easy to Fill Out
Keep it simple. Only include fields that you need users to fill out, and remove the rest. In a recent study, HubSpot found that conversions decrease as form fields increase. In a time-crunched world, people like fast. Make your forms short and also make them one column. Visually, users like to keep scrolling down.
Note: Longer forms are likely to attract more qualified leads, so don’t completely count these out! Consider having two forms — one for quick access and a long one for highly specific inquiries.
3. Use Clear, Relevant Text
Be thoughtful about every word you add to your forms. Consider your goals and how you want visitors to use your forms. While a lot of companies label their forms as “Quick Contact,” your title could say “Sign up for Our Newsletter” or “Get Your Free Quote.” Whatever the purpose of your form, make sure it’s evident to visitors. Rather than having a button that says “Submit,” you might want to try something more creative such as “Start Your Project Now,” “Build Your Business,” or “Hear From an Expert.” The text in your forms plays a big role in conversions, so don’t be afraid to run a few tests.
4. Don’t Use Captcha
This relates to #2 on making your forms easy to fill out. Captcha is simply annoying and can be time consuming. One study even reported a three percent loss in total conversions using captcha. You can filter spam in a more user-friendly manner by having a two-page form. On the second page, users are just asked to confirm the information provided is correct. If you don’t like this method, there are many other alternatives to captcha with better conversion rates.
5. Upgrade Your Form Confirmation Page
Even though once visitors reach your confirmation page they’ve already filled out your form, there’s still elements you should include here to make prospects more likely to convert. Other than saying “Thank You,” your form confirmation page should really have two important features. This page needs to offer another method to contact you, such as a phone number, an email, and/or a physical address. Sometimes users want immediate assistance. You want to give them every opportunity to contact you. Second, the confirmation page should clearly outline what happens next. If you plan to contact the visitor within 24 hours via email, tell them that. It’s essential to establish some sort of expectation, so the visitor doesn’t forget about your company.
Based on our experience designing and marketing websites, these five practices are a good starting place if you’re adding forms to your website. Still, as with everything in web marketing, testing is essential. The only way to know what works optimally for your business is to try different methods and track the results.
“Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed” – Dan Zarrella