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Online forms are a necessary evil for any web presence, especially for those who want to grow their audience. From email newsletter opt-in forms to customer satisfaction surveys, online forms are as common as having a social media page.
Here are a handful of tips to ensure that whatever type of form you have, it is the very best it can be, as well as reaffirming your other online marketing automation efforts.
1. Give your customers a ballpark time on how long it'll take to fill out ("In a few minutes," say).
2. Don't discover fire all over again: if its standard online form practice, then there's an obvious reason for it.
3. The less you ask, the more responses you'll get.
4. Tailor your survey to what you're asking: email opt-in forms are shorter (names and emails), whereas product feedback surveys are longer.
5. Highlight the required questions. A simple asterisk (*) is typical and it shows what's optional.
6. Don't be annoying: test out your online form vigorously to see how it stacks up with usability, experience, and relevance. Without testing, you'll annoy everyone.
7. If you must have a long form, don't cram all of the questions onto one page; break it up into several pages at natural breaks.
8. Ensure your customers that their information remains private, but offer them the option to receive third-party communications.
9. Include "You are here!" navigation indicator showing where your customers are in your form.
10. Write your questions for maximum usability: if it takes a paragraph to explain what you're asking for, scrap it or rewrite. Keep your questions clean and simple.
11. Design simply. Too much flash, images, advertisements and clutter is distracting.
12. Always include a link back to your homepage at the end of the survey.
13. Be consistent in fields: if you use drop down menus in the beginning, use them throughout.
14. Design carefully: ensure that no matter what browser, operating system or device, your online form falls into a single view, without any need for scrolling.
15. Ensure that your online survey software indicates spelling errors and missed required fields (usually highlighted in red).
16. If there's a problem, then explain why the field is critical and what information participants need to supply.
Now that you are ready to design your next online form or survey, you should really give our free form creator a try. Sign up here.
Ready to add lead nurturing to your communication plan? It's easy, as it all starts with a form. Learn all about how SimplyCast 360 can take your data and turn it into lead engagement automatically.
on Apr 24, 2014
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