Those lead forms that customers see day in and day out across the web are much more important than many realize. Some phenomenal research has been done that has at the very least set the boundaries that can lead to an increase in leads and in turn hopefully happiness in the office. Some of the things our marketing firm considers to be common sense questions or required information is actually the reason your leads are suffering.

Conversion Form Best Practices

There exists some startling statistics, which exhibit to me just how quickly we are losing leads just because of questions that you truly may not even need.

Take for example the fact that when asking for a telephone number, or implying that the person would be called, lead to a 5% dip in conversions.

However when a company found that 37% of people were abandoning a required phone field they tweaked it just slightly. By adding the word “optional” the overall conversion rate doubled to almost 80%.

It is just one example of how large of an impact one small word can make.

Another crucial piece of the puzzle is how you wrap things up. Using the generic word “submit” at the end actually leads to a 3% dip in conversion rates while less daunting words such as “click here” and “go” actually improve odds of conversion.

How Long Should My Landing Page Conversion Form Be?

If you’ve debated about how long your forms should be, you’re not alone, and the bottom line is there’s no golden answer. Studies and statistics provide at best a guideline for which way to go, but the numbers are certainly not something to be ignored. The research indicates that conversion rates drop off substantially in comparison to other lengths after both three and seven fields respectively.

With that in mind you need to make the decision on whether you are focused on getting more leads in general or more high-quality leads. The shorter the form the more likely you are to get generic leads, however longer forms tend to weed out those who aren’t truly interested and can lead to more high quality opportunities.

At the very least you always need to focus on what you must have instead of what is nice to have. You need to focus on what will help you today and in the near future, not what is so far down the road that you’ll scare off the potential you have now.

The bottom line is this: there is no foolproof method. You need to be willing to make changes, take chances, and test the different options at your disposal.

I’d recommend looking at it from a first date perspective, you don’t want to overwhelm your date the first time you’re communicating. A personal pet peeve, avoid the CAPTCHA, it’s a major inconvenience and the research shows it’s a turnoff when it comes to completing those forms.

Landing Page Conversion Form Design & Optimization Tips

  • Form Length

    • There is no foolproof number of fields, however research indicates a large drop off in conversion after both 3 and 7 fields.
    • What’s Nice to Have vs. What’s Must Have
      • Ask only for information you will definitely use
      • Worrying about what you may use if you evolve is a waste of time
      • Always need contact information
    • Do you want new leads or high-quality leads?
      • Short forms typically mean more leads
      • Longer forms typically mean fewer leads but most are high quality
  • Conversions

    • Asking for a telephone number (or making it seem like they will be called) causes a 5% dip in conversion.
    • Adding the word optional to the field label “phone” doubled the conversion rate from 42.6% to 80%
    • Don’t use default label of submit at the end (3% decrease in conversion rate). Non-intimidating text such as “Click Here” (30%), “Go” (25) both indicates improved conversion rates. “Download” (15%) and “Register” (10%) convert worse than submit
  • General

    • Don’t EVER use CAPTCHA on forms
    • Do your own testing; there is no foolproof method. Even location changes can make a difference.
    • Think of it like dating; you wouldn’t ask your date a million questions right off the bat. Start off with a few and you can then progress from there.