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14 Ways to Improve Conversion Rates of Online Forms

by Jo Roberts, Anne Yastremski  |  
October 19, 2010
  |  6,266 views

In this article, learn how to...

Online Web forms that capture customer data in exchange for content or another kind of information or service are often the first point of contact customers have with your business.

So, why are they frequently so awful? Or overly ambitious? Why do marketers try to collect too much information, or require extraneous information customers aren’t interested in readily handing over?

Capturing and converting leads online is all about user experience. Provide visitors with a positive experience, and you're more likely to interest them in taking the next step in the pipeline: getting to know your company better.

Here are 14 ways marketers can improve the conversion rates of their Web forms.

1. Avoid too many clicks


If the goal of your online marketing program is lead generation, then keep Web forms as short as possible. Who wants to spend 10 minutes giving away a complete personal history—especially early in the relationship? We don't. Potential customers don't, either.

Even if you don't require visitors to complete every field, a long, visually cluttered form can be off-putting.

Bob DeStefano, one of our go-to experts at MarketingProfs, likes to say, "Don't try to qualify prospects with your online forms—that's the salesperson's job."


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Jo Roberts heads up marketing for the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum (among other things). She makes trouble and takes selfies only in her car.

Twitter:@joellenroberts

LinkedIn: Jo Roberts

Anne Yastremski is vice president of marketing at MarketingProfs. Need to reach her? Find her on LinkedIn (AnneYastremski), sometimes Twitter (@anneyaz), or at any of our live and virtual events.

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  • by Dan Soschin Tue Oct 19, 2010 via web

    Fantastic article that captures some of the most important aspects of landing page form development. I would like to underscore the concept of collecting too much info too soon. Think about your offer (white paper, newsletter, download, etc.) and match it with the correct amount of fields. I always suggest erring on the side of fewer fields at first and then gauge the quality from your sales team, and adjust as necessary!

  • by Adrian Halley Wed Oct 20, 2010 via web

    As the article states, it's so important to make your forms easy to find and simple to complete.

    We follow these principles at Feedbackify (http://www.feedbackify.com) where we provide our customers with an always-available, user-initiated website feedback form that allows site visitors to easily convey what's on their minds.

  • by John Wed Apr 13, 2011 via web

    What do people see as a benchmark for form completion rates (# completes divided by 3 initiated.)

  • by Ned P Sat Nov 24, 2012 via web

    Great article. Capturing valuable, yet non-obtrusive and sensitive data is key to capturing leads/feedback. At voicewith (http://voicewith.com), we provide a 100% free service for website owners to collect feedback using a simple feedback button that can be positioned in three different locations.

  • by Ian H Tue Dec 16, 2014 via web

    Hey Jo, great post here. We find that the contact form is becoming a dying medium, though. People don't want to be waiting hours, even days, for a reply from busy contact forms. Many business either don't have the resources, or the time to filter through legitimate leads and how they end up performing, etc. If you have spare moment, we'd love for you to check out Syncro at syncrowebchat.com and lets u know what you think! Email, for our new generation is becoming "slow" where real time engagement has lead to a huge increase in conversion without the need for AB testing, as you converse with your website's visitors in real time from your mobile device through text message!

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