Form Optimization: Start Courting Your Prospects

MCCALL STYLE & BEAUTY

Image by George Eastman House via Flickr

I am remembering that happy morning when my web developer showed me the 27% increase in traffic to lead form completes from one small change we made to our form.Yes, our silly form. Amazing. We all (digital marketers, I should say) spend so much time and effort, and dollars, driving traffic to our web site form. For some it is your product order form for others your contact us form.

James Pietz shared an analogy with me years ago that has stuck and that I use over and over again with my clients to explain the importance of “form fit”. When you go on a first date (or visit a site for the first time) are you ready to ask that person to marry you? Of course not. Then why would you ask a first time visitor to your site for all the personal information you would like about them (name, address, phone number, email address, title, budget (that one is really bad), time line)? Many sites do this. It’s not good.  They make this mistake of asking for too much information on their form, and guess what? The site visitor or “new friend” we will call them, leaves their site – so they get zero information. If you are thinking “hey that’s us, I need to do something about this quick!” , here is a simple path to resolving this need for a better “form fit”.

1) Measure with a heat mapping or other tool, where people are abandoning your form. This is much less expensive technology then it when it first surfaced. Try this article for a few heat mapping options – one is even free.

2) Use the heat mapping data to make changes to what is required on your form. The points where people are dropping off your form are the ones to watch for. What might be irritating them? Is the form confusing? Asking for too much information? Make changes. Take the information they are willing to supply and court them with more information, an email or two, a free gift. (That’s another article for another time.)

3) Enjoy increased traffic -> lead conversion rates. I will be surprised if by addressing the areas where your visitors are abandoning your form, you don’t see vast improvement in the amount of traffic that fills out your form. And hopefully you are following up with efficiency and converting a good percentage of these completed forms (your new friends) to customers! Consider adding different types of forms to your site as well – a name and email address form only, a longer form for all the details you really want,  forms for white paper downloads, email newsletters and free stuff are all good forms to try.

Let me know if you make some changes and see results. Even if you don’t. Have fun.

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