Let's be honest for a minute…

People don't like online forms (gasp!). And it's not hard to see why: Online forms require extra work (and time) and typically stand in the way of a consumer's getting what he or she really wants—such as a piece of content or access to software.

That's not great news for marketers who are tasked with converting website visitors into customers through lead generation forms.

Luckily, there are proven ways to reduce form friction and get prospects to hand over their valuable information. Here are six building blocks of forms that convert well.

1. Curb Appeal: Focus on Form Appearance

If you want to see good results with your lead generation form, you have to focus on initial attraction. Potential customers will fly past your form if it doesn't stand out on the Web page.

When building an online form, you need to consider each of your form's attention-grabbing elements, including where it is placed on the page, what colors it uses, and how it is laid out.

In general, you should keep your form simple and avoid too many visual distractions (especially if you hope to convert mobile visitors). And you should use colors that invoke trust or motivate action, such as blue, green, and orange.

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image of Ashley Walsh

Ashley Walsh is VP of marketing at Formstack, provider of online-form solutions that streamline processes for capturing and managing information.

LinkedIn: Ashley Walsh

Twitter: @anighbert