Conversion Killers: I’m not sure I’d complete your lead generation form.
To quickly recap previous posts, a conversion is an action performed by a site visitor, which has been defined as the desired outcome by the website owner. For example, common conversion goals include the submission of a lead generation form or the purchase of a product. A conversion killer is something which gets in the way of a site visitor taking the desired action.
What would stop someone completing a form on your website?
Every field added to a form increases the chance a website user might decide to not submit it. As a website owner you need to carefully consider every field you add to any form. Factors that might adversely affect a visitor’s willingness to complete a form include:
- Length: Will this form take too long to complete (compared to its importance to the visitor)?
- Confusion: Is there something about the form which leaves visitors unsure about the process or the benefits?
- Security/Privacy: Site visitors will not take action where there is a trust issue. The more sensitive the information the higher the trust level needs to be between the website and the visitor.
- Appropriateness: Is the information you are requesting justifiable in the context of your site and what visitors will gain by completing a form?
Whatever the reason, the end result is the same. A potential customer has viewed your site, made a decision that they might contact you, and then for a reason connected to the form, clicked away. If this lost conversion is repeated over and over throughout a month, the cost and lost business may very well be substantial.
The steps you need to take to prevent lost form submissions depend on the reason for the lost conversion. In the vast majority of cases though, the solution involves decreasing the number of fields and carefully assessing the necessity of any remaining fields.
Reduce the length of your form so it only includes fields you really need
If it is your intention to contact every person who completes your form, do you need anything other than their name, email and phone number? Whilst it might be tempting to ask questions relating to their particular interest, budget or background, is this information really critical if you are going to contact them anyway? Particularly if some of your visitors won’t complete the form because of the extra information being requested.
Increase the usability of the form
We often see forms where irrespective of length the usability is simply not up to scratch. Common errors include using field labels that make no sense to the average person, using a confusing layout, asking people to enter information in confusing ways or failing to explain why the information is being required and what will happen when the form is submitted.
Are you making people feel uncomfortable about their privacy or security?
There are certain pieces of information that, if requested, will worry some users. For example, if you are asking for credit card details, home address details, date of birth or login information then the majority of users will at the very least pause to consider their options. Many will not complete the form unless appropriate protections are clearly in place. Most likely they will also need to trust your company and website. Naturally, there are going to be occasions when a form needs to collect sensitive information and you would then take the steps required to assure users the process was safe. However, if you don’t need to collect such information during the submission then you will no doubt increase the likelihood of the form being submitted by removing any sensitive fields.
How appropriate would a regular visitor consider your request
Context can be an important element in the decision making process. For example, if I was completing a form for a financial product I would possibly be comfortable providing my date of birth. However, if the same information was requested on a lead generation form or during an e-commerce checkout I would almost certainly be very uncomfortable and would likely not submit the form as date of birth is a powerful piece of information in the wrong hands. If this field was requested and not appropriate to the process I would not complete the form.
How do I know if my forms are optimised for maximum conversion?
The first thing you should do is review the important forms on your website using the points above. Do any fields stand out as unnecessary, sensitive, confusing or inappropriate? Why not get someone unfamiliar with your site to look at the form from their perspective as a website user and talk you through their thought process as they complete it? Naturally, you can also contact us for an expert opinion!