It's one thing to be able to create wonderful, custom forms for your customers to fill out (like you can do in 'Horizon'), but how can you encourage customers to follow through and complete those forms?
A big part of this amounts to comfort, convenience, and quality. The same types of reasons that our clients trust us to deliver our projects on-time, on-spec, and on-budget.
For the same reasons that we offer 6-month guarantees on all our projects, and we'll turn down any projects in which we don't believe we can exceed customer expectations, your customers will simply opt out of completing forms that seem too complicated or time-consuming.
With that in mind, we've got some useful tips that you can use when you're designing your next round of forms to improve your form conversion rate and reduce form abandonment.
Before we get to that, let's talk a bit about what customer data forms are, and the benefits of using them.
Customer data forms are any type of document that your customers can complete through your website, email marketing, or social media campaigns, which allows you to collect valuable customer data from them.
While some of these will definitely feel like information forms, others can be designed to appear more like a conversation between your business and the customer.
In many cases, creating a mix of both of these types of forms will allow you to glean the widest range of critical lead info.
Form conversion rate is the term we use to describe when a customer chooses to complete a form (in any platform) and return that information to you for use.
The strength and comfort of your user experience will have a huge impact on whether potential customers choose to complete them.
The goal is to get them to click that all-important form submission button, before they lose interest and decide not to bother.
There are countless benefits to using customer information sheets to collect data.
B2B marketers often use customer information sheets to help drive sales strategies and create touchpoints that their connecting businesses can use to increase their conversions with potential customers.
Business owners can use customer information sheets directly to gather more intel on their target audience, so that they can adjust their future marketing strategies to better cater to the wants and needs of their customer base.
None of this is possible though, if you can't get your quality leads to actually click that crucial submit button.
You might be surprised by how many different types of forms there are available.
Some popular forms that digital marketers like to use include:
This is far from all the options available to you, but as you can see, there's a huge array of data that could be collected using these various customer information sheets.
Avoiding form abandonment is an ongoing challenge for all business owners, and unfortunately, there's no one easy answer to solve this issue.
Increasing your average conversion rate involves not only conversion tracking (so you can actually monitor your form conversion rates), as well as taking steps to improve and maintain engagement throughout the form submission process.
You may have to try a few different tactics until you see a true conversion rate increase, but once you find a process that your target audience responds well to, you'll notice more engagement from your leads, and ultimately, reduce your form abandonment rates.
Now that you know a bit about the different types of forms, as well as their benefits, let's discuss some tricks you can use to increase your form conversion rate:
'Get in and get out' is a mentality that many people seem to have when they're dealing with businesses these days - especially those centered online.
You need to spend some time thinking about exactly what type of information you're hoping to include, and minimize unnecessary form fields whenever possible.
A good rule to follow is that you should try to keep your customer information sheets to 3-5 fields at most. Any more than that, and your audience may begin to feel like they're offering too much time and energy for minimal return.
Keep it short and simple to get the best, most sustainable results.
Conversely, if you've got more fields than that but can't eliminate any unnecessary form fields, consider offering some kind of bonus to your audience for completing the form. Even a small discount code will be enough to encourage some people to put in a bit of extra effort for you.
5-10% off their next order shouldn't hurt your bottom line too much, but it could mean a lot to people who're giving up their time to complete the customer information sheets for you.
Add this to a customer loyalty program sign-up form, since loyal customers that are already interested in a long-term relationship with your business are more likely to want to complete customer information sheets for you.
This is a great way to increase `brand loyalty, while also adding a little something extra to the customer experience to continue building that positive relationship.
One of the best ways that we can gain honest customer feedback is to give your audience an opportunity to connect with you or your business directly.
Thankfully, social media marketing gives you exactly that opportunity. Loyal customers will likely jump at the chance to interact directly with you, and they're often very vocal about both a positive and negative customer experience.
This means that you can often rely on them to offer genuine customer feedback, and if you can give them the opportunity to submit that information to you in a simple form, all the better.
Social networks are already becoming the best place for customers to contact big brands, so you should consider getting in on the digital movement.
The sooner you start building a presence on social media, the easier it will be to convince your followers to share their information with you, which can easily be translated to form conversion increases.
This might seem like a silly, small addition that you can add to your customer information sheets, but it's really important - especially if you're going to use multi-step forms on any platform.
Progress bars show people that they're making headway towards the end of your form, and can make them feel like they're making tangible progress in completing them.
Especially if you're going to be offering the form for mobile devices, we'd strongly recommend building progress bars into any multi-page forms. Otherwise, it's really easy to simply swipe the page away or worse, put down their mobile device entirely.
Be wary - this is a fine line to tread, but it can be extremely effective, if done well.
Adding a customer information sheet to the end of your checkout process is a great way to get a couple of small but important questions from them before they're out the 'door'.
However, these should never be more than two or three questions. Any more than that, and the person may simply request to opt out. After all, you have to remember, they've already finished their transaction with you.
They're mentally ready to move onto their next task for the day, and if you create an overly complicated checkout process, it will deter people from wanting to participate.
Name and email address are two that are great to get, because you can use it to bolster your email list for future email marketing campaigns.
Always make sure that your form field labels are extremely clear, and when the opportunity arises, consider making some of the questions optional fields.
When you're asking more than a couple of questions, some people may be interested in sharing a lot of information, but others will tolerate only a few questions before their patience will run thin.
Keeping a portion of fields optional gives people freedom to answer some of your questions, but not all of them if they feel you're asking too much. However, rather than abandoning the form entirely, they can answer the bare minimum and move on.
This will reduce the number of zero-return forms, and while you may not get every piece of information you want from each person, you'll get some. And that's certainly a lot better than none.
As we've mentioned above, multi-step forms can be a major deterrent for some people, because it appears overwhelming before they've even begun.
If you absolutely need to use multi-step forms, make sure that you're including a progress bar as we suggested earlier, as well as making sure that each page has clear form labels, so that people know generally what type of information they can expect to offer you.
Burying tough questions that deter leads from completing forms sets you up for form abandonment partway through the process. Alternatively, putting them at the front could push people away from participating right from the start.
Any sales person will tell you - you can't get everything from customers all at once. You have to use strategy and tact to create a customer journey that's both comfortable and engaging. One that keeps them coming back, so you can get more information from them later as well.
Long-winded questionnaires or surveys only succeed in alienating part of your customer base that isn't interested in volunteering your business sizable amounts of their time for no return.
Are you ready to start engaging with your customers in more effective ways? Do you want to start quickly creating high-performance landing pages, where you can design and drop-in any custom-made forms you need?
Then you need Horizon, Northsail's newest service, which is revolutionizing the ways that business owners build their sites, manage their campaigns, and track their incoming customer data - all from a single, easy-to-use platform and without the need for a developer.
Best of all, Horizon is free to try for 30-days. All you have to do is sign-up, and we'll get you started right away. There's no obligation to buy, and we won't even take credit card information to accept payment until your trial is complete.
All we ask is that you take a few minutes to let us know what you think about Horizon. That's it.
A better, easier, faster way to design and manage your website is only a click away, so what are you waiting for?
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