A popular misconception among marketing professionals is that a basic web form contributes little to the conversion rate. Therefore, in many landing pages and websites, we can find poorly designed forms that fail to capture leads and ruins all efforts in the final stage.
A basic web form, its layout, design, color scheme, and content are as important as the elements of any web page, which is why we need to put more emphasis on the forms to increase the likelihood of capturing more leads.
To be honest, it doesn’t take much to design a basic web form that has a killer vibe to attract a visitor to the submission button like a black hole draws spaceships in Hollywood movies!
In this blog, we are going to discuss 10 common tips regarding basic web form design that will help you to boost up your conversion rate.
#1 Make a clear headline
A basic web form without a clear headline confuses visitors and makes them unsure about the next steps. We all know what that means in the marketing world: losing a lead. When a visitor reads all the information on your landing page or web page, you MUST tell them what’s next via your form headline. If you want them to sign up, make sure your form headline talks about signing up. If you want them to book a demo, the headline should speak about booking a demo.
#2 Describe post-submission activities in the subheader
This is one fatal mistake many marketers make unknowingly. An action without any known consequence usually turns people off from submitting a form. Imagine, you are working on a project without knowing the end result! Similarly, if someone does not know what will happen once they submit the form, they will be less likely to submit the form. Therefore, again, you must tell them. The sub-header is the best place. For instance, if your headline says “Book a demo with our experts”, your sub-header can be “Submit the form and one of our specialists will be in touch with you soon.”
Note: it is not always necessary to put post-submission activities in the sub-header if you already mentioned it on your web page. In that case, use the sub-header for other purposes.
#3 Don’t ask for too much information
By far, the most dangerous practice in basic web form design is asking for too much information from prospects. FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is the main reason behind this malpractice. Marketers want to gather as much information as they can because that helps them to hyper-personalize communication materials. However, little do they know that it is a big NO-NO in the eyes of the prospects. How would you feel if you see that to get an eBook, you need to type and fill out 10 different fields? It is ten times worse if they are browsing on a mobile device. Ask for only what is mandatory. If you want to get in touch with them, their email address and phone number are mandatory for you. You can ask for their name or company name if you really want. In that case, making them optional is a good idea.
#4 Use a contrasting background color for the basic web form
Basic web forms that appear like a moon in a dark night are more likely to convert a visitor. Therefore, using a contrasting form background color helps a lot. Doing that will constantly draw visitors’ attention. That said, the submission button in the basic web form needs to use a contrasting color too, but this time it should stand out in the form. The idea is: when a visitor wants to learn the next step, they will go straight to the form and once they fill out, they will know where to click. These might seem like small factors, but they indeed play a big role in converting visitors.
#5 Clearly indicate submission error messages
A prospect finds your landing page appealing and fills out the form fields. When he/she hits the submission button, it doesn’t work. Most visitors will try again, but only a handful of visitors will try again before exiting your page. That is why a submission error message is important. Using this feature, a prospect will know exactly what is going wrong and he/she can fix that. For instance, they accidentally added + country code in the form whereas the form does not accept + sign (Yes! Some stone-age forms still exist). If the user is not told to remove the + sign they will attempt again only to see another submission error. Result? We all know that! But if a submission error message asks them to remove the + sign, the next attempt will be successful.
#6 Avoid using multi-page forms
There are many instances when someone just doesn’t want to submit the form now. I have seen instances where a prospect clicked on my Google Ad on Monday and that click was converted on Tuesday. It’s simply probably because they bookmarked the landing page and after having a discussion with other team members, they submitted the form. Now, if the form was a multi-page one, they wouldn’t know what’s in the second or third page without filling it out, right? Where does that lead? Yes, uncertainty! And we all know what uncertainty does! Therefore, it is a good practice to put all the fields on one page instead of splitting them onto multiple pages.
#7 Create a unique CTA button
A unique CTA gives an extra boost to the intent of submitting a form. Out of 10 web forms, 8 will simply state submit. That’s pretty plain and boring. You need to fire it up a bit. How about saying “Book a Demo”, “Confirm Your Registration”, “Get Your Seat”, etc.? Don’t they sound better and more appealing than a plain “Submit”? Recently, I did an experiment with one of my web forms. We were offering 1,000 free emails if anyone booked a demo via our landing pages. So, I stated that by booking a demo, you would get 1,000 email credits. Then I changed our CTA button to “Get 1000 Email Credits”. Guess what? BOOM!
#8 Don’t use captcha
The most annoying part of any web form is the mighty captcha! If you don’t know what a captcha is: it makes sure that the form is filled out by a human being! It’s basically designed to stop from bots or evil programs from spamming your web form. A captcha usually requires clicking on images or, in worst cases, it will ask you to write a series of letters but they are presented in a weird looking image. Let me assure you, unless your product/service is an absolute lifesaver, no visitor will spend a micro-second solving a captcha puzzle! Although some advanced form builder can filter out bot submissions, it is better to create clean forms without any obstacles to ensure a smooth conversion.
So, these are the major tips that you can try today in your basic web form design. Apart from these tips, there are also technical sides of a web form design that will be discussed in a future blog. So, keep checking our blogs for the latest posts related to form design.
If you are looking for a ready-made solution to build high-performing basic web forms, try our form builder software. Using this software, you can easily incorporate all these ideas and use other basic web form best practices without any coding or graphic design knowledge. We take care of technical stuff from our end so you can focus on designing killer web forms.
In addition to that, SimplyCast’s web form comes with a CRM system so you can collect, store, manage, and nurture all collected leads in there. You can also incorporate the form builder software with our landing page builder and marketing automation technology to provide an additional user experience. For instance, every time someone submits the form, they will receive a personalized confirmation message via multiple channels. It is a great tool for any marketer because the form builder tool will reduce your manual marketing tasks.
Less effort, less hassle, fewer tasks, more leads!
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